Jordanian Mansaf | Lamb Meat Cooked in Jameed Sauce

The national dish of Jordan, Mansaf is all about lamb meat cooked in goat milk yoghurt called jameed and served with turmeric rice!
Jordanian Mansaf | Lamb Meat Cooked in Jameed Sauce

I have come back with another Arabic dish and again 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 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 with 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!

What is Mansaf made of?

The three most essential ingredients to make a  batch of Mansaf are Lamb, Jameed and of course some rice! The national dish of Jordan, Mansaf is all about lamb meat cooked in goat milk yoghurt called jameed and served with turmeric rice!

What is Jameed?

Jameed is a kind of fermented aged yoghurt that you get in liquid form these days. The traditional jameed is a hard dry 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 makes making mansaf even easier. 

Jordanian Mansaf | Lamb Meat Cooked in Jameed Sauce

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 1 kilo and had two small packs inside of 500 grams each. It is easily available across the Gulf in most 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 Shrak bread which looked like Roomali Roti but I skipped making or sourcing it.

How does Mansaf 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. :-) And you will agree why mansaf is celebrated so much around the world by Jordanians and others alike. A trip to Jordan is never complete without having Mansaf.

Jordanian Mansaf | Lamb Meat Cooked in Jameed Sauce

Recipe adapted from Procrastinator Cook. You can also read the article by Migrationology for Mansaf experience. 

How to make Mansaf with Jameed | Lamb Meat Cooked in Jameed Sauce 


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


Make the Lamb Stock
  1. Add all the stock ingredients to 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 them 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 the 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. Top with the lamb and pour some jameed sauce 
  4. Spread some almonds or pine nuts 
  5. Serve along with the excess jameed sauce and salad

How to eat Mansaf?

In a traditional setting, the mansaf is served on a large platter and placed on the table, and the guests would stand or sit around the platter with their left hand behind their back and eat only with their right hand. You make balls of rice and meat and pop them into your mouth and eat! We were just two of us and it was indeed a great pleasure to eat off one plate! A great couple bonding time :-D

Jordanian Mansaf | Lamb Meat Cooked in Jameed Sauce

Do check my Yemeni Chicken Mandi recipe which is baked and smoked rice and chicken 


I would love to hear from you. If you’ve tried this Jordanian Mansaf recipe or any other recipe on ButFirstChai, then don’t forget to leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some shots of it, share them with me on Instagram so I can repost my stories!