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Jordanian Rice Pilaf Recipe | Vegetarian Mansaf

Vegetarian version of Jordanian rice known as Mansaf. Layer of rice is topped with spiced vegetables, yogurt sauce and nuts. A hearty and delicious meal.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Jordan, middle eastern
Servings 4 Servings


For the Rice Layer:

  • cup Basmati Rice
  • 3 tbsp Ghee/ Clarified Butter
  • ½ tsp Turmeric
  • ½ tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • cups Water
  • To taste Salt

For the Vegetable Layer:

  • 1 Medium Eggplant, chopped
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Medium Onion, chopped
  • 1 Medium Red/ Orange Pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup Mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 Garlic cloves, finely minced
  • ½ tsp Ground Cumin
  • ½ tsp Ground Allspice
  • ¾ cup Tomato Puree
  • To taste Salt & Pepper

For Garlic-yogurt Sauce (my version of laban moutboukh):

  • ½ cup Full fat Yogurt
  • 1 tsp Chickpea flour
  • ½ tsp Corn Starch
  • To taste Salt
  • 1 tsp Olive oil
  • 2 Garlic cloves, thinly sliced

For Garnish:

  • ½ cup Sunflower seeds or Sesame Seeds
  • ½ cup Parsley, chopped


For the Rice Layer:

  • Rinse the rice and drain well.
  • Melt butter in a heavy bottom pan, add the drained rice and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently to avoid sticking to the pan.
  • 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.
  • Take the pan off the heat and let it rest for 10 minutes.

For the Vegetable Layer:

  • Salt eggplant and leave it in a colander for at least 15 minutes. Squeeze out the excess water, pat dry on a clean kitchen towel and keep ready.
  • Heat oil in a saute pan, add the onions, peppers, mushrooms, garlic 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.
  • Next add the tomato puree, spices, salt and pepper. Cook for 3~4 minutes.
  • Add ½~1cup water and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cook for 2~3 minutes. Turn off the heat and keep ready.

For the Garlic~Yogurt Sauce:

  • Whisk chickpea flour, cornstarch and salt into yogurt. Make sure there are no lumps.
  • Heat 1tsp oil in a small saucepan, add the garlic and cook till it turns golden, make sure not to burn. Remove garlic into a small bowl.
  • 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.

For the Garnish:

  • Dry roast the nuts till golden. Set aside.

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


  • To add some protein to the dish, soy granules or tofu or beans like chickpeas can be added.
  • The vegetable layer can be made up to 2 days in advance. Layer it with rice and top with the yogurt sauce just before serving.
Traditional Laban Mutboukh/ Jameed/ Garlic Yogurt Sauce Recipe:
  • Heat ½ tsp oil in a heavy bottomed saucepan and saute 6 cloves of finely chopped garlic. Remove the garlic into a small bowl. 
  • Turn the heat to low, add 1½ cups of yogurt to the pan.
  • Stir in 1 egg white, ½ tsp cornstarch and a pinch of salt, stirring continuously in the SAME direction. Don't stir the yogurt randomly, it will cause it to curdle. 
  • Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for a few minutes.
  • Take the pan off the heat and stir the garlic back in. Jordanian garlic-yogurt sauce is ready to serve.