The national dish of Jordan is Mansaf: lamb seasoned with aromatic herbs, sometimes lightly spiced, cooked in yoghurt, and served with huge quantities of rice. Feasting on Mansaf is taken seriously, and hours are spent in its preparations.
Mansaf is cooked in jameed (the Arabic word for dried yoghurt), which is then mixed with water in a tray to produce a creamy sauce. This is poured into a large stewing pot with chunks of lamb meat. The pot is put over an open fire. As the stew begins to warm, it is stirred to prevent the yogurt from separating.
Large trays are covered with the doughy flat Arabic bread and dampened with yogurt. On top of this, a layer of rice is heaped. The meat is then piled on top. Almonds, pine-kernels and other nuts may be sprinkled over the dish, which is then ready for serving.

2 large containers plain whole milk yogurt (Or you can just use jameed with some water which is in any Arabic or Persian market)
4lb Large cut up pieces of lamb (with bones) or Lamb Shanks
1 onion
1tsp Cumin
3 tsp Turmeric
1 tsp thyme
2 tsp paprika
Juice from half a lemon
3 Cups rice (Jasmin medium grain or Tilda Basmati)
Slivered Almonds
Pine Nuts
1 1/2 cups butter
Parsley for decoration
Arabic Flat Bread

Put yogurt in a large pot and bring it rapidly to a boil constantly stirring with a wooden spoon always in the same direction
Turn off the heat
Put lamb in another pot and cover with water
Add ¼ of an onion
Bring to the boil and simmer until the lamb is tender
Remove the lamb and strain the water (reserve it) to remove any small bits
Add about 2-3 cups of the water to the pot with the yogurt and the spices
Add salt to taste the lemon juice
Add the lamb meat to the yogurt and broth mixture (make sure to remove the onion)bring to the boil
In a separate pot, cook the rice with 1 cup of butter and 3 cups of water (add water as required)
In the remaining butter brown the almonds and pine nuts
Place the rice at the bottom of a large round platter spread half of the almonds and pine nuts on top and the place the lamb on top and then sprinkle with the remaining almonds and nuts - sprinkle chopped parsley on top
Place the hot yogurt sauce in a large serving bowl
To serve: place Arabic bread at the bottom, wet it with the yogurt sauce and then add the rice and meat

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