Bedouin Food

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Bedouins have been around for more than 1,000 years. Bedouin foods like lamb, goat, and sheep keep these groups of nomads strong and healthy. One might think that Bedouins don't eat very well because they're nomads but that's not true, they have very sharp culinary skills. Bedouins make everything from roasted lamb to chese and coffee.

Food Selection

Pita is the main bread of the Bedouins called "khubz" (which means simply "bread") in Arabic. Pita is eaten all over the Arab world and is easy to make because it doesn't need to rise.
"Mansaf" (explosion in Arabic) is the national Bedouin dish served for all special occasions like having guests, a party or a wedding. The ingredients are beef or lamb and dried yoghurt served on rice and pita. It's usually prepared over an open fire and sprinkled with pine nuts. Mansaf is served on a flat dish and eaten by hand.

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Some meats like a whole goat can be roasted at one time in a small underground oven called a Zaarp. A Zaarp is an oven built from stones leaving a hole at the top. A large fire is built in the oven and when it is burned out the goat is placed in the ashes. The opening at the top is closed and covered with mud. The lamb is cooked for about 2 hours and it is deffinitely worth the wait!


Tea and Coffee(Qahwa): Tea and coffee are the traditional drinks. The tea is very sweet and flavoured with mint or sage.It's served in small glasses and offered with a single mouthful of the original Bedouin coffee which is served in tiny cups and very bitter. Coffee is an important symbol of hospitality. Shake the cup to indicate that you do not want a refill, but why wouldn't you?
Dairy products are the main food source for the Bedouin. Milk from camels and goats is made into yogurt and butter. Most of their meals consist of a bowl of milk, yogurt, or rice. Round loaves of unleavened bread are served when available. Dates, which can be found in desert oases, are eaten for dessert. Meat is only served on special occasions such as marriage feasts, ceremonial events, or when guests are present.

The Bedouin culture isn't being hit hard by big food chains like external image mcdonalds.gif or external image Burger%20King.jpg, nope the Bedouins are stayn' Bedouin. They're keeping their old recipes, that's partly because the Bedouins are nomades and Miky D's and Burger King don't want to have to support stores in the middle of the desert and partly because the Bedouins won't eat that! They just aren't used to eating fast food.


How to eat Mansaf...

clips from YouTube

Mansaf Recipe

How to make Mansaf...

  • 4 kilos of lamb or chicken (10 pounds)
  • 1 kilo of whey, yogurt or ayran (2 1/4 pounds)
  • Margarine
  • 2 kilos of rice (4 1/2 pounds)
  • Onions
  • Pine nuts and roasted almonds
  • Arabic loaves of bread

  1. Wash whey and soak in water for an hour. Mash in blender, then let dry.Wash meat and put in a tray.
# Cover with water. Let soak. Add onion (cut into squares), then boiled until partly cooked. Remove meat, saving the broth.
  1. Mix whey juice with the soup and let boil. (It can be thickened with cornstarch as wished.) Add meat and simmer until meat is cooked well.
  2. Cook rice. Place two or three Arabic loaves of bread on a tray. Put rice on the bread in a pyramid, then arrange pieces of meat on the surface. Decorated with the pine nuts and almonds.
  3. Mansaf is served with hot whey juice which is sprayed on mansaf as wished.
recipe from

Mansaf is made diffrently from family to family so this might not be the exact recipe but you can diffinetly make a great Mansaf from it!