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Monday 29 November 2021
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Mansoufeh: A Flavorful Dish from West Bekaa and Al Chouf

Flattened mansoufeh balls

Mansoufeh is a comfort food in West Bekaa villages like Kherbet Qanafar, Ain Zebdeh and Mashgara and in villages across the Chouf district. It is a traditional vegetarian meal containing a delicious and healthy mix of wholegrain carbohydrates and veggies, which makes it a satisfying and energizing main dish.

Typically, mansoufeh consists of bulgur (burghul) rolled into small flat balls that are cooked in tomato sauce with chopped onions that are seasoned with sumac. It is customary for mansoufeh to be prepared on Good Friday.

Preparation of the mansoufeh dough

Bulgur (burghul) which is an important ingredient in Lebanese cuisine produced in the Bekaa Valley and one of the key ingredients of mansoufeh, is a great source of complex carbohydrates packed with vitamins, minerals and fibers which can improve digestion and gut health.

Another ingredient in mansoufeh is pumpkin, which is a superfood containing tons of minerals and vitamins and has low caloric content. Pumpkin, which is harvested in the Bekaa during fall, is an excellent source of vitamin A and C which helps boost the immune system. Mansoufeh contains a generous amount of onions, which are nutrient-dense and are high in vitamins and minerals as well as antioxidants that help prevent several diseases.

Mansoufeh Recipe:
(Recipe courtesy of Noha Bou Rached’s Guesthouse in Ain Zebdeh, West Bekaa)

Preparation time: 1 hr 30 min

Recipe serves: 8

Ingredients:

• 3 cups of fine bulgur
• 2 cups of flour
• 1 cup of pumpkin, boiled and drained (keep the pumpkin water for later use)
• 2 kg of onions, sliced into shreds
• 2 tbsp. of verjuice
• Water (enough to fill the cooking pot up halfway)
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 1/2 cup of olive oil divided (to fry the onions and to serve mansoufeh)

Boiling mansoufeh balls boiling in water
Frying onions and mansoufeh balls in olive oil

Preparation:

  1. Chop and boil pumpkin until the pieces are soft, then drain the pumpkin and save the water.
  2. In a bowl, mash the cooked pumpkin and mix them with bulgur, flour, salt and pepper.
  3. Gradually add the pumpkin water until the dough becomes firm.
  4. Shape the dough into small balls and flatten them between your thumb and index finger.
  5. In a pot, boil water and salt. Add the flattened balls and let them cook for 2-3 minutes or until they float on the surface, remove and drain.
  6. In a saucepan, fry the onions in olive oil and keep them aside.
  7. Spread the remaining olive oil over a big tray and add the flattened mansoufeh balls and onions.
  8. Pour the verjuice and mix all the ingredients together gently.
  9. Serve warm!
Adding tomato sauce to the fried mansoufeh and onions

Where to Enjoy Mansoufeh?

The Bekka Valley:
Noha Bou Rached’s Guesthouse – Ain Zebdeh, West Bekaa: 08-670-572
Lina Saade’s Guesthouse – Kherbet Qanafar, West bekaa: 70-671-399

Al Chouf District:
Eid Guesthouse – Ain Zhalta, Al Chouf: 71-131-104
Streech Guesthouse – Brih, Al Chouf: 76-711-811 (Cezar Mahmoud)
FarmVille Barouk – Barouk, Al Chouf: 76-711-811 (Cezar Mahmoud)
El Achkar Guesthouse – Khreibeh, Al Chouf: 03-354-558
KAÏA Guesthouse – Barouk, Al Chouf: 81-060-621




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