Mansaf, the meal of celebrations.
My personal Mansaf recipe, a mix of meat and cauliflower cooked in yogurt and plated over stone baked bread.
I still remember that my mother would begin preparing very early in the morning when she was going to make Mansaf. My mother always prepared Mansaf when we were going to have a guest visiting from overseas, coming over to have lunch with us. Lunch is the most important meal in the Middle East; it is larger than dinner. Mansaf is a very important meal in Palestine. I was so young when I first knew that Mansaf is served in Palestine in special occasions and in times of celebration, weddings, and to honor special guests. My uncle living in Palestine used to send us the yogurt from Palestine to Kuwait. The yogurt was handmade and prepared fresh into round white balls and dried to ship.
The first thing my mother would start with was preparing the yogurt. Unlike the much simpler way you will learn to make the yogurt in my recipe, my mother would first take a big round bowl. She would place 2 to 3 yogurt balls and add warm water and then begin stirring. She kept stirring the yogurt until they completely dissolved. The smell of roasted garlic that my mother used to pour over the yogurt is a delicious smell that I will always remember. My mother’s Mansaf is delicious to this day.
The Palestinian Mansaf is traditionally made with lamb meat without any additions. However, because my daughters do not eat lamb, I started adding chicken to my Mansaf, and specifically chicken breast. I also learned from my mother to add cauliflower to the Mansaf. This was perfect because my family loves cauliflower. I hope you enjoy the special way in which I make my Mansaf!
Learn how to make this delicious meal by watching my recipe video on my YouTube Channel.
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Delicious aerial view!
- Lamb meat
- Chicken breast
- 2 lbs yogurt
- 17 oz yogurt soup starter (soup base)
- 1 onion
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 medium cauliflowers
- 2 ½ cups of rice
- 1 Tanour bread
- 4 tbsp vinegar
- 1 ½ cup corn oil (to fry cauliflower)
- 4 tbsp of corn oil (to fry chicken)
- 4 tbsp corn oil (to roast garlic)
- Almonds and pine nuts for garnishing
- Soak lamb meat in vinegar and salt for 30 minutes
- Wash the meat and place in a pot with water
- Leave the lamb meat until it boils
- Drain water and wash lamb meat again
- Place the lamb meat in a pot and cover it with water
- Add the onion, lemon juice, and sugar
- Cook the lamb meat until it is medium rare
- Cut chicken into medium size slices
- Soak the chicken in vinegar and salt for 30 minutes
- Heat corn oil in a pot and sear the chicken lightly
- Sear the chicken pieces on both sides until they reach a pink color
- Add the chicken to the pot of lamb meat
- Cut into medium pieces
- Fill a pot with water and vinegar and allow to boil
- Add the cauliflower to the boiling water and leave it for 5 minutes
- Drain the hot water and wash cauliflower with cold water
- Heat the corn oil and fry the cauliflower until it reached a golden brown
- In a blender, mix both kinds of yogurt with cornstarch very well
- Place a pot with the yogurt on the stove on high heat
- Keep stirring with a whisk until it boils; don’t stop stirring or the yogurt will turn flat
- Boil the yogurt for another 10 minutes
- Remove the onion from the pot of lamb and chicken
- Pour yogurt over meat and chicken
- Leave the pot of yogurt with the meat and chicken to cook until they are well done, or for about 15 minutes
- Do not cover the pot or the yogurt will spill over when boiling
- Roast garlic and pour over the yogurt
- Leave the mixture to boil for a few minutes
- Add the fried cauliflower to the yogurt and leave to boil for a couple of minutes
- Roast almonds and pine nuts
- Cut bread into small pieces and cover the bottom of a round pan
- Soak the bread with yogurt
- Cover the bread with rice
- Cover rice with meat, chicken, and cauliflower
- Pour yogurt over everything
- Garnish with almonds and pine nuts