The manakish, also known as the traditional Lebanese pizza, is one of the best middle eastern delicacies that no one should miss out on.
This dish is super popular in the UAE, Syria, and Libya. Constituting a soft flatbread with a za’atar topping on the top, the very smell of this dish straight out of the oven is something that many people wait eagerly for.
However, not everyone in the world lives in Middle Eastern countries. Therefore, we have the best solution for you for people who are unfortunate enough not to taste this fantastic snack.
After reading this article, you will be able to cook this mouth-watering dish in your kitchen, all by yourself. Hereforee, get your apron on and your grocery shopping list ready to cook up a storm.
What Is Manakish?
Before we divulge the recipe to you eagerly waiting foodies, let’s read about what Manakish is, shall we?
It is a traditional Lebanese delicacy that kind of resembles a pizza. A popular snack in the Middle East and considered one of the best traditional food of UAE, this dish is famous for being a great afternoon or evening snack, paired with a cup of tea or some cold beverages (a bottle of Pepsi will do just fine).
Like a Pizza, this dish uses a doughy flatbread that is topped with za’atar – a mixture of ground lamb, cheese, and other vegetables.
Nutrition Per Serving
Manakish is pretty healthy, even if it is considered an evening snack. If you have a piece of this bread, then your health will be better by these numbers:
- Calories: 578
- Protein: 17g
- Fat: 36g
- Carbohydrates: 48g
How To Make Manakish At Home (4 Servings)?
Before you start making Manakish near me, you need to get the right ingredients and the right utensils ready before cooking. Therefore, get your shopping list ready and note down the components required.
This dish consists of making two different items – the flatbread and the Zaatar manakish topping – and combining them – like toppings over a pizza bread. Before you set foot inside the kitchen, add these to your grocery shopping list:
1. Manakish Flatbread
To prepare the flatbread, you need:
- All-Purpose Flour: 2 cups
- Active Dry Yeast: 1 tablespoon
- Salt: 1 teaspoon
- Sugar: 1 tablespoon
- Warm Water: 1 Cup
- Virgin Olive Oil: ½ Cup
2. Za’atar Topping
To make the Za’atar topping, you need:
- Thyme Leaves (Dried): 1 Tablespoon
- Sumac: 1 Tablespoon
- Sesame Seeds: 1 Tablespoon
- Dried Oregano: 1 Tablespoon
Before you light up your stove and start cooking, make sure you have these utensils ready:
- Small Bowls – 2
- Large Bowl
- Plastic Wrapper
- Baking Sheet
- Parchment Paper
- Kitchen Towel
Total Preparation Time: 90 minutes
Total Cooking Time: 30 minutes
If you have been itching to cook the food, now is the time to show your culinary skills. Having prepared all the ingredients and the utensils in order, follow this recipe in order:
1. Manakish Flatbread
First, start by making the Manakish flatbread. To do so, you need to:
- Add sugar and the active dry yeast to a small bowl.
- Next, pour warm water over the yeast and the sugar.
- Mix these three items well and leave them undisturbed for five minutes.
- After five minutes, the yeast will start expanding and bubbling if it does not and remains, warm the water a bit more and make a fresh batch.
- Add olive oil and salt to flour in another small bowl and mix well using your fingers.
- Make a hole in the center after the flour becomes a bit doughy.
- Pour the previously made mixture of yeast into the hole.
- Mix well until it becomes a rough dough.
- If required, you can add more water to ensure that the mixture sticks together and forms a dough.
- Knead the dough until it becomes smooth.
- Put some oil in the large bowl and place the dough in it.
- Put some drops of olive oil over the dough, cover the bowl with parchment paper, and keep it aside for about one and a half hours until the dough inside has risen and is all fluffed up.
- Punch the dough to release all the warm air inside it.
- Follow the above step with another round of kneading. This time, do it gently for 2 minutes.
- Preheat the oven for 2 minutes at 180 degrees celsius.
- Create two evenly shaped balls from the dough. This should be according to the size of the Manakish you want to prepare.
- Place the dough balls on an oily surface and cover with parchment paper for 15 minutes.
- Using your palm, flatten the dough into a disc-like shape that resembles the bread of a traditional pizza. The dough should be around ¼ inches thick.
- Make small depressions on the dough (not holes).
2. Spicy Za’atar Toppings
Make the za’atar topping alongside the manakish bread. To do this, simply mix all the ingredients of the Za’atar in a bowl. Shake well and keep it aside in an airtight container.
3. Before Going Inside The Oven
Once you are done preparing both the manakish flatbread doughs and the Za’atar toppings, you need to:
- Put the za’atar toppings on the small depressions created on the Manakish flatbreads. Press the topping gently on the top to stick to the dough.
- Place the dough balls on a baking sheet and put it in the oven.
- Bake each piece individually for ten minutes at 170 degrees celsius until you start seeing the golden-brown hue on the underside of the bread.
You can add manakish cheese to cheese manakish gratings on top, along with a dash of lemon as garnishings on top before you serve it. This dish goes well with a serving of Fattoush and a cup of Karak.
Frequently Asked Questions:
No, Manakish is a Lebanese dish.
Manakish was first prepared in Lebanon during the 10th century.
Manakish is an older dish compared to Italian pizza.
Yes, manakish is healthy breakfast food.
Manakish is one of the best breakfast options for people of Middle Eastern countries, especially in Lebanon, Syria, and UAE. Like a pizza, it is made using flatbread, with toppings made of spicy za’atar.
If you liked reading this recipe and had fun making this dish in your kitchen, read our other recipes for other UAE traditional foods here at UAE Universe!