Mansaf (Lamb Stewed in Yogurt)

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Serves: 4

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours 15 minutes

Ingredients for Stew

4 halal lamb shanks

1 tablespoon allspice, divided

1 tablespoon oil

10 cups water

1 large onion, chopped

2 bay leaves

2 cinnamon sticks

1 piece mace (or 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg)

4 cardamom pods

1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns

2 cloves garlic

4 cloves

32 ounces yogurt

1 teaspoon or more to taste Salt

Ingredients for Rice

2 1/2 cups basmati rice

1 tablespoon ghee (clarified butter)

1/2 large onion, chopped

1 minced garlic clove

2 bay leaves

1 tablespoon turmeric

1 pinch ground black pepper

3 3/4 cups water

Salt to taste

1 cup almonds, roasted


01Season lamb shanks with 1/2 tablespoon of allspice and sprinkle of salt.
02In a large stock pot over high heat, heat oil and brown lamb shanks on all sides.
03Add water, chopped onion, bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, mace, remaining allspice, cardamom pods, black peppercorns, garlic, and cloves. Bring to a boil on high, then lower heat and simmer for 2 hours.
04One hour into simmering time, place rice in a mesh strainer and rinse for 30 seconds, then set aside and allow to drain.
05In a large pot, heat ghee over medium heat and sauté garlic, onion, bay leaf, turmeric, and black pepper until onions become translucent.
06Add drained rice to the pot with onion mixture and toast over medium-high heat for 3 minutes.
07Add water. Salt water until it has a soup-like flavor, bring to a simmer, cover, and cook on low heat for 15 to 20 minutes until rice is tender, light, and fluffy. Turn heat off once cooked.
08Place a strainer inside a large bowl and carefully strain lamb shank broth. Return meat and broth to stock pot. Discard onions and spices.
09Place yogurt in a large bowl and temper yogurt into broth to prevent the yogurt from curdling. To do this, pour 1 ladle of hot broth into the yogurt and stir to combine. Repeat this three times, stirring after each addition of broth. Then pour the yogurt mixture into the broth in the pot.
10Continue cooking broth on medium heat, uncovered (covering yogurt will result in curdling).
11On a large platter, plate rice. Remove lamb shanks from broth and place over rice, then garnish generously with roasted almonds.
12Serve mansaf broth on the side.

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Heat a tablespoon of butter and a tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan. Wait until the pan is hot and the butter has fully melted.