Manaqish

What is Manaqish

Manaqish are Middle Eastern flatbread similar to Italian pizza typically eaten for breakfast. Manaqish is also very popular in the eastern Mediterranian region. It is consisting of dough topped with za’atar and thyme, cheese, tomato or ground meat. Similar to a pizza, it can be sliced or folded, and it can be served for breakfast or even sometimes for lunch. The word manaqish is the plural of the Arabic word manqūshah, meaning that after the dough has been rolled flat, it is pressed by the fingertips to create little dips for the topping to lie in.

Different toppings of Manakah

Za’atar topping

The most popular form of manakish uses za’atar (ground dried thyme, oregano,  or some combination thereof, mixed with toasted sesame seeds, salt, and other spices such as sumac) as a topping. The za’atar is mixed with olive oil and spread onto the dough before baking it in the oven.

Cheese topping

There are two main types of cheese used on manakish:  Akkawi and Kashkaval.Za’atar is optionally mixed with cheese manakish to enhance its flavor.

Minced Lamb topping

This popular manakish has lamb topping. The minced lamb is mixed with tiny pieces of diced tomato and vegetable oil, and this manakish is optionally served with ground pepper or pickles and yogurt. As it is little heavy version of manaqish, it is served for lunch.

Tomato and chilli topping

This version of manaqish are topped with sliced tomatoes and Jalapeno chillies. Some are also served with kishq or fermented yoghurt.

My family love them to have in breakfast, specially in holidays. I always try to bake manaqish at home as they are easy to make and also I can make them with my favourite toppings. Here I am sharing my way to make manaqish with my favourite toppings. I use whole wheat flour for the dough which makes them healthier without compromising the taste.

Recipe

  • Preparation time: 2 hour
  • Baking time: 12 min
  • Serves: 8 medium sized manaqish

Ingredients

For manaqish base

  • 2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry active yeast
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil+more to brush each manaqish
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the za’atar topping

  • 2 tablespoon roasted white sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon dry thyme
  • 1 tablespoons oregano
  • 1 tablespoon sumac
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil

For lamb topping

  • 200 g mince lamb
  • 1 big tomato chopped
  • 1 big onion chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon arabic spice mix/ alternately you can use coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon kashmiri red chilli powder/ paprika powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil/any vegetable oil
  • Salt to taste
  • 2-3 whole black pepper
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 handful of chopped coriander leaves

For Tomato -Jalepino topping

  • 8-10 cherry tomatoes
  • 2 red fresh Jalepino/red capsicum
  • 1 tablespoon mix herb (prepared for za’atar)

For Cheese topping

  • 1 cup shreeded mozzarella cheese/halloumi cheese
  • 1 tablespoon mix herb

Method

To make the dough

Mix 1 teaspoon of sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of dry active yeast with 1/2 cup of warm milk. Keep aside for 5-6 minutes to broom.

Place 2 cups wheat flour mix with 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a mixing bowl.

Make a hole at the centre and pour the broomed yeast mixture and 1 tablespoon of olive oil.

Mix well to the flour and make a soft dough using warm water as needed. Note that the dough should be softer than our regular chapati dough.

Rub little olive oil over the dough, cover and set aside in a warm place of your kitchen for about 2 hours or until the dough becomes double in size.

For the meat topping

In the meantime make the toppings. First, let us make the minced meat topping. For that chop 1 big onion and 1 big tomato in small pieces.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil/vegetable oil in a pan with 2-3 whole black peppers and 2 cloves.

Add in chopped onions and cook until they become translucent.

Add in 1/2 teaspoon of ginger-garlic paste and saute for a minute.

Take 250 g of fresh lamb or mutton mince and add in to the pan.

Stir well to mix and cook until meat releases juice. Next add in chopped tomatoes.

Continue to stir and cook for few minutes or until tomatoes become soft.

Now add in 1 teaspoon of arabic spice mix, 1 teaspoon of kashmiri red chilli powder, 1/2 teaspoon of garam masala powder and salt to taste.

Mix well to incorporate spices well to the meat mixture. Also add in 1 tablespoon of tomato paste. If you don’t have tomato paste, you can add 1 teaspoon of tomato ketchup.

Mix well, add in 1/2 cup of water, cover and cook in low flame until meat cooks completely.

When meat cooks completely and the mixture becomes mushy in consistency, remove from heat.

Transfer to a bowl, add in some chopped coriander leaves and keep aside.

For the za’atar topping

Take 2 tablespoon of roasted white sesame seeds to a mortar and pestle.

Grind coarsely and transfer to a mixing bowl.

To that add in 1 tablespoon of dry thyme, 1 tablespoon of oregano, 1 tablespoon of sumac powder, 1 teaspoon of freshly crushed black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon of sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

Mix well and take out 1 tablespoon of the mixture aside to sprinkle over the manaqish. Then add in 2 tablespoon of olive oil to the remaining mixrure. Your flavourful za’atar mixture is ready to use . Set aside.

For tomato topping

Slice some cherry tomatoes and fresh red jalapenos into thin roundals.

Making the manaqish

After 2 hours of proofing,the dough becomes double in size now.

Transfer the dough to a work surface and knead again for 7-8 minutes with stretching and folding method.

Divide the dough into 8 equal parts.

Make 8 small patties , take a patty and roll to a little thin round disc just like we make our regular roti or chapati.

Roll all the round discs and place them on a lined baking tray. I could accommodate 4 manaqish at a time in my baking dish, so I will bake in 2 batches.

Brush each manaqish with olive oil.

Fill each manaqish with the fillings prepared before. For tomato and jalapeno filling spread them on the manaqish.

Sprinkle some mixed za’atar over the tomato_jalapeno filling.

For the meat topping spread some prepared mince meat mixture over the manaqish.

For the za’atar topping, spread prepared za’atar mixture (prepared with olive oil).

For the cheese topping spread shredded mozzarella or haloumi cheese. I used mozzarella, if you have other cheese like haloumi use it. Also sprinkle some mixed za’atar.

Preheat oven at 200 degree C for 10 minutes.

Bake the manaqish in preheated oven for about 10 to 12 minutes or until the sides of the manaqish become light golden brown.

Bake the next batch in the same way and they are ready to serve now. Enjoy in your breakfast or in the lunch.

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