Jordanian Mansaf | Lamb Meat Cooked in Jameed Sauce

Sunday, December 31, 2017

I have come back with another Arabic dish and again a rice :-) This time it is in the form of Mansaf, the national dish of our neighbour country, Jordan!

I first came across Mansaf on Pinterest and had pinned it for later! I do a lot of reading before I attempt a foreign dish that is tied closely to their culture. I try to make it as authentic as possible else, I rather not try! That pin, was everything NOT mansaf! I unpinned it.


I have mentioned it several times and I will reiterate again many more times! When you are attempting to recreate a recipe from a different culture (be it minority or dominant), the least you can do is appreciate the original version before making enormous changes to the recipe and then call it the best version! Take the opportunity to learn about the people behind the food, the ingredients they use, the techniques they use, etc. Be inquisitive and then share to the world giving due credit to the cuisine! If the cultural appropriation of food takes momentum, food blogging would need certification! :-) 

I know it is a thin line between appreciation and appropriation! 

Ok, now let's talk about Mansaf! 

The two most essential ingredient to make this dish is Lamb and Jameed! The pin that I unpinned was "Chicken" mansaf made in yoghurt. - Maybe there are other regions that make mansaf with chicken or fish, but I read that lamb is primarily used.

Jameed is a dried salty yoghurt made from goat's milk. It needs to be soaked for a long time before it can be used. So usually the preparation for mansaf starts a day ahead. However, these days you get liquid jameed in tetra packs which make making mansaf even more easier. 


After Saleeg and Bedouin lamb rice, here is another easy and rich dish that is the pride of Jordan!

The liquid jameed tetra pack I picked was of 1 kilo and had two small pack inside of 500 grams each. It is easily available across the Gulf in most of the supermarkets. So I would really urge you to look out for Jameed and try making Mansaf. The rest of the ingredients are something you will have in your kitchen on any given day, well apart from the lamb meat! :-)

Traditionally this is served on a Shrak bread which looked like Roomali Roti but I skipped making or sourcing it.

How does it taste? Honestly, once the Jameed sauce boils, you will get the goat smell! It may not be pleasant for some (like me) the reason why I added black pepper to mellow down the smell. That said, we did try to eat like the Jordanians would want us to. :-)


Mansaf | Lamb Meat Cooked in Jameed Sauce 

INGREDIENTS

For the Lamb Stock 

1 kg bone in Lamb meat
1 large onion, chunked
3 to 5 green cardamom 
1 large bay leaf
1 teaspoon ghee
Enough water to cover the meat

For the Jameed Sauce 

1 cup of liquid Jameed (aka Laban Jameed)
1 to 2 cups of the prepared stock 
Cooked meat 
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon crushed black pepper 
1/2 cup yoghurt (optional)

For the Rice (a little overcooked sticky rice is preferred)

2 cups Basmati, rinsed and soaked for 20 to 30 minutes 
4 cups of water to cook the rice 
1 tablespoon ghee
1 cardamom
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
Salt to taste

For the Garnish 

Almonds OR Pine nuts that are soaked and toasted lightly 
Shrak bread or any Arabic flatbread as the base

METHOD

Make the Lamb Stock

  1. Add all the stock ingredients in a large deep pot and bring to boil 
  2. Skim the foamy layer that forms at the top with a ladle. This is to remove any impurities. 
  3. Boil for at least 30 minutes
  4. Fish out the meat chunks and keep aside
  5. Strain the stock 

Make the Jameed Sauce 

  1. Add back the stock to the same pot along with liquid jameed, cooked meat and turmeric powder
  2. Let it cook on low flame until thickened and meat is tender to fall off the bone

Prepare the Yellow Rice 

  1. Boil water with ghee, salt and turmeric 
  2. Add the drained rice and cook until done 

Assemble Mansaf 

  1. Place the flatbread on a communal platter
  2. Spread the rice 
  3. lamb pieces along with jameed sauce 
  4. almonds or pine nuts 
  5. Serve along with the excess jameed sauce

How to eat Mansaf?


Recipe adapted from Procrastinator Cook
You can also read the article by Migrationology

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