Manti

I first ate manti in the Turkish town of Konya. Tiny pasta parcels stuffed with even tinier pieces of minced lamb served with a garlicky yoghurt and melted butter. It was delicious back then in the freezing wintery weather, so when Sydney’s summer suddenly turned cold and rainy, this seemed like the perfect option for dinner. Little did I know, how fiddly they were to make. Unlike Italian ravioli, which are kept to quite manageable sizes, the smaller manti are the better. This can be problematic with clumsy big hands, which would explain why mainly the women make them in Turkey. That said, I drew up a chair and methodically made me way through them (and got a little help from my other half). They are great as a simple supper dish or starter, and freeze well too. Just make sure you put plenty of flour over them to stop them sticking.

INGREDIENTS:
Pasta:

250g plain flour
2 eggs
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon salt

Stuffing:
200g lamb mince
1 small onion (grated)
1 teaspoon paprika
salt & pepper

Sauce:
250g natural yoghurt
1 garlic clove (crushed into paste)
80g butter (unsalted)
1 teaspoon paprika

DIRECTIONS:
To make the pasta, combine all the ingredients together and bring together with your hands into a dough. Knead for 5 minutes, then cover with plastic wrap and leave for 30 minutes. Then, divide the pasta into 4 pieces and roll through a pasta machine gradually to it’s thinnest setting. Alternatively, roll with a rolling pin to about 1mm thickness. Flour and repeat with the remaining dough.

To make the filling, combine all the ingredients together with your hands and set aside.

Cut the pasta into 2cmx2cm squares and place a chick pea sized ball of meat in the centre. Bring two opposite corners of the pasta together and pinch to seal, then bring the other two corners together and pinch together. Seal the sides. You should have a neat little parcel with an “X” shape on top. Repeat with the remaining pasta and filling… this could take a while!

To make the sauce, beat the garlic into the yoghurt with a little salt and set aside.

Heat a large pan of water to a rolling boil, add salt then cook the manti for 2-3 minutes. Meanwhile melt the butter in a small pan until bubbling. Stir in the paprika and remove from the heat.

SERVING:
Divide the manti between bowls and spoon over some yoghurt. Drizzle with the paprika butter and serve immediately.

  • I’ve never had the Turkish version of Manti, but love the Armenian version, which is baked and then served in a broth:
    http://www.weheartfood.com/2007/09/manti-hooray-and-swiss-chard-with.html

    It’s an absolute favorite!

    • admin

      I loved them! Unfortunately they took about an hour to sit and make and about 2 minutes to guzzle. I wish I had a small Turkish peasant woman in my cupboard to make me them 24/7.

      I’ll be giving the Armenian version a try too. I also have recipes for Azerbaijani and Afghani versions I’d like to try for a full-on festival of Manti.

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