I used ripped pieces of pita bread and tortilla for the base
Instead of jameed, I used a vegan sour creme as a base for the lebenI added lemon juice, salt, and pepper, and boiled it together. This ended up being too thin – to improve the recipe I should use more sour creme replacer, or find a soy yogurt that is sufficiently sour. Still, it wasn’t bad.
Rice is essential for mansef. I made this using normal long-grain white rice, boiled in a vegetable broth with cardamom and thyme. Palestinians love thyme, right? I forgot to add paprika, which is the style of preparing rice in the Kalandia camp.
Now, clearly I couldn’t top the mansef with chicken, because I am making vegan mansef here. But I had a lot of nice eggplant on hand, so I dry-fried it in slices and decided to use it as the toping. This is the mansef all assembled together. The process is pretty simple – start by pouring some of the faux-leben onto the bread, then alternate spooning rice and pouring leben until all the rice is piled on the plate. Then add the fried nuts, stir them in slightly, and top with the fried eggplant. I think it looks pretty good! The only thing I will do different next time is make a much larger portion! This is a tiny mansef!
The flavour was better than I expected. Especially down near the bread, it really has a kind of mansef-like flavour. Of course, the vegan-leben is the weakest link here, for next time I will make it stronger (the vegan sour creme isn’t cheap, but if I’m honest, neither is jameed!). I wonder if there is a way to make a soy yogurt which has an extremely strong, sour flavour. I don’t think it is, in fact, the dairy that gives mansef its flavour – but the bacterial cultures that make the goat yogurt sour. And the salt, it definitely can stand to be a lot saltier. But reservations aside, it was well enjoyed, as you can see from the following picture!