Manaqish | Jordanian Zaatar Flatbread ~ J for Jordan

>>  Thursday, September 11, 2014

In my journey around the world on a culinary tour, my next stop was in Jordan for J. While it was overdose of geography and history rolled in one when I was reading about the different Arabic countries and their cuisine, I decided I would simply stick to Jordan. I had earlier wanted to do Japan, then seeing how there was hardly anything that I would be able to make, decided to settle for something that was simple.

Again reading fanatically around these cuisines, I realized there are many common dishes and ingredients used across regions. When I was thinking about the sub theme, I almost settled on Kid Friendly dishes, hoping my kids would love this exposure to different countries. Of course in the end, they didn't really know they were eating anything new as I was mostly making safe dishes. 

Unconsciously I also ended up making desserts/sweets. The day I made this dish, I was also making three other countries, mostly desserts. So it was a relief that this was a bread. 

When I landed up with Manqish / Managish / Manakish / the Jordanian Herbed Flatbread, I had to get Zaatar. Many years ago when I had met couple of Bloggers in Madras, we met up in a Lebanese restaurant. That was my first experience eating their food and I enjoyed pretty much everything that was ordered. Infact we had ordered a pizza sort with spinach and we went for a repeat order as well.

So my blogger friend ordered Zaatar from their kitchen and I didn't bother as I knew I might not really use it. Forward the clock to couple of years later, Pradnya sent me a huge box with lots of goodies. She had packed some Zaatar, Sumac, couple of her own home blend spice mixes. Her homemade blends were so good, I had used up everything. Except some the Zaatar and Sumac were still lying in the freezer. I was feeling even bad that I completely forgot and asked where I could get it locally. 

Veena was so kind enough to share some with me and I even asked how long this spice stays good. Pradnya wrote back saying it should be good and well I was happy hearing that. I went back to check on my stuff and found it good. So this bread was the one that finally got out Zaatar. Here are couple of sites I enjoyed reading about Zaatar, this and this.

To make the Jordanian Herbed Flabread or the Manaqish, you would need Zatar. Zatar is a Middle Eastern spice mix, used extensively in different dishes. You can find it being made as bread and as a dip along with Olive Oil.

Zaatar is a spice blend made with a mix of sumac, thyme and sesame seeds. As with any spice mixes, few other ingredients are added or omitted. Some add chickpeas or replace with hummus, which then becomes Dubkkah. Za'atar, the mixture is considered a staple food in Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan. This spice mix is generally mixed with olive oil and is spread on breads, rolled up in pita bread or just simply used as a dip.

So for J it is Jordan. I must say this is an acquired taste.


Manaqish | Jordanian Zaatar Flatbread 

Country : J for Jordan
Category : Breads
Preparation time : 20 mins
Resting Time : an hour
Cooking time : 10 mins

Ingredients Needed:

All purpose flour - 3 cups
Active Dry yeast - 2 tsp / Instant Yeast - 1.33 tsp
Warm water - 1 cup
Sugar - 1 tsp
Salt - 1 tsp

For spreading

Zaatar spice blend - 4 tbsp
Olive oil - 2 tbsp
Lemon Juice - 1/2 tsp

How to make Jordanian Zaatar Flatbread 

Proof the yeast

If you are using active dry yeast, take it in a bowl with sugar and warm water. Stir and keep it covered. Wait for the yeast to foam and then use. If instant yeast, it can be added directly to the flour before kneading.

In a wide bowl, take the flour, salt and add in the yeast mix or instant yeast. Mix everything well and slowly add water to knead to a soft pliable dough.

Keep it in a covered bowl for an hour or till it doubles. 

Mix the zaatar with olive oil and lemon juice. When the dough doubles, punch it down and dust with flour. Roll out discs of equal sizes, brush the zaatar mix on the top and bake in a pre heated oven for 8 - 10 mins or till the dough is completely cooked. Serve warm with dip.

The bread tasted good on it's own. Maybe the right sort of dip would make all the difference.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 44


Varadas Kitchen September 11, 2014 at 12:31 AM  

The bread sounds very flavorful. I will try it when I get Zaatar from the speciality store.
I understand wanting safe dishes, I went that route too

Jayashree September 11, 2014 at 1:12 AM  

I once made pull apart bread with zatar as the filling, Valli. It is quite a flavourful spice, though not everyone might like it.

Priya Suresh September 11, 2014 at 2:02 AM  

Zaatar is one of my fav spice, i always have some in my pantry, this flat bread looks fabulous.

vaishali sabnani September 11, 2014 at 6:44 AM  

Valli I made this bread last week but did not click the picks..we all love this bread and it's a must order when ordering Lebanese .Hats off for doing 4 posts at one go:)

The Pumpkin Farm September 11, 2014 at 9:03 AM  

even i love this simple pizza recipe with the zaatar mix on top...i actually douse it on any bread, loved the step by step pictures that you do and this looks so easy am sure lot of people would be motivated to try this spice blend...

Kurinji September 11, 2014 at 11:33 AM  

hmm aromatic and delicious bread...

Archana Potdar September 11, 2014 at 7:45 PM  

I really need to try zaatar. I hope you guys have planned a Lebanese pizza when we visit Chennai. Loving this bread.

Usha September 12, 2014 at 12:28 AM  

Even I like zaatar flat bread as it is, without any dip. As you said, so many of these middle eastern recipes are common among most the countries in the area with minor changes. Nice recipe.

Suma Gandlur September 12, 2014 at 2:58 AM  

That must be one flavorful bread. I have never tried using zaatar or sumac though I can get everything here at my local grocers. They have a good stock of ingredients from around the world and whenever i see recipes like this I feel like I need to pay more attention. :)

Pavani N September 12, 2014 at 8:15 AM  

That looks like a very flavorful bread. I have used sumac before in a salad and it tasted almost like aamchoor to me.

Sapana Behl September 12, 2014 at 2:56 PM  

Such a flavorful and interesting bread !

Manjula Bharath September 12, 2014 at 6:58 PM  

wow I have never tried zaatar and sumac too.. so nice of pradnya sharing some spice mix with you :) tempting and aromatic bread there :) perfectly done !!

Padmajha PJ September 13, 2014 at 11:12 PM  

This is one spice that I definitely need to get!The bread has come out so well Srivalli...

Harini-Jaya R September 15, 2014 at 6:43 AM  

Sumac was liked at home and I wonder why I forgot about it this time!! This surely sounds so flavorful!

Chef Mireille September 17, 2014 at 5:26 AM  

it's true - first time I had this I hated it the Zaatar but more you eat it more you like it and I love it now

Kalyani September 21, 2014 at 6:37 PM  

zaatar is a wonderful seasoning ! yummy bread !

Gayathri Kumar October 8, 2014 at 6:04 AM  

I have never tasted sumac or zatar and would love to try it. The bread looks so delicious...

Priya Srinivasan October 12, 2014 at 9:42 AM  

Lovely bread valli, i planned to make this and then changed to shrak. I have a huge stash of zaatar,need to try this soon!!!

Foodiliciousnan October 13, 2014 at 10:46 AM  

I too have quite a bit of zaatar that i use only occassionally. Even though i quite like it, nobody else at home does. In fact i once used a bit of leftover pizza dough to roll it out into a small chapatti shape and sprinkled some zaatar over it before baking. Thi looks like that...must try it again

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