Posted by: familiabencomo | Monday, March 24, 2008

Our Easter Mansaf

Easter seems to be one of those holidays in which we are usually away, have Mom in town (meaning she cooks!) or plan to go to brunch – we just don’t have a set family tradition other than going to church… yet. So, since our Easter feast was just the four of us, we decided to forgo the honey-baked ham & rack of lamb and opt for making one of our favorite dishes from one of our favorite restaurants, Dishdash. I loved the idea of a challenge!!!


table set for a late lunch


To be honest, before combing for recipes, I knew little about Mansaf. I knew there was lamb in yogurt sauce served with rice and that I never had any morsel remaining on my plate when I ordered it. I was surprised to learn that this is a highly esteemed dish in Jordan and is reserved for special occasions & honored guests…. To think I thought regular folk ate this all the time! I enjoyed learning a bit about the background & knowing its history certainly added a more refined flavor to this indulgent meal. Book of Rai International Food Blog is such a resourceful blog for those of us looking to experiment with authentic regional recipes. I must have looked at 20 different Mansaf recipes before falling in love with this one – it was clear, gave historical reference & wasn’t shy with the spices.


my Mansaf!

This was such a good choice for our Easter dinner, maybe even a new tradition. The next time I make this I will use a milder yogurt instead of the organic plain from Trader Joe’s – it was too strong. I think they sell either Arabic or Greek yogurt at Whole Foods which might make the sauce more subtle. It was great the way it was, but would be even better with a less acidic sauce. Hope you have a chance to try it!!!



  1. Amy, What a beautiful table you set for your family, and what a nice meal you made too. I love middle eastern food, but never had mansaf.
    My daughter and I like to go to restaurants like Dishdash, here in the city. I can’t seem to recreate them so good at home though. You did a great job! BTW, I love the egg plates

  2. Grazie, Marie! Mom picked up those plates a few years back at Sur Le Table for one of our bigger Easter meals. And, she made the center piece! I used our little table since it was an intimate, mid-day meal. I bet you could easily make this meal – it’s a slow-cook dish which means that you & your daughter could chat a lot while making it together. I later served something else on those egg plates…. more on that on the 30th 😉

  3. I love this dish (and DishDash) and will make this at home. I agree with Amy on the yogurt…Greek whole milk plain should be less acidic. Thanks for the mentions on the table and decorations…Easter is my fav and I missed see my family.

  4. Your table looks soo pretty! Perfect for Spring and Easter. The colors are great.

  5. Aha, so here’s Mansaf you were talking about! Your table looks inviting but I am not invited:) This dish looks delicious. I should try to make it. I am having a hard time opening a link to Mansaf recipe but maybe it’s because my connection is getting stubborn. Thanks for sharing,Amy!

  6. The table is beautiful! I have never tried Mansaf but it looks and sounds delicious. Next time you try it, let me know and I will swing by for a bite! lol! Or at least for the smell test. 😉 I am really impressed though.

  7. Thank you, everyone, for all the nice comments!

    Mom – next time your here, let’s go to Dishdash to celebrate Spring. To be honest, the mansaf wasn’t the same without the wine we alway buy there.

    NinaBeth – I love setting a pretty pretty table. If money were no issue, then I would have a closet full of linens, plates & serving dishes.

    Farida – You are absolutely invited! Although, my food is no nearly as good as yours.

    Jane – the aroma while cooking is the best! Don’t be impressed though – I cook, you craft. I’m in awe of what you do!

  8. I love your table setting!! I must admit I don’t do this often. I think I should set aside at least 1 special night a month to do this for Grumpy & me!

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