Mensaf (Jordanian lamb stew)

    1 hour 10 min

    Mensaf is the national dish of Jordan. It is made on special occasions and traditionally eaten with your hands. It's hard to find the whey needed to make 'real' mensaf. It comes in a rocklike form and is diluted and used in place of the jameed in this recipe. Even without it, this recipe comes close to the real thing. Spices, onions, garlic and butter can also be added to season the goat milk sauce.

    14 people made this

    Serves: 8 

    • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
    • 1kg boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 5cm pieces
    • 1.5L water
    • 400g uncooked white rice
    • 4 tablespoons pine nuts
    • 6 pitta bread rounds
    • 250ml salted goat milk (jameed el-kasih)

    Prep:15min  ›  Cook:55min  ›  Ready in:1hr10min 

    1. Place 1 tablespoon olive oil into a pressure cooker over medium-high heat. Add the lamb and cook until evenly browned on all sides. Remove the lamb. Add cooking rack; place lamb on rack. Pour in half of the water. Close cover securely; place pressure regulator on vent pipe. Bring cooker to full pressure over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-high; cook for 40 minutes. (Pressure regulator should maintain a slow steady rocking motion; adjust heat if needed.)
    2. Remove pressure cooker from heat, and allow pressure to drop on its own. Remove lamb, separate meat from bones, and keep warm. Discard bones. Pour pan broth into a bowl, and set aside.
    3. Meanwhile, place remaining water, 1 tablespoon olive oil and rice into a saucepan; bring to the boil over medium-high heat. Stir, reduce heat, cover and simmer until all moisture is absorbed, about 20 minutes.
    4. Place remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil into a frying pan over medium heat. Stir in the pine nuts; cook and stir until deep brown, about 5 minutes.
    5. Pour 500ml of the reserved broth into a large pan. Pour in the goat milk. Add the lamb to the milk mixture. Simmer over medium heat allowing the lamb to absorb some of the liquid, about 30 minutes.
    6. To serve, arrange the pitta bread over the bottom of a large platter. Spoon rice over the bread. Place the lamb on top of the rice, and drizzle with any remaining milk mixture. Sprinkle pine nuts over the top.

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    Reviews in English (7)


    Very good. I just have a couple tweaks. I added a few pods of cardamom and a chopped onion to the lamb, and strained the broth after the lamb finished cooking. Instead of jameed el-kasih (VERY hard to find), I used a large tub of whole fat yogurt (blended with abt a tbsp of cornstarch) with the broth, and served it with saffron rice with toasted almonds and pine nuts. Absolutely delish!!  -  20 Jun 2008  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    If you don't have goat's milk, use yogurt mixed with some whole milk to thin it out.  -  17 Nov 2008  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    thanks Nova for the recipe.I love mansaf but jameed al kaseeh is not that good .I usually bring real jameed from jordan when i go to visit.thanks again  -  20 Nov 2007  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)