The first time I tried Manti it was at a small Afghan restaurant called Kabul. I know, why am I calling them Turkish dumplings when I ate them in an Afghan restaurant? Although the origin of Manti is unknown many researchers agree that they were brought from Central Asia along the Silk Road to China and what is now known as Turkey by the Turkic people. Whether you want to call them Turkish Dumplings, Afghan Dumplings or even Russian Dumplings, it is up to your own discretion.
These little bite-sized pockets of meat wrapped in dough and served with a rich tomato sauce that reminded me of fancy Spaghetti Bolognaise which took me back to fond memories of my childhood, I knew I had to recreate my own version.
This isn’t a recipe for a quick weeknight dinner, instead, it’s more of an invite your friends over and make dumplings whilst you gossip or if you’re like me and prefer to cook alone put on some dreamy Gordon Ramsay and get to work. Making Manti is easy but time-consuming. The rolling and cutting of the dough and shaping the dumplings takes up the majority of the time. The dumplings are typically made really small if you want to save some time make larger sized Manti.
I used a mix of lamb and beef mince so the dumplings didn’t taste as fatty, the filling is kept simple with onion, parsley, and seasoning. This really lets the taste of the Turkish pepper paste and garlic yogurt shine. After wrapping the dumplings I baked them to add a nice crunchy element to the top whilst the rest of the dumpling remained soft and silky. For the finishing touch top off with a generous sprinkling of dried mint and sumac.
- 4 long red chilis, char grilled
- 1 red capsicum, char grilled
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 140g tomato paste
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup water
- 250 grams lamb mince
- 250 grams beef mince
- 1 brown onion, diced
- 1 handful parsley, diced
- 1/2 cup greek yogurt
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- dried mint
To char grill the chili and capsicum* just place over an open flame turn every so often for 10 minutes. Place the capsicum into a plastic zip lock bag and let steam for 5 minutes, take out of the bag and remove the blacked skin. Dice the chili and capsicum up and place into a blender with the olive oil, sugar, and salt. Blend until a smooth puree, place into a saucepan and let cook for an hour over low to medium heat stirring every so often, until a thick paste forms.
Place flour onto a bench or mixing bowl and make a well in the center, sprinkle with salt. Crack an egg into the middle and with a fork begin to slowly work the egg into the flour, slowly add in the water and then begin to knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 20 minutes.
n a mixing bowl add in the beef, lamb, onion, and parsley. Season and then mix until everything is incorporated.
Flour the work surface and roll out the dough until as thin as you can get it. Use a ruler to cut off any uneven edges and then measure and cut out even sized squares. With the rolling pin, roll the squares until paper thin.
To fill, place a small ball of meat mixture into the center of the dumpling skin, wet the edges and then fold opposite ends towards each other to form a little pouch, seal the edges.
Place the dumplings onto a lined baking tray and into a 180°c preheated oven for 10-15 minutes.
For the garlic yogurt, mix together the greek yogurt with minced garlic and a little seasoning.
Place the pepper paste into a frypan with the tomato paste, stir and cook until heated through.
Once the dumplings are cooked, place onto a serving plate. Spoon over the pepper paste and drizzle on the garlic yogurt. Generously sprinkle with dried mint and sumac.
*store brought capsicum would work perfectly fine as well, use the whole jar.
Reading can be so boring, watch the full video of me making Manti here!