Jordanian Lamb Mansaf

By Published On: October 12th, 2020

This Jordanian Lamb Mansaf is one of the most impressive rice dishes I cook regularly. Fragrant rice topped with tender lamb in a yoghurt sauce and scattered generously with toasted nuts. It’s a taste and textural sensation.

Lamb Mansaf

I love rice dishes, especially those cooked in stock like a pilaf or pulao - like my Moroccan silverbeet with rice. This particular recipe for Jordanian mansaf not only cooks the rice in the meat juices, it combines meltingly tender pieces of lamb (another favourite) and a bucketload of delicious nuts! Mansaf is usually associated as a Palestinian or Lebanese dish, which it is, but the dish actually originated in Jordan and is the Jordanian national dish. Mansaf ingredients are cupboard staples, so you should have no problem creating this wonderful dish at home. It's full of flavour and texture and a wonderful centrepiece at any Middle Eastern themed table.

Lamb Mansaf

Lamb Mansaf

Spiced rice with lamb and nuts

An authentic lamb mansaf is beautifully spiced melange of flavours and textures. It's an impressive dish, one normally reserved for special occasions. I like to think every day is a special occasion so will cook it midweek, weekend, birthdays, easter, bat mitsvahs - any excuse! I'll also cook this occasionally using bulgur wheat. I LOVE the nutty qualities of bulgur wheat. It cooks just like rice, so change it up and use bulgur if you've not tried it before.

Lamb Mansaf

Lamb, chicken, goat, beef?

You can cook this dish using any meat you like. Lamb, goat and beef will take around the same time to tenderise but chicken will cook quicker so adjust the recipe cooking time accordingly.

Lamb Mansaf

Lamb Mansaf

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4.15 from 14 votes
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Recipe by Lee
Course Main Course
Cuisine Lebanese
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time2 hours
Total Time2 hours 20 minutes
Servings (adjustable) 6
Calories (per serving) | 421

Video Recipe



  • Rinse the rice 2-3 times until the water runs clear. Then cover in cold water and soak for 1 hour.
  • Heat the butter (or oil) in a large saucepan over a moderate heat until just hot.
    Gently fry the onion, cumin, cinnamon, cardamom for 3-4 minutes until soft. Add the Bay leaves and garlic and stir for 2 minutes. Add the tomato puree and stir well.
    Add the lamb and stir for 5 minutes to bring the pan heat back up.
    Pour in 4 cups of water and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan and simmer gently for 1 hour until the meat is tender.
  • Meanwhile, dry fry all the nuts in a pan until lightly browned. Set aside on paper towels to drain and cool.
  • When the lamb is cooked, separate the solids from the liquid by pouring the lamb into a sieve. Retain all the cooking liquid.
  • Place 2½ cups of the cooking liquid into a fresh pan along with a little salt & pepper and bring to a simmer.
    Drain the rice then add to the stock and stir only once. Reduce the heat to very low. Cover the pan and simmer very gently for 15 minutes until all the liquid has been absorbed.
    Turn off the heat, remove the lid and place a clean tea towel or paper towel over the pan then return the lid tightly. Leave for 10-20 minutes, off the stove to absorb the excess steam.
  • Combine the lamb and all that was strained with it (discard the cinnamon stick) in a saucepan with the yoghurt and the remaining cooking liquid.
    Season with salt & pepper then, over a moderate heat, bring this to a light simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Place a large flatbread (or small flatbreads overlapping to form one layer) on a large platter. Fluff up the rice with a fork then arrange in a low mound on top of the bread.
    Spoon over the lamb and sauce then scatter over the nuts and herbs.
    Serve immediately!


I like to serve alongside lemon wedges and if there's any sauce, serve that in a bowl or jug to have guests pour over as they see fit!


Calories: 421kcal (21%) | Carbohydrates: 36g (12%) | Protein: 23g (46%) | Fat: 22g (34%) | Saturated Fat: 5g (31%) | Cholesterol: 54mg (18%) | Sodium: 61mg (3%) | Potassium: 498mg (14%) | Fiber: 4g (17%) | Sugar: 3g (3%) | Vitamin A: 441IU (9%) | Vitamin C: 7mg (8%) | Calcium: 99mg (10%) | Iron: 3mg (17%)
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Lamb Mansaf

Did you make my Jordanian Lamb Mansaf?

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