Palestinian Mansaf Recipe

palestinian mansaf recipe


For the Lamb:

  • 2 lbs lamb, cut into chunks
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 4 cups plain yogurt

For the Rice:

  • 2 cups basmati rice, rinsed
  • 1/4 cup ghee or clarified butter
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • Salt to taste

For Garnish:

  • Chopped fresh parsley
  • Chopped fresh mint
  • Pomegranate seeds (optional)

For Assembling:

  • Arabic flatbread or pita


Prepare the Lamb:

  1. Sauté Onions and Garlic:
    • In a large pot, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add chopped onions and minced garlic, sautéing until golden brown.
  2. Cook Lamb:
    • Add the lamb chunks to the pot, and cook until browned on all sides.
  3. Add Spices:
    • Season the lamb with ground cumin, ground coriander, ground cinnamon, salt, and black pepper. Stir well to coat the meat with the spices.
  4. Simmer in Yogurt:
    • Pour in the plain yogurt, cover the pot, and let the lamb simmer in the yogurt over low heat for 1.5 to 2 hours, or until the meat is tender.

Prepare the Rice:

  1. Cook Basmati Rice:
    • In a separate pot, cook the rinsed basmati rice according to package instructions.
  2. Fluff and Add Ghee:
    • Once cooked, fluff the rice with a fork and add ghee or clarified butter. Mix well.
  3. Toast Nuts:
    • In a dry skillet, toast the slivered almonds and pine nuts until golden brown. Keep an eye on them to prevent burning.

Assemble the Mansaf:

  1. Serve Over Rice:
    • Place a layer of rice on a large serving platter.
  2. Arrange Lamb:
    • Arrange the cooked lamb on top of the rice.
  3. Drizzle with Yogurt Sauce:
    • Pour some of the yogurt sauce from the lamb pot over the meat and rice.
  4. Garnish:
    • Sprinkle toasted almonds and pine nuts over the mansaf. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley and mint. Optionally, add pomegranate seeds for a burst of flavor.
  5. Serve with Bread:
    • Serve the Palestinian Mansaf with Arabic flatbread or pita on the side.

Mansaf is traditionally enjoyed as a communal dish, with everyone gathered around the platter. It’s a rich and flavorful representation of Palestinian cuisine.

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