Baking Manakish in Ain el Delb, Lebanon

I haven’t really written about the man’oushe (plural manakish) since 2009, though it features really strongly in the Lebanese diet today. Manakish are Lebanese pizzas, and they are much simpler than the Italian version. A Lebanese man’ousheh usually has only 1 topping, most commonly zaatar (thyme, sumac, sesame seeds, salt and olive oil) or a white cheese like akkawi, hallloumi or a mixture of both. Have a read here to read my earlier post to get a good idea about this Lebanese breakfast. The ones in the photo are made with akkawi cheese manakish and are most delicious when freshly baked. The cheese would still be stringy and stretchy and moist. We eat it with fresh cucumbers, tomatoes and mint. Have a look at the video to see these wonders getting baked.

Recently, I was invited to my friend, author and TV show host Barbara Abdeni Massaad’s for lunch, where we had a taste of her man’oushe. That was a great privilege, since Barbara actually wrote the book on the man’oushe, literally! Have a look at her wonderful book, entitled Man’oushe, Inside the Street Corner Lebanese Bakery. It’s a must own if you are interested in Lebanese food or pizzas. You can find more information here.


  • Thanks for that link – I’ve been trying to get hold of this book for a while!
    Fabulous photo’s, too.
    I’m still jealous.

  • I have the book, it’s great! I have tried to recreate
    Manouche in my kitchen… But somehow it’s never the same

  • This kind of food, pizza like food are are most delicious when freshly baked. You are right, coz for me I also like the cheese being stringy and stretchy when you eat it.

  • I was told by the foremost authority on zaatar in Lebanon (he grows it in Zawtar) that when the man;ooshe is baked like this all the nutritional benefits of the zaatar are lost, and he recommended the saaj instead. Which was a big blow cause I can eat 3 zaatar manoushe per day!

  • I always jump on your blog to see your amazing posts on Lebanese food and I love that the last few have been from there. I’m pining for a Lebanese bakery near work in the city.

  • Wow Lebanese pizzas seem to be lot healthier compared to other pizzas given that they only got one topping. I would prefer the one with white cheese, though! I’m such a sucker for cheese, lol.

    Do you have other Lebanese recipes that involves a lot of cheese in it? I would definitely want to try to make one!

  • great post but these are NOT pizzas..NOR are they Lebanese pizzas,,they are glorious distinct Manaeesh/Manakish .. they are Levantine seasoned flatbreads with herbs and sesame and sometimes cheese if u insist on a western label perhaps Thyme Pies.. ps kafta is not a hamburger..kibbeh is not meatloaf etc..

  • Zaatar is such an amazingly creative invention. Getting the right amount of herbs and spices in the mix is also an art! I miss the days when we used to go as kids to the “feren” and make our own manakish bi zaatar from the zaatar mix our mothers gave us.

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