mensaf

Welcome to Jordan! There’s a lot of food here similar to Egypt, but a a fe differences for us to investigate. First and foremost of those is mensaf. We tried it three times in total – twice with delicious lamb (how it’s typically made, cooked to falling-off tenderness) and once with chicken. It’s actually not a lot more than meat cooked very well, often for hours, on rice with some nuts on top (we had it with roasted peanuts once and roasted almonds the other times). The special addition is the yogurt. Traditionally made from goat’s milk, plain yogurt is mostly used today. A sauce with the consistency of heavy cream is created with the yogurt and the meat drippings. It is usually poured over the rice and meat, though I enjoyed dipping every bit in instead, just so I didn’t waste any sauce and got a delicious taste of yogurt with every bite.

We tried the lamb in restaurants and the chicken as a semi-homecooked meal in our hotel outside of Petra. The traditional way of eating is with a lack of forks. There are thin pieces of unleavened bread provided, and you are supposed to use them to scoop up chunks of rice and meat. Because a giant plate of rice isn’t filling enough.🙂

This dish is sometimes served at weddings, we were told, as it is huge and contains lamb, which seems to be the national meat. For a wedding, they might buy 1-2kg of lamb per person. Yeah, could you eat that much meat? Could your grandma? Imagine everyone eating that much lamb. Crazy.

This is definitely a dish that we will be sharing with friends and making for ourselves. You can find recipes for it on the net simply by googling it. I recommend cooking for as long as possible – a pressure cooker would be a big help in this regard. However you do it up, enjoy!

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