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.

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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.

What is Mansaf?

Mansaf is a traditional Arab dish made across the Middle East. When talking about the history of Mansaf, it is agreed that the dish originated in Jordan. It's considered their national dish. Mansaf consists of meat cooked with basmati rice or bulgur wheat, yoghurt and spices. The dish is finished with an array of nuts like pistachio, pine nuts, cashews, walnuts and almonds. The sauce, or 'jameed' coats the meat and served with the meat. There is often excess jameed that is served alongside the mansaf for guests to add as they wish.

Lamb Mansaf

Should I use rice or Bulgur Wheat?

You can use either, both are authentic in middle eastern recipes. Bulgur wheat will add to the dish a nutty fl