miniature mansaf

Mansaf. Oh Oh Oh. Mansaf. You know what mansaf is, right?

It’s that dish which many Arabs make. It’s that dish that makes me cringe when I see it on the table. It’s that dish that so very unethically goes to waste when everyone’s full. Because it’s just two things (ultimately).

Rice. Meat.

Or rather,

Meat coated Rice.

And the meat, most of the time, tastes very meaty .. like it’s been cooked with very little flavour. And that blood and flesh taste still manifests the very chunk of meat that gets dumped on your plate.

Can you see the picture? I really, really, dislike mansaf. Because of those such experiences I’ve had with it.

So there I was a week ago, looking into a bag full of raw lamb chunks, hearing mum say, “let’s make mansaf” for the dinner party we were having. I wasn’t impressed at all. But I thought that it’d be the perfect opportunity to push aside all my negativity, and prove to myself that mansaf can be delicious!

Typically, just to enlighten you, mansaf is served on a laaarge round tray, probably holding about 4-5kgs of rice and 2-3kgs of meat.

Mum and I downsized it a bit and made 1-2kgs of rice, with about 2kgs of meat. I didn’t do any proper measurements, so it’s completely up to you to do it how you’d like, but the rough outline (me “eyeballing” the ingredients) is below.

Here’s a pic my version of ‘miniature mansaf’, prepared for one person…

Serve this with salad, and you’ve got one happy muncher!

Serves: 20


1 x macho mansaf roast meat

2kgs long grain rice

lots of salt and water

2 tbs curcuma (turmeric)

1 cup of your favourite nut

1 cup good quality sultanas

a drizzle of some type of oil

one large spring onion (shallot)



Soak the rice in a large bowl for no less than one hour in cold tap water.

Agitate it by mixing it carefully with your fingers every half hour, you’ll see all the starch make the water turn white, so drain as much as you can of the water by tilting the bowl over a sink, and fill it up again with tap water. Repeat this at every half hour mark.

To cook the rice, find a huge non-stick tefal pot then cook as per the instructions on the pack… remembering to add 2 tbs of tumeric to colour the rice. Or you can,

Place the pot on high heat and drizzle with oil, about 5-7 tablespoons.

Drain the rice and add it to the pot.

Stir it through until the oil coats the rice.

Pour enough water on top so that the rice is immersed by a couple of centimetres of water.

Add about 2 tbs of tumeric to colour the rice, and a lot of salt such that the water in the pot tastes a fair bit saltier than your normal eating preference.

Mix it through gently, and when it boils, turn down the heat to low and cover the pot.

Cook for 20-30 minutes, or until the rice is done, stirring only once in between.

Meanwhile, prepare a little saucepan with about 5 tablespoons of oil.

Place it on high heat, then drop in the nuts.

Keep stirring until the nuts are golden brown.

Remove from the saucepan and keep aside.

Add in the sultanas to the saucepan and keep tossing until they swell up.

Remove from the saucepan and keep aside.

To assemble: place the rice in a huge serving plate, and cover it with the roast meat.

Garnish with the nuts, sultanas, and sliced spring onion.



6 thoughts on “miniature mansaf

  1. Charles says:

    I’ve never had mansaf (or heard of it actually… I’ll have to read up about it, although you make it sound less than appetizing) – your version however… wow, looks so good. Perfect portion size, beautiful colours, fragrant lamb… delicious!

  2. fati's recipes says:

    Hi all…
    Thanks for your comments… It’s always a smile reading them!
    Chica, I don’t know about the sultanas, but the nuts are quite common. I am certain the spring onion (or anything green) isn’t part of the dish!
    I’m glad I was able to get both sides of the story out… the ugly one, and then my one 😉
    Hope you all dare your senses and give it a go one day 😀

So, what do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s