Manti are small Turkish filled dumplings. They are also popular throughout Central Asia and Armenia. There are several variations depending on the family and region. They can vary in size from about 1/2 inch to much larger (mostly in the Central Asian cuisines). These particular Manti are filled with seasoned lamb (or beef) and are about an inch across. They are topped with yogurt and a seasoned butter sauce. This is definitely a more time consuming dish, but is fun to make with a friend!
Smaller dumplings seem to be more difficult to fold. It takes a bit of practice to keep from overfilling them and being able to pinch the seams together. If you can’t get the 1 1/2 inch squares to work, increase the size to about 2 inches. With practice, try to work down to 1 inch squares. In Turkey, the size of your Manti, the smaller the better, is used as a way to highlight your skill in the kitchen.
For the pasta dough, I used a pasta machine and rolled the dough to the thinnest setting. You can also hand roll on a floured surface and try to get it as thin as possible.
Don’t skimp on the yogurt paprika butter topping. The dumpling filling isn’t highly seasoned, so the topping definitely makes the dish.
This Manti recipe uses yogurt and paprika mint seasoned butter as a topping. Tomato sauce and sumac are also popular or you can mix some garlic paste into the yogurt.
Manti (Turkish Dumplings)
Adapted from Turkey: More than 100 Recipes, with Tales from the Road
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water
14 ounces ground lamb or beef
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons dried mint
1/2-1 teaspoon dried chili flakes
2 cups Greek yogurt
In the bowl of a large food processor or a large bowl, combine flour and salt.
In a small bowl, beat together eggs and water. Process or mix into the flour mixture until dough comes together. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough until smooth and elastic. Lightly grease a medium bowl with oil. Add the dough, turning to coat, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
In a large bowl, combine lamb, onion, garlic, salt, and pepper.
Quarter the rested dough. Place one quarter on work surface and cover the remaining with a damp dish towel. On a floured surface or using a pasta machine, roll the dough into a paper thin rectangle. Cut the dough into 1 1/2-2 inch squares. Place about 1/2 teaspoon of the lamb mixture into the center of each square. Fold all the edges over the filling and pinch to keep them together. Pinch to seal the seams over the filling. Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet or counter in a single layer. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.
Fill a large pot with salted water and place over high heat. Once boiling, add the dumplings in batches, being careful not to overcrowd. Cook until they float and the meat is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon, draining well, and transfer to serving bowls. Repeat with remaining dumplings.
In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium high heat. Once it is melted and starting to sizzle, add paprika, mint, and chili flakes. Cook until fragrant and the butter begins to foam, about 30 seconds. Remove from heat.
Top the Manti with Greek yogurt and pour the butter. Serve immediately.