x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Food obsession: sujuk manousheh

Contrary to its simple za'atar and cheese cousin, the sujuk manousheh at BtoB is a spicy mystery that will leave your tastebuds guessing.

Sujuk manousheh. Courtesy Sheban Naim
Sujuk manousheh. Courtesy Sheban Naim

Whenever we have guests in Dubai, my family assumes the solemn duties of hosts, drivers, towel-changers, metro advisers, city tour guides, storytellers, bargain-shopping mentors and, most seriously, advocates of Lebanese manakish (singular, manousheh). To us, that last duty is of paramount importance, with us ensuring that the guest has barely a night of sleep before they are introduced to a crispy, fresh-baked breakfast pizza, matted generously with briny akkawi cheese and fragrant za’atar herbs.

A recent discovery has been the sujuk manousheh. Unlike its reticent, folded-up za’atar cousin, this Lebanese cheese pie arrives unabashedly wide open, flashing its juicy red beef right in your face. Gooey strings of akkawi cheese remain loyally knotted to the manousheh, pulling back the baby meteorites of beefy sujuk from shooting off the plate. This piping-hot cheese and beef tug-of-war is precariously poised over my preferred “light crust”, a delicate, crispier version of the original.

The spices that go into the Breakfast to Breakfast ground beef sujuk are a mystery to me. I may pin the sour flavour and bloody red colour down to sumac on one visit, fight for the presence of cumin and allspice on a second, and then bet on paprika by the third, confident that the peppery spice is guilty for a faint trace of heat in the aftermath of every bite. I have pestered the servers, only to be dismissed with a thoroughly unbelievable and almost blasphemous response that the sujuk contains Tabasco. I may never get to the bottom of the elusive spice mix, but should you ever be my guest someday, don’t be shocked if I commission your tastebuds for a spice inquisition of my sujuk manousheh too.

Breakfast to Breakfast has multiple locations but my go-to spot is in Deira, 04 222 3566

 

Arva Ahmed blogs about hidden food gems in Old Dubai at www.ILiveinaFryingPan.com