Mlehy is a national dish and ceremonial plate for great occasions, weddings and celebration from Houran. It is symbol of generosity because up till this day nothing can show your generosity more than heaps of meat served over large trays and it is the way people of Houran show their generosity to their guests.

Mlehy is made by cooking lamb with its bones (or chicken for less formal occasions) in a broth made with solid milk "Kathi or Jameed" and Arab ghee.

The dish is very similar to the Jordanian mansaf but it uses Bulgur instead of rice.

Mlehy is very rich in benefits because it is contains all nutrients, in addition to its wonderful taste.



1- Four Lamb Shanks

2- One onion finely chopped

3- Bulgur 2cups

4- Chicken stock 1cup (or boiling water)

5- Boiling water

6- Ghee 4tbs

7- Jameed (Preferably dry Jameed not liquid) solid milk

8- 1 kg yogurt

9- Allspice 1tsp

10- Salt

11- Pepper

12- One bay leaf

13- One stick of cinnamon

14- Pine nuts 30g



1- Grate softly the solid milk (Jameed )

2- Add the yoghurt with a spoon and a half starch and mix them with a blender, then put them in a bowl.

3- When the milk boils, add the meat (or chicken), ghee and leave it boil for half an hour.

4- Melt two spoons of Ghee butter in a large pot and brown the lamb shanks on all sides. Remove the lamb shanks and fry the onion on medium heat till soft. Return the shanks to the pot and add the stock and Al Jameed mixture. Top with hot water to cover the meat. Add the allspice, bay leaf, cinnamon stick and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a strong boil then turn the heat to medium and simmer for two hours or until the meat is fully cooked and almost falling of the bone.

5- Once the meat is ready start cooking the bulgur. In a pot add the bulgur, salt to taste and 3 cups of hot water and bring to boil. You can add a ladle or two of the meat broth to the bulgur for extra flavour. Turn the heat to medium and cook for 20 - 30 minutes stirring occasionally. Add more boiling water if required.

6- Fry the pine nuts in the rest of the ghee butter. Remove as soon as they turn golden as they burn very quickly. Continue to heat the ghee in the pan til it starts to smoke then carefully pour over the cooked bulgur and stir. The last step is optional and it adds a nice smokey flavour but few extra calories, your choice.

7- Serve the cooked bulgur with a sprinkle of pine nuts with the meat and broth on the side. The broth has rich sour flavours with a hint of fragrance from the spices. Pour some of it over the Bulgur to eat or simply sip it with a spoon.


Lara Khouli