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Israeli zaatar manakeesh.jpg
Manakish made with za'atar
Alternative names Manaqish, manaeesh, manakeesh, man'ousheh
Type Flatbread
Course Breakfast or lunch
Main ingredients Dough, thyme, cheese or ground meat
Cookbook: Manakish  Media: Manakish
Za'atar bread

Manakish, also manaqish, manaeesh or manakeesh or in singular form man'ousheh (Arabic: مناقيشmanāqīsh; sometimes called معجنات mu‘ajjanāt 'pastry') is a popular Levantine food consisting of dough topped with thyme, cheese, or ground meat. Similar to a pizza, it can be sliced or folded, and it can either be served for breakfast or lunch. The word manaqish is the plural of the Arabic word manqūshah (from the root verb naqasha 'to sculpt, carve out'), meaning that after the dough has been rolled flat, it is pressed by the fingertips to create little dips for the topping to lie in.

Traditionally, women would bake dough in a communal oven in the morning, to provide their family with their daily bread needs, and would prepare smaller portions of dough with different toppings for breakfast at this time.[1]

Manakish is popular in most Levantine countries, as well as in many cities throughout the world where people of Levantine origin have settled.

Classic toppings[edit]

  • Za'atar (Arabic: زعتر, za'tar, manaqish bi'l za'tar). The most popular form of manakish uses za'atar as a topping. The zaatar is mixed with olive oil and spread onto the bread before baking it in the oven. It is a favourite breakfast preparation in Levantine cuisine.[2][3] It is also served by Levantene cooks as part of a mezze, or as a snack with a glass of mint tea and feta cheese on the side.[2] Popular also in the Arabian Peninsula, it was likely introduced there by Palestinians making the pilgrimage to Mecca.[1]
  • Cheese (Arabic: جبنة, jubnah). There are two main types of cheese manakish: ‘Akkāwī (Arabic: عكاوي), Sfatit (Hebrew:צפתית) and Kashkaval (Arabic: قشقوان). People usually mix cheese with zaatar, chicken, or meat when baking manakish to give it a better taste.
  • Minced lamb (Arabic: لحم بعجين, lāḥm bi-‘ajīn, "meat with dough", sfiha). Other manakish are served for lunch because of their heavier contents. This popular manakish has lamb topping. The minced lamb is mixed with tiny pieces of diced tomato and vegetable oil, and this manakish is optionally served with ground pepper or pickles and yogurt.
  • Chili(Arabic: فليفلة‎ or فلفل حر).
  • Kishq (Arabic: كشك‎).
  • Spinach (Arabic: سبانخ‎), Swiss Chard (Arabic: سلق‎).
  • Fried Eggplant (Hebrew: חציל‎) common in Israel and topped with olive oil and sometimes oregano and chili peppers


  1. ^ a b Riolo, Amy (2007). Arabian Delights: Recipes & Princely Entertaining Ideas from the Arabian Peninsula (Illustrated ed.). Capital Books. p. 107. ISBN 9781933102559. 
  2. ^ a b Wright, Clifford A. (2003). Little foods of the Mediterranean: 500 fabulous recipes for antipasti, tapas, hors d'oeuvre, meze, and more (Illustrated ed.). Harvard Common Press. p. 310. ISBN 9781558322271. 
  3. ^ Carter, Terry; Dunston, Lara; Humphreys, Andrew (2004). Syria & Lebanon (2nd, illustrated ed.). Lonely Planet. p. 68. ISBN 9781864503333.