Not too long ago, I posted a picture on my Facebook page of a mansaf. A friend asked me if it was hard to make, and if I could share the recipe. While it is not hard at all to make, it is hard to make unless you have the right ingredients. The key ingredient is laban jameed, or a dried yogurt. I know that there is powdered jameed here in the US, but I have never tried it myself, and have heard that they are not as good as the ones my mother in law supplies me with.
I finally was able to come up with a reasonable facsimile using regular Greek yogurt from the supermarket. Something I found is that it tastes even better reheated, because it gets tangier, which is what you really want in this dish.
This recipe will show the traditional way of layering the pita, rice, and lamb. With the sauce on the side in bowls. You could also just skip the layering, and put lamb with sauce in bowls, and serve alongside rice and/or bread.
Lamb in Yogurt Sauce
Lamb and stock:
2 lb lamb shoulder
1 teaspoons allspice
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon turmeric
6 cloves garlic
2 bay leaves
2 cardamom pods
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 Tablespoon cooking oil (or ghee)
1 T cornstarch
½ cup cold water
3 cups yogurt
2 cups lamb stock
½ teaspoon turmeric
2 cups jasmine rice (uncooked)
2 pita bread (white or wheat)- torn into bite-sized pieces
Parsley, chopped, for garnish
¼ c slivered almonds
2 Tablespoons oil
Place lamb in large pot with nions, garlic, spices, cardamom, bay leaves, salt and pepper to taste, and 1 tablespoon of cooking oil. Brown over med-high heat about 5 minutes, then add water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and cover. Cook for about an hour more, until lamb is tender.
To make sauce – Add cornstarch to cold water and stir well to form a slurry.
Add stock and lamb and cook for 15 more minutes over low-medium heat, stirring often. Taste to adjust salt, if necessary.
Meanwhile, in a small frying pan, add garlic and oil (or ghee), adding a pinch each of turmeric, salt, and cumin. When oil is bubbly and garlic is golden, add to pot with lamb and sauce. Remove pot from heat.
Cook rice according to package directions, adding a teaspoon of turmeric.
Sprinkle almonds on top.
Serve alongside sauce ladled into individual bowls.