October 9, 2018mayurisjikoni




Manakeesh, Manakish, Manaeesh, Manaqish or in singular form Manousheh is the Middle East’s version of a pizza. It is usually topped with herbs, cheese or minced meat and can be served for breakfast or lunch. Very popular in Syria, Lebanon and the Arab Peninsula. Traditionally, the women would bake them in a communal oven early in the morning in time for breakfast. Manaqish is the plural word of the Arabic word manqūshah which means to crave out or sculpt. The dough is rolled into a flat shape and then pressed by fingertips to create dips in which the topping lies in.

The cheese usually used for the topping is a soft white cheese called Akawi. I decided to use a popular topping, zaatar. Zaatar is a spice mixture which consists of thyme or oregano, sumac, sesame seeds, coriander powder, cumin powder and salt. Sometimes chili flakes are added. I had some ready made zaatar so I used that.

Serve Manakeesh Anytime

Though a popular breakfast bread, Manakeesh can be served with a main dish, soup or enjoyed on their own with a variety of freshly sliced vegetables like cucumber, onion, or tomatoes and olives or even meat. Modern day version of manakeesh has a topping of chocolate and banana.


Group Bread Bakers

Every month enthusiastic bakers get together to bake a bread/flatbread according to the theme. Members of the group take turns to suggest the theme. It is because of this group, I have discovered different breads or flatbreads world over.


This Month’s Theme: Middle Eastern Breads

This month Karen who blogs at Karen’s Kitchen Stories suggested Middle Eastern Breads. Did I mention that Karen is a fantastic fantastic bread baker? Oh yes she is and if you don’t believe me please check out her blog.

Middle Eastern Breads

I find Middle Eastern Breads so different in taste and flavours from the other breads. That is why I knew, come what may I have to participate in this theme. Actually, I am so busy doing 26 Indian Flatbreads for the group Blogging Marathon so was not sure whether I would manage. Baking or preparing flatbreads is the easy part. It is writing the posts on time that is difficult.

But, manage I did as I really wanted to try Manakeesh. I was beating the clock or well the days to get 26 flatbreads and the manakeesh ready before I travelled. We reached a point where hubby was screaming “make some rice, please!” Told him he could have all the rice he wants after my flatbeads were ready. You see it is only him, me and occasionally the neighbours who sample all the food that I cook.

Two days before travelling, I decided to bake Manakeesh. Hubby was up in arms! Forget it, he said. And I persevered. Manakeesh was baked and served with his favourite Leek Potato Soup.  which sort of pacified him. We women sure know how to please everyone:)


Check out what kind of Middle Eastern Breads other Bread Bakers have made:


Ingredients Required For Manakeesh

As I was leaving soon for India, I decided to make a small batch. Its the first time that I’ve made a dough for any bread that is so little! However, it was much easier to handle and knead. Double the recipe to make 8 pieces.

Also feel free to add a topping of your choice like white cheese, minced meat, etc. As akawi is not available readily in most countries, feta cheese makes a good substitute.

  • Flour – all purpose flour, plain flour
  • Water – normal tap water, warm
  • Yeast – I have used instant dry active yeast. This doesn’t need to be fermented in warm liquid before adding to the dough.
  • Salt – for the dough
  • Olive Oil – use a good quality one as you want that lovely flavour from it. To add in the dough, greasing and for the topping.
  • Za’atar Spice Mixture – it is quite easy to get this mixture in most Middle Eastern Shops. Or Google to make some at home as it is pretty easy. I had some gifted to my by my son, so used ready made one.



Manakeesh, Manakish, Manaeesh, Manaqish or in singular form Manousheh is the Middle East's version of a pizza. It is usually topped with herbs, cheese or minced meat and can be served for breakfast or lunch. Very popular in Syria, Lebanon and the Arab Peninsula.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Fermenting Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Course Breakfast, Lunch, Snack
Cuisine Middle Eastern
Servings 4



  • cups plain flour all purpose flour
  • ½ cup warm water
  • tsp instant dry active yeast
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil


  • 3-4 tbsp za'atar spice
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • extra oil for greasing
  • extra flour for dusting



  • Mix flour, salt and yeast in a big bowl.
  • Add oil and rub it into the flour.
  • Add water and make a soft dough.
  • Dust the worktop with little flour and knead the dough for 5 -7 minutes till it becomes smooth and silky.
  • Grease the bowl with oil.
  • Shape the dough into a round ball.
  • Rub oil over it.
  • Place in the bowl. Cover with a damp tea towel or a lid.
  • Let the dough rise for 45 minutes or till it is double the size.


  • Grease your hands and gently punch down the dough using your knuckles.
  • Knead the dough gently and divide it into 4 parts.
  • Roll each part into a ball.
  • Cover with a tea towel and let it them rest for 10-15 minutes.
  • Grease a baking tray with some oil.


  • Mix the zaatar and olive oil together.


  • Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  • Dust the worktop with some flour.
  • Take one part of the dough and roll it out or shape it into a circle using your hands. Make it a circle about 5 inches in diameter.
  • Place the rolled dough on the baking tray. Using your fingertips, make small indentations all over the rolled dough.
  • Take about a tbsp of the zaatar and olive oil mixture and spread on the rolled dough. Don't spread the mixture till the edges.
  • Repeat with the remaining dough.
  • Place the tray in the hot oven and bake the flatbread for 7-8 minutes or till the edges turn light brown.


  • Take the Manakeesh out of the oven and place them on a wire rack to cool.
  • Serve it with cheese, soup, minced meat, vegetables, olives,eggs etc.


  • make the manakeesh as small or big as you like.
  • Serve it with a topping of salad to make it a light lunch option.
  • You can pat it into shape with your hands or use a rolling pin.
  • It is best not to spread the olive oil and za'atar mixture till the edge, outside the oil will drip out.
Keyword how to make manakeesh, manakeesh recipe, manakeesh, middle eastern flatbread

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  • wendyklik

    October 9, 2018 at 4:53 pm

    I especially like the topping. These look yummy.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      October 10, 2018 at 12:33 am

      Thank you Wendy.

  • Karen

    October 10, 2018 at 5:59 am

    These look incredible. I can’t wait to bake them…. seriously! Thank you so much my dear for such sweet words!

    1. mayurisjikoni

      October 10, 2018 at 9:33 pm

      Thank you Karen and you’re most welcome.

  • Pavani

    October 11, 2018 at 12:33 am

    Oh my, those manakeesh breads look absolutely amazing. I wish I could reach into the monitor and get one 🙂 Zaatar topping makes them extra special.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      October 11, 2018 at 9:14 pm

      Thank you so much Pavani and yes I love zaatar.

  • Kalyani

    October 11, 2018 at 7:24 am

    super yummy bread, Mayuri ! and we are all cheeky (at times) for the sake of the blog :p ! so glad you could make it before you travelled out ! especially loved the topping

    1. mayurisjikoni

      October 11, 2018 at 9:13 pm

      Thank you so much Kalyani.

  • themadscientistskitchent

    October 11, 2018 at 4:09 pm

    Such a delicious bread isn’t it Mayuri? I loved the bread and the spice yum.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      October 11, 2018 at 9:10 pm

      Yes it is Archana and thank you.

  • sneha datar

    October 11, 2018 at 4:56 pm

    Love zatar spice and these topped with it look so delciious.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      October 11, 2018 at 9:10 pm

      Thanks Sneha.

  • Namita Tiwari

    October 12, 2018 at 3:07 pm

    Lovely Bread Mayuri. The topping sounds very flavourful.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      October 12, 2018 at 9:56 pm

      Thank you so much Namita.

  • Priya Suresh

    October 14, 2018 at 8:29 pm

    Such a fabulous bread there, especially i just love the flavor of Zaatar spice mix. Manakeesh looks extremely delicious and prefect to have anytime of the day. Incredibly beautiful.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      October 14, 2018 at 8:53 pm

      Thank you so much Priya.

  • Pavani

    October 15, 2018 at 1:32 am

    Very interesting and new bread recipe looks tempting and delicious. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      October 15, 2018 at 7:47 pm

      Thanks Pavani and you’re welcome.

  • Shobha Keshwani

    October 15, 2018 at 4:58 am

    We used to eat this a lot in Brazil as there were so many Lebanese restaurants there. Brazil has a large population of Lebanese immigrants.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      October 15, 2018 at 7:40 pm

      I would have never thought that Lebanese immigrants have reached as far as Brazil.

  • Soma Mukherjee.

    October 15, 2018 at 12:20 pm

    Wow Mayuri di you have enlightened us with the knowledge of so many types of bread , this manakeesh bread with zatar spice on top looks so scrumptious, delightful bake.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      October 15, 2018 at 7:34 pm

      Thank you so much Soma. Try and get the spice mixture its so flavorful.

  • Lata Lala

    October 15, 2018 at 1:01 pm

    The Manakeesh bread sounds so delectable. Loved the way you have played with spices. Wow share.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      October 15, 2018 at 7:34 pm

      Thank you so much Lata.

  • Vanitha Bhat

    October 15, 2018 at 1:30 pm

    Such simple ingredients but the bread looks exotic and super tasty! I need to get this spice mix; keep hearing a lot about it! Thanks for sharing dear 🙂

    1. mayurisjikoni

      October 15, 2018 at 7:33 pm

      Thanks Vanitha, do try the bread, its so flavourful. Try and get the avatar mixture or make it at home if you get the ingredients.

  • poonampagar

    October 15, 2018 at 2:06 pm

    This is a new dish for me di and I have never tasted a zatar spice either..but the bread looks very inviting !

    1. mayurisjikoni

      October 15, 2018 at 7:44 pm

      Thanks Poonam, zaatar is so flavorful and is used widely for cooking in the Middle East and regions around it.

  • Annapurnaz

    October 15, 2018 at 3:22 pm

    This manakeesh is looking absolutely gorgeous. I have heard so much about manakeesh and zaatar spice now that whenever I’ll get my hand on this spice, it would be the first thing to make this manakeesh

    1. mayurisjikoni

      October 15, 2018 at 7:27 pm

      Thanks Ritu, do try it, the spice is really flavorful, I use it for salads too.

  • Padma

    October 15, 2018 at 3:36 pm

    Manakeesh bread looks absolutely scrumptious…The topping sounds interesting…Can’t wait to try it out…Thanks for sharing!!

    1. mayurisjikoni

      October 15, 2018 at 7:26 pm

      Thank you so much Padma, do try it, its delicious.

  • Nisha Ramesh

    October 15, 2018 at 5:40 pm

    Your baking skills are amazing mayuri. Even I am a great fan of Middle eastern breads and they have a wonderful unique flavour. This looks so good. 🙂

    1. mayurisjikoni

      October 15, 2018 at 7:25 pm

      Thank you so much Nisha, I love baking.

  • Jolly

    October 15, 2018 at 11:31 pm

    Manakeesh bread looks absolutely flavourful, i just love the flavor of Zaatar spice mix which you used in top of your bread. You are amazing baker, whenever I got a chance to try your recipes I love try your bread recipes first. This is absolutely amazing share!!

    1. mayurisjikoni

      October 16, 2018 at 3:22 pm

      Thank you so much Jolly, I too love the zaatar spice mix.

  • Renu Agrawal Dongre

    October 18, 2018 at 7:47 pm

    Did it not taste greet. I have recently made them and loved them the most. Loved your version of bread, the colour ,the crust is making me drool.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      October 18, 2018 at 7:49 pm

      Thank you so much Renu and yes it tastes awesome. Want to bake it again 🙂

  • Riani

    February 11, 2019 at 6:10 pm

    Wonderful post
    thank you for share…

  • FoodTrails

    April 16, 2020 at 7:54 am

    Wonderful recipe.. I love such flavored breads. Looks so well baked and inviting.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      April 16, 2020 at 3:55 pm

      Thank you so much Swaty.

  • Mealsndrinks

    August 17, 2020 at 4:42 pm

    Wonderfull Recipe on BreadBakers. Thanks Dear for giving this. I am waiting for many days for this article.

  • pooja upsc

    April 7, 2021 at 6:24 pm

    This recipe is best for this coming summer..
    specially in the evening time.. thanks for sharing..
    I will definitely try this recipe for my home..!

    1. mayurisjikoni

      April 7, 2021 at 7:37 pm

      Thank you so much Pooja. Please share the photos when you make it and enjoy.

  • mobasir hassan

    May 17, 2021 at 1:13 pm

    Truly appreciate the way you made this wonderful recipe. Everything is so nicely described that really helped. Looking forward for more such yummy recipes in future too.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      May 17, 2021 at 6:57 pm

      Thank you so much Mobasir.

  • Priya Vj

    February 27, 2022 at 12:32 pm

    5 stars
    Wonderful recipe of manakeesh and as always your write up is so informative and gives an insight to various cultures and cuisines.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      February 27, 2022 at 6:04 pm

      Thank you so much Priya.

  • Jayashree T.Rao

    February 28, 2022 at 1:09 am

    5 stars
    Manakeesh looks so good, I have never had a chance to have it. But would love to try it sometime. Sounds so flavoursome with the zatar topping.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      February 28, 2022 at 8:20 pm

      Thank you Jayashree, it is a very flavourful bread and easy to make.

  • Seema Sriram

    February 28, 2022 at 1:51 am

    5 stars
    Wow, the manakeesh looks exactly store bought. We love manakeesh, so I will give this a try over the weekend.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      February 28, 2022 at 8:19 pm

      Thank you so much Seema, we too love manakeesh. Enjoy when you try out the recipe.

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