|Place of origin||Jordan|
|Main ingredients||lamb, yogurt|
Mansaf (Arabic: منسف) is a traditional Jordanian dish and Palestinian dish made of lamb cooked in a sauce of fermented dried yogurt and served with rice or bulgur. It is the national dish of Jordan and it is also common in Palestine. To a lesser degree it is also found in parts of Iraq, Syria, and Saudi Arabia. The name of the dish comes from the term "large tray" or "large dish".
The lamb is cooked in a broth made with a fermented then dried yogurt-like product called jameed, and served on a large platter with a layer of flatbread (markook or shrak) topped with rice and then meat, garnished with almonds and pine nuts, and then sauce poured over all. A spice mixture of baharat, and in Jordan, herbs called hwajeh, add distinctive flavor, with regional variations.
Cultural and political role
Mansaf, as historian and anthropologist Yousef Ghawanmeh states in his book The cultural history of Jordan during the Mamluk period 1250–1517, is associated with a traditional Jordanian culture based on an agro-pastoral lifestyle in which meat and yogurt are readily available. Mansaf is served on special occasions such as weddings, births and graduations, or to honor a guest, and on major holidays such as Eid ul-Fitr, Eid ul-Adha, Christmas Day, Easter and Jordan's Independence Day. It is traditionally eaten collectively from a large platter in the Bedouin and rural style, standing around the platter with the left hand behind the back and using the right hand instead of utensils.
Though mansaf is frequently referred to as Jordan's "national dish", anthropologist Joseph Andoni Massad states that mansaf is not a truly "traditional" dish, but is rather more recent dish which was developed during the Hashemite-Mandatory era of the early 20th century, and then promulgated as a "national" dish following independence. Massad notes that the current form of mansaf differs from the independence-era and Mandate-era recipes, but is portrayed by the state as a dish that is both national and a Bedouin tradition, despite it also historically being a dish of the peasants and Bedouins of the neighboring regions of Palestine and Syria.
Regions and variants
The cities of Al Karak, As-Salt, and Hebron and their countrysides are reputed to make the best mansaf in Jordan and West Bank . Other variants of the dish also exist and are adapted to the regional tastes and circumstance. These include fish mansaf, found in the south around the port city of Aqaba. An urban, less ceremonial adaptation of mansaf using non-dried yogurt is called shakreyyeh. It is sometimes cooked with poultry instead of lamb and is common in the northern part of Jordan.
- al-Muẓaffar Bin Naṣr Ibn Sayyār al-Warrāq; Nawal Nasrallah (2007). Annals of the Caliphs' Kitchens: Ibn Sayyār Al-Warrāq's Tenth-Century Baghdadi Cookbook. BRILL. p. 331. ISBN 978-90-04-15867-2. Retrieved 23 July 2012.
- Abu-Ghazaleh, Faida Nimir (2007). Palestinians in Diaspora: An Ethnographic Study of Ethnic Identity Among Palestinian Families in Maryland. ProQuest. pp. 60–. ISBN 978-0-549-35314-0.
- "Jordan National Dish, Mansaf – Waleg Kitchen". Waleg.com. 2005-05-11. Retrieved 2011-03-22.
- Alan Davidson; Tom Jaine (2006). The Oxford companion to food. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-280681-9. Retrieved 23 July 2012.
- Ghillie Basan (30 September 2007). Middle Eastern Kitchen. Hippocrene Books. pp. 70–. ISBN 978-0-7818-1190-3. Retrieved 23 July 2012.
- "Mansaf: the national dish of Jordan". Guidedbyalocal.com.
- Joseph Andoni Massad (2001). Colonial Effects: The Making of National Identity in Jordan. Columbia University Press. pp. 316–. ISBN 978-0-231-12323-5. Retrieved 23 July 2012.
- Joseph Massad (1998). Identifying the nation: the juridical and military bases of Jordanian national identity. Columbia University. p. 233. Retrieved 23 July 2012.
Today, the new white-rice mansaf with jamid is ironically considered "traditionally" Bedouin as well as being Jordan's exclusive "national dish" – although the peasants and Bedouins of southern Palestine and Syria also ate/eat it.
- Sonia Uvezian (2001). Recipes and remembrances from an Eastern Mediterranean kitchen: a culinary journey through Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan. Siamanto Press. ISBN 978-0-9709716-8-5. Retrieved 23 July 2012.
- The Jordan Heritage Encyclopedia/ vol. 1–5: Rox Bin Za’id Al-Uzaizi.
- Cultural history of Jordan during the Mamluk period 1250–1517. Professor Yousef Ghawanmeh. 1979, Workers Cooperative Society presses. Amman, Jordan. 1982, Yarmouk University. Irbid, Jordan. 1986, Ministry of Culture and Youth. Amman, Jordan. 1992, University of Jordan. Amman, Jordan.
- "Mansaf Home Page". University of Illinois. 1996-11-20. Retrieved 2011-03-22.