Blogging Marathon# 48: Week 3/ Day 2
Theme: Biryani of different Styles
Dish: Jordanian Rice Pilaf 

For Day 2 of this week’s blogging marathon, I have vegetarian version of Jordanian National dish, called Mansaf. Traditionally mansaf is made with lamb but the vegetarian version is filled with lots of vegetables. This recipe is from ‘The New Middle Eastern Vegetarian‘ cookbook by Sally Butcher.

I bookmarked almost all of the pilaf recipes from that cookbook. Some of the Middle Eastern Pilafs are quite elaborate with lots of flavors and textures. This Jordanian pilaf is one of those elaborate dishes. Rice is layered with spicy vegetable layer which is in turn smothered with some sharp creamy garlicky yogurt sauce called jameed (or laban moutboukh). According to the author, the secret of Mansaf  is the inclusion of this yogurt sauce. Jameed is made with strained yogurt.

I followed the pilaf recipe to the T, but have to tweak the yogurt sauce recipe a little bit because traditionally this sauce includes an egg white to stabilize the yogurt. For some reason the use of yogurt & egg is one dish, didn’t sound right to me. So I made up my own version and used some besan (chickpea flour) and cornstarch to ensure yogurt doesn’t cuddle while cooking. Using whole milk yogurt is key, otherwise the sauce will split when heated.

Garnishing the final dish with nuts and fresh herbs or a green salad makes all the flavors pop in the mouth. Traditionally this dish is served over flatbread like pita or khobez and then the idea is to break off pieces of bread with your hands, wrap them around some rice and sauce and eat it all in one big bite. Unfortunately I didn’t have any flatbread, so I served it without it.

Jordanian Rice Pilaf (Vegetarian Mansaf)
Jordanian Rice Pilaf (Vegetarian Mansaf)
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
23 serving 20 minutes
Cook Time
45 minutes
Servings Prep Time
23 serving 20 minutes
Cook Time
45 minutes
Jordanian Rice Pilaf (Vegetarian Mansaf)
Jordanian Rice Pilaf (Vegetarian Mansaf)
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
23 serving 20 minutes
Cook Time
45 minutes
Servings Prep Time
23 serving 20 minutes
Cook Time
45 minutes
For the Rice Layer:
  • 1 cup Basmati Rice
  • 3 tbsp Ghee Butter / Clarified
  • ½ tsp Turmeric
  • ½ tsp Cinnamon Ground
  • cups Water
  • to taste Salt
For the Vegetable Layer:
  • 1 Onion - medium, chopped
  • 1 Red Pepper - medium, chopped
  • ½ cup Mushrooms - sliced
  • 1 Eggplant - medium, chopped
  • 3 cloves Garlic - finely minced
  • ½ tsp Cumin Ground
  • ½ tsp Allspice Ground
  • ½ cup Tomato Puree
  • to taste Salt Pepper &
For Garlic-yogurt Sauce (my version of laban moutboukh):
  • ½ cup Yogurt Full fat
  • 3 cloves Garlic - thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp Chickpea flour
  • 1 tsp Corn Starch
  • a pinch to taste Salt
For Garnish:
  • ½ cup Sunflower seeds Sesame Seeds Sunflower seeds / or
  • ½ cup Parsley - , chopped
Servings: serving
  1. For the Vegetable Layer: Salt eggplant and leave it in a colander for at;east 15 minutes. Then pat dry on a clean kitchen towel and keep ready.
  2. Heat 2tbsp olive oil in a saute pan, add the onions, garlic, red pepper, mushrooms and the eggplant. Cook the veggies for 4~5 minutes or until the onions are soft and the other veggies start to get tender. Lower the heat, cover the pan and cook till the veggies are tender.
  3. Next add the tomato puree, spices, salt and pepper. Cook for 3~4 minutes.
  4. Add ½~1cup water and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cook for 2~3 minutes. Turn off the heat and keep ready.
  5. For the Rice Layer: Rinse the rice and drain well.
  6. Melt butter in a heavy bottom pan, add the drained rice and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently to avoid sticking to the pan.
  7. Next add turmeric, cinnamon, water and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat, cover and cook for 15~20 minutes or until the water is absorbed and rice is tender.
  8. Take the pan off the heat and let it rest for 10 minutes.
  9. For the Garlic~Yogurt Sauce: Whisk chickpea flour, corn starch and salt into yogurt. Make sure there are no lumps.
  10. Heat 1tsp oil in a small sauce pan, add the garlic and cook till it turns golden, make sure not to burn. Remove garlic into a small bowl.
  11. Lower the heat and add the yogurt mixture. Keep whisking the yogurt to avoid curdling. Cook till the yogurt starts to bubble around the edges. Turn off the heat and add the reserved fried garlic.
  12. For the Garnish: Dry roast the nuts till golden. Set aside.
  13. To Serve: Pile the rice on the serving plate. Spoon the vegetables into the middle of the rice and cover with sauce. Sprinkle with the toasted nuts and serve with the chopped herbs. Serve the extra sauce on the side.
Recipe Notes

Let's check out what my fellow marathoners have cooked today for BM# 48.

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0 thoughts on “Jordanian Style Rice Pilaf”

  1. Pavani this is it ..beautiful clicks, beautiful recipe..just wondering about the substitutes..dont eat mushrooms and am allergic to egg plants..but surely i will work this one out…super like

  2. Pavani, you have surely come up with a winner recipe, the pictures are so so pretty…gosh I have scrolled up and down so many times..stunning and so inviting!

  3. Hi MissA, I would be concerned about 1/2 cup of Allspice too 🙂 Thank you for pointing that out — I corrected it to 1/2tsp allspice.

  4. I am Jordanian, and this recipe on a vegetarian version of Jordanian Mansaf is quite offensive because the author -Sally Butcher – wrote a recipe out of a blind assumption on irrelevant ingredients that she made up and claimed as Mansaf. If she had any appreciation towards how mansaf is really made, she would have put a little effort to ask a Jordanian or even look it up. Mansaf is cooked either with fresh liquid yogurt and lamb that is stirred while slow cooking it for up to 5 hours. Alternatively it can be cooked with Jameed (dried yogurt ball that is soaked over night and blended with fresh liquid yogurt). As for the rice, it is only cooked with turmeric, and salt NO SPICES OR VEGGIES, only garnished with toasted almonds and pine nuts and just a pinch of minced parley. Served over a very thin bread called “Shrak” NEVER EVER PITA! And btw, “Khoubez” is the Arabic word for bread, it not even a type of bread. Making what you described as mansaf is the same as making a peanut butter sandwich a claiming it’s an Italian Pizza! Here’s a tip, if you wanted a vegetarian mansaf, just remove the lamb, even though the whole essence of it is lamb! PLEASE don’t use the name Mansaf in association with this recipe.

  5. Hi Eve, I’m sorry to hear that the recipe is not an authentic Jordanian version of Mansaf. I followed what was in the book because I couldn’t find a vegetarian version online. I will edit the name of the dish too. Thank you for your detailed explanation on how to make traditional Mansaf.

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