Druse Cui­sine | Rice Mansaf

The Jerusalem Post - The Jerusalem Post Magazine - - DINING IN -

Serves 8 For the lamb

1 lb (½ kg) shoul­der of lamb, deboned and cut into 1 inch (2.5 cm) cubes

3 ta­ble­spoons olive oil

1 onion, sliced

8 cups wa­ter

1 tea­spoon nut­meg 3 car­damom pods, crushed 1 cin­na­mon stick

5 all­spice pods

2 bay leaves

For the rice

3 ta­ble­spoons olive oil 1 cup pine nuts

3 cups rice (long grain) 1 tea­spoon freshly ground

nut­meg

1 tea­spoon freshly ground

car­damom

This is a spe­cialty found in Druze cui­sine that is known to be ex­tremely healthy and eas­ily di­gestible – a cel­e­bra­tory rice stew with lamb, pine nuts and many spices, which the Druse serve at wed­dings and spe­cial oc­ca­sions. The se­cret lies in the slow and long cook­ing of the scented lamb and the fla­vors that are ab­sorbed into the rice.

To pre­pare the lamb: Heat oil in a large. Add onion and saute for 5 min­utes un­til golden. Add the meat and sear 3 min­utes on all sides. Add the wa­ter and spices and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover and cook 2 to 2 ½ hours or un­til the meat is very soft. Drain. Keep the meat and the liq­uid in sep­a­rate dishes.

To pre­pare the stew: In a wide and low pot, heat the olive oil. Add the pine nuts. Cook on low heat 2 to 3 min­utes. With a slot­ted spoon, take out 1 ta­ble­spoon of the pine nuts for gar­nish.

Add the spices, the cooked meat and the rice to the pot, but do not stir. Pour in enough of the lamb’s cook­ing liq­uid to cover the rice.

Place a damp kitchen towel over the pot and then the lid. Cook 7 min­utes on medium heat. Turn the heat off and let the rice “rest” cov­ered 15 to 20 min­utes. Dur­ing that time, the riche con­tin­ues to cook, so don’t try to peek. Leave the lid and the towel on for the du­ra­tion

Be­fore serv­ing: Turn the pot up­side-down on a large round serv­ing plat­ter and care­fully re­move the pot. Sprin­kle with the re­served pine nuts.

Op­tion

Line the serv­ing plat­ter with a large Druse pita and turn the mansaf on it. You may also sprin­kle sumac and chopped pars­ley on the mansaf.

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