Delicious little baby manoush (Lebanese pizzas) with lamb or shangleesh

Oh! Manoush, how I love thee! With all due respect to l’Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana, these babies are the best pizzas this outside of the Mediterranean. On a cold morning at my local Al Cheik Bakery in Lakemba, it’s always a hard task to decide between the fragrant manoush lahem pizza or the salty, creamy goodness of shangleesh* cheese encased in soft, sweet dough.

My first attempt to recreate the deliciousness at home was pretty successful. I used small circles of pizza dough and spread them with either a lamb or shangleesh mixture, then baked them at 200C for about 10 minutes. However, the lamb had quite a lot of juice which left a mark around the edge – next time I’d try draining off all the juices and chucking in a spoonful of flour before spreading on the pizza.

Make sure you use a pizza stone for making these to ensure the base is cooked and crisp, rather than soggy, when you take them out.

Lamb mixture:

  • 200g lamb mince (neither too fatty or lean – ask your butcher)
  • 1 ripe tomato, deseeded and chopped
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • a few sprigs flat leaf parsley
  • 1 tsp pomegranate molasses
Place everything on a chopping board and chop until it becomes a smooth paste. Leave to rest and drain off excess liquid before using.

Shangleesh mixture:

  • 1 large ball of shangleesh* (about 200g) or equivalent in smaller balls
  • 1 tsp za’atar**
  • 1 large / 2 small ripe tomatoes. deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 brown onion, chopped and sautéed in olive oil till translucent
Crumble the shangleesh into a bowl, then add other ingredients.

*Shangleesh (aka shankleesh or shanklish) is a cheese used in the middle East, made from hung yoghurt, sometimes mixed with peppers, and often rolled in za’atar before being preserved in oil.

**Za’atar is a mix of wild oregano, thyme, sesame and sumac, commonly available for Middle Eastern shops or delicatessens.

Leave happy thoughts or clever questions below!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s