clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Traditional Jordanian Mansaf consisting of Lamb, Yogurt and Rice Pilaf

Mansaf: Jordanian Lamb, Yogurt and Rice Pilaf

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

No reviews

  • Author: Noreen
  • Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
  • Yield: 6 people 1x


Mansaf: Jordanian Lamb, Yogurt and Rice Pilaf with fined onion and garlic.


  • 1 pound of lamb on the bone (we used lamb leg)
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon cardamom pods, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 bay leaves (preferably fresh)
  • 2 small cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns
  • Water (dependent on how wide your pan is)
  • 2 cups of Greek yogurt
  • 3 teaspoons arrowroot powder
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 handful fresh mint, chopped

Roasted Nuts

  • ½ cup almonds, skins removed (slivered almonds work here too)
  • ½ cup pine nuts
  • 1 tablespoon butter or ghee
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)


  • 2 cups basmati rice or a similar medium grain rice, washed
  • ½ teaspoon ground saffron
  • 1 tablespoon grass-fed butter or ghee
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 cups water

For Serving

  • 1 piece of markook bread (also called shrak or khubz)
  • 1 handful of fresh parsley, chopped
  • ¼ cup dried currants (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Stage 1 – Beginning the Mansaf Meat & Broth

  1. Start by fileting pieces of lamb meat from off the bone, but keep the bone for cooking. Pre-season the lamb with salt and pepper
  2. Take a large pot over medium high heat and add a dash of olive oil
  3. Once hot, start with your onion and garlic. Saute for several minutes for 1-2 minutes as they start to sweat and become fragrant
  4. Next, add your lamb. Move your onions and garlic to the side so as to let your lamb directly hit the heat of the bottom of the pan. Sear your lamb for 4-5 minutes as it starts to brown
  5. As the lamb browns, add your cumin, cloves, cardamom, bay leaves and cinnamon stick. Stir well for ~30 seconds to get the spices well integrated into the lamb, onions and garlic
  6. Then, add enough water to the pot so as to cover all your ingredients. Bring the heat to high and bring the entire pot to a boil. As the water boils, a white froth will come to the top of your boiling liquid. Scoop this liquid out with a spoon as much as you can
  7. After 2-3 minutes of boiling and fishing out the froth, reduce the heat to a simmer and cover your pot. Simmer everything together for at least 1 hour

Stage 2 – Tend to the Other Elements

  1. If using saffron threads, start by grinding the saffron with a pinch of salt in the mortar and pestle
  2. Pour a bit of hot (slightly under boiling temperature) water over the saffron
  3. As the flavors of the saffron come alive, take a small pot of water over high heat and bring to a boil
  4. When the water is boiling, pour your rice into the pot along with the warm saffron water
  5. Stir the rice and saffron water around in the boiling water until the entire pot has a nice orange hue to it, then
  6. Reduce the heat to a low simmer, then add the salt and butter. Cover and let the rice simmer for ~20 minutes
  7. While the rice cooks, take a pan over medium heat and add a tablespoon of butter. Once the butter is hot, lower your heat and add your pine nuts and skinned almonds
  8. Continually toss the nuts around as they start to toast, which should take about 3-4 minutes. As you toss and toast, sprinkle your cinnamon over the nuts if you wish to add it
  9. When the nuts have browned slightly and roasted, take off the heat and set aside
  10. After 20 minutes, uncover and fluff your rice. Re-cover and let the rice steam further until the rest of the Mansaf is ready

Stage 3 – Make the Yogurt Sauce

  1. After at least an hour of simmering, pour your pot of what has now become a lamb broth through a colander into a large bowl
  2. From the colander, fish the pieces of lamb pieces out and place back into the pot
  3. Add ½ of the strained stock back into the pot and bring the pot back to a simmered heat
  4. Take a separate pot over a low heat and add a mixture of your Greek yogurt and remaining strained stock. Stir well so as to evenly heat the yogurt and to mix it well with the stock to create a thickened liquid
  5. Once heated, pour the yogurt liquid into the larger pot with the lamb and mix well through. Simmer for 5 minutes
  6. After 5 minutes, add your arrowroot powder and stir well through. Simmer for another 5 minutes as the sauce begins to thicken
  7. Finally, take the pot off the heat and add in your mint and stir well

Stage 4 – Compile and Serve the Mansaf

  1. To serve, start by laying the mankook bread flat in a platter or dish
  2. Next, layer your rice on top of the bread
  3. On top of the rice, ladle pieces of lamb meat followed by spoonfuls of the yogurt sauce. You’ll have extra yogurt sauce left over, which people can add to their own bites based on their preference
  4. Finally, sprinkle the roasted nuts and fresh parsley over the mansaf. And you’re done! Enjoy!
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 1 hour, 15 mins
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Cuisine: Jordanian