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Manakish made with za'atar with vegetables on the side
Alternative namesManaqish, manaeesh, manakeesh, manooshe, man'ousheh, mankousheh
CourseBreakfast or lunch
Place of originLevant
Main ingredientsDough, za'atar, cheese or ground meat
Za'atar bread

Manakish (Arabic: مناقيش, romanizedmanāqīsh), or in singular form man'ousheh, or other spellings, is a popular Levantine food[1] consisting of dough topped with za'atar, cheese, or ground meat. It can be sliced or folded, and it can be served either for breakfast or lunch.

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.[2]

Manakish are popular across the Levant,[3][4] and can also be found in neighboring regions, and centers of Levantine emigration.

In 2023, manakish was inscribed to the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists as an emblematic culinary practice in Lebanon.[5]


The word manaqish is the plural of the Arabic word manqūshah (from the root verb naqasha 'to sculpt, carve out' or engrave), 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.[6]


Very little is known about its origins, an Arab cookbook from the 10th century mentions recipes for flatbreads, and thyme and olive oil.[7]

Classic toppings[edit]

  • Za'atar (Arabic: زَعْتَر, romanizedzaʿtar, lit.'thyme'). The most popular form of manakish uses za'atar (ground dried thyme, oregano, marjoram or some combination thereof, mixed with toasted sesame seeds, salt, and other spices such as sumac) as a topping.[8] The za'atar is mixed with olive oil and spread onto the dough before being baked in the oven. Za'atar manakish is a breakfast favorite in Levantine cuisine.[9][10] It is also served as part of a mezze, or as a snack with a glass of mint tea and feta cheese on the side.[9]
  • Cheese (Arabic: جُبْنَة, romanizedjubna). There are two main types of cheese used on manakish: akkawi (Arabic: عَكَّاوي, romanized: ʿakkāwī) and kashkaval (Arabic: قَشْقَوَان, romanized: qašqawān). Za'atar is occasionally added to cheese manakish to enhance its flavor.
  • Minced lamb (Arabic: لحم بعجين, romanizedlāḥm bi-‘ajīn, lit.'meat with dough' aka Lahmacun) also called sfiha. Manakish topped with lamb are served for lunch due to their heavier contents. The minced lamb is mixed with tiny pieces of diced tomato and vegetable oil, and the manakish is optionally served with ground pepper or pickles and yogurt.
  • Chili (Arabic: فليفلة or فلفل حر).
  • Kashk (Arabic: كشك). This is a mixture of fermented drained or dried yogurt and finely ground wheat that can be used by itself or in combination with other toppings, such as walnuts or onions, spread onto the bread.[11]
  • Spinach (Arabic: سبانخ, romanized: sabāniḵ), Swiss chard (Arabic: سلق).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Specter, Michael (2 May 2016). "The Eternal Magic of Beirut". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 9 May 2019 – via NYTimes.com.
  2. ^ Riolo, Amy (2007). Arabian Delights: Recipes & Princely Entertaining Ideas from the Arabian Peninsula (Illustrated ed.). Capital Books. p. 107. ISBN 9781933102559.
  3. ^ "Tayba: Bite-size savory delicacies". Arab News. 25 March 2014. Retrieved 9 May 2019.
  4. ^ Irving, John (2006). Terra Madre: 1,600 Food Communities. Slow Food Editore. ISBN 9788884991188 – via Google Books.
  5. ^ "UNESCO - Al-Man'ouché, an emblematic culinary practice in Lebanon". ich.unesco.org. Retrieved 27 December 2023.
  6. ^ Massaad, Barbara Abdeni (19 November 2019). Man'oushé : inside the Lebanese street corner bakery (First American ed.). Northampton, Massachusetts. ISBN 978-1-62371-932-6. OCLC 1148154883.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  7. ^ "Pizza or manakish? So which came first?". Yahoo News. 24 May 2012. Retrieved 28 December 2023.
  8. ^ Bender, David (2009). A Dictionary of Food and Nutrition. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199234875.
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ Carter, Terry; Dunston, Lara; Humphreys, Andrew (2004). Syria & Lebanon (2nd, illustrated ed.). Lonely Planet. p. 68. ISBN 9781864503333. manaeesh.
  11. ^ Moraba, Kareh (2016). "The Story of Kashk". Gastronomica. 16 (4): 97–100. doi:10.1525/gfc.2016.16.4.97. JSTOR 26362399.