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Manakish made with za'atar
Alternative namesManaqish, manaeesh, manakeesh, man'ousheh, mankousheh
CourseBreakfast or lunch
Place of originThe Levant
Region or stateJordan, Lebanon, Israel, Palestine, Syria
Main ingredientsDough, thyme, cheese or ground meat
Za'atar bread

Manakish, also manaqish, manaeesh or manakeesh or in singular form man'ousheh or mankousheh (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 be served either 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 across the Levant, especially Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Palestine, and Jordan, as well as in centers of Levantine emigration.

Classic toppings

  • Za'atar (Arabic: زعتر /ˈzɑːtər/ ZAH-tər), “thyme”, manaqish bi'l za'tar). 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. The za'atar is mixed with olive oil and spread onto the dough before baking it in the oven. It is a favorite breakfast preparation in Levantine cuisine.[2][3] 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.[2]
  • Cheese (Arabic: جبنة, jubnah). There are three main types of cheese used on manakish: ‘Akkāwī (Arabic: عكاوي), Sfatit (Hebrew:צפתית) and Kashkaval (Arabic: قشقوان). Zaatar is often mixed with cheese manakish to enhance its flavor.
  • 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) fermented dried yogurt and finely ground wheat mixture, can be used by itself or in combination with other toppings.
  • Spinach (Arabic: سبانخ‎), Swiss Chard (Arabic: سلق‎).

See also


  1. ^ 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.