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Manti, the tiny treasures;Turkish dumplings stuffed with ground meat, in garlic yoghurt and spices

These delicious tiny treasures, Manti or Mantu, dumplings with spiced ground meat and onion, is one of the all time favorite  dishes in Turkey. In especially Anatolia, family members gather to prepare the dough and fill the tiny dough squares with the filling together; it is a bit of a labor of love, so it is great to get together for making it, and so worth the effort. The marriage of the melt-in-the-mouth dumplings with garlic yoghurt sauce and spice infused olive oil is simply irresistible. Tangy Sumac, red pepper flakes and dried mint infused in olive oil all add another layer of deliciousness and work greatly with garlic yoghurt as the sauce for manti.

Manti; delicious dumplings with gound meat filling, served with garlic yoghurt ans spices infused olive oil

Manti; delicious dumplings with ground meat filling, served with garlic yoghurt and spices infused olive oil

The word manti derives from mantu,  meaning dumplings. It is a shared culinary heritage that the nomadic Turkish tribes brought with them when they travelled from Central Asia towards Anatolia, today’s Turkey, during the 13th century.  According to Holly Chase, Turkic and Mongol horsemen on the move were supposed to have carried frozen or dried manti, which could be quickly boiled over a camp”; what a brilliant idea. These delicious dumplings are popular in most Turkic cuisines, as well as in Armenian, Caucasian, Central Asian, Afgan and Chinese Islamic cuisines.

These days you can get pre-made Manti in most supermarkets in Turkey and specialty & online stores abroad.

These days you can get pre-made Manti in most supermarkets in Turkey and specialty & online stores abroad.

These days you can easily find these delicious dumplings, manti in every supermarket in Turkey and Turkish specialty stores as well as Middle Eastern stores abroad, but there’s nothing quite like the homemade manti. In our family we make a double batch, bake the dumplings (which gives manti a nice bite) and freeze some of it for a delicious surprise later on, I highly recommend doing it. Traditionally, the filling consists of ground meat, onion and spices, though in Eastern Anatolia the crushed chickpeas with cumin and red pepper flakes are used as filling too and it is delicious vegetarian option.

Delicious, tiny treasures, Manti; Turkish dumplings with spiced ground meat filling.

Delicious, tiny treasures, Manti; Turkish dumplings with spiced ground meat filling.

I hope this scrumptious manti maybe a gift of good food, packed with history for your family and friends; it makes a wonderful, festive food to share. My best wishes to you all for the holiday season and many thanks for your very generous support to this blog, recreating, sharing the recipes and your very valuable feedback; it means so much to me. I greatly look forward to sharing many more delicious and wholesome recipes with you all in the New Year.

Fascinating Pergamum, Bergama - Turkey

Fascinating Pergamum, Bergama – Turkey

Cok Selamlar (My best wishes) and Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

Serves 4 people

Dough ingredients:

300gr/ 2 cups/ 10 ½ oz. all-purpose plain flour (plus a little extra for rolling)
1 egg, beaten
4 fl. oz. / ¼ cup water

30ml/2 tbsp. olive oil
5ml/1 tsp sea salt

For the filling:

225gr/8oz ground beef or lean ground lamb
1 onion, grated or very finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the garlic yoghurt:

500gr/2 ¼ cups thick and creamy plain yoghurt

1 -2 garlic cloves, crushed and finely chopped

Salt to taste

For the sauce:

15ml/1 tbsp. Turkish hot pepper paste, biber salcasi (give link) or tomato paste

60ml/4 tbsp. olive oil

10 ml/2 tsp. dried spearmint, kuru nane

5 ml/1 tsp. (or more) ground sumac (optional)

5 ml/ 1 tsp. (or more) Turkish red pepper flakes, chili flakes, pul biber

Preheat the oven to 180 C / 350 F

First make the dough. Sift the flour and salt into a wide bowl and make a well in the middle. Pour in the beaten egg and the water and using your hands, draw the flour into the liquid and mix to a dough. Pour in the olive oil and knead the dough for about 5-8 minutes, until it is smooth and elastic. Manti dough needs to be quite hard; cover the dough with a cling film or kitchen towel and leave to rest in a cold place or in the fridge for 30 minutes.

While the dough is resting, make the filling. Grate or finely chop the onion and combine with the ground meat. Season with salt and ground black pepper and mix well.

In a separate bowl, beat the yoghurt with the garlic and season with salt to your taste.

Spoon a little of the filling, rounded at a size of half a chickpea, into the middle of each square.

Spoon a little of the filling, rounded at a size of half a chickpea, into the middle of each square.

Cut the dough into 3 pieces. Working one piece of dough at a time (and cover the rest of the dough pieces with a damp towel in the meantime so they don’t dry out), roll the dough as thinly as you can into a sheet, on a lightly floured surface. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into small squares (roughly 2.5cm/1in). Spoon a little of the filling, rounded at a size of half a chickpea, into the middle of each square.

 

Pinch the opposite corners to form a little a little pouch and press the seams together to seal firmly.

Bake uncovered for 10 minutes, until the manti, dumplings start to get light golden.

Bake uncovered for 10 minutes, until the manti, dumplings start to get light golden.

Repeat with the rest of the dough and place the stuffed dumplings in a greased oven proof dish, stacking them next to one another. Bake uncovered for 10 minutes, until the manti, dumplings start to get light golden. Take them out of the oven and let the manti cool. You can freeze some of this baked manti in a sealed bag for up to 3 weeks.

Pour the hot water and pinch of salt to a large pan and bring to the boil. Place the baked dumplings gently to the boiling water and simmer for about 8- 10 minutes, until they are cooked. Once cooked, drain the water and return the manti to the pan. Drizzle a little oil over them so that they don’t stick together.

While manti is cooking, prepare your sauce. Heat the oil in a wide pan and add the hot pepper paste, biber salcasi or the tomato paste. Stir in the red pepper flakes, dried mint and sumac, combine well and simmer for 1-2 minutes.

Manti; delicious Turkish dumplings with spiced ground meat, served with garlic yoghurt and spices infused olive oil.

Manti; delicious Turkish dumplings with spiced ground meat, served with garlic yoghurt and spices infused olive oil.

Arrange manti on a warm serving dish and spoon the garlic yogurt over them. Then drizzle spices infused olive oil and tomato/red pepper paste sauce over the garlic yoghurt. You can decorate with extra red pepper flakes, dried mint and sumac and serve immediately.

Afiyet olsun; May you be happy and healthy with this delicious food you eat;

Ozlem

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28 Responses to Manti, the tiny treasures;Turkish dumplings stuffed with ground meat, in garlic yoghurt and spices

  1. Barbara December 18, 2013 at 12:59 pm #

    Can’t wait to have manti again when in Istanbul next year – they are delicious! Whishing you a very Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy and successful New Year dear Özlem.

    • Ozlem Warren December 18, 2013 at 4:08 pm #

      Dear Barbara, the same very wishes to you; and another one, hope our paths cross in 2014! Enjoy Istanbul and manti and best wishes for Christmas and New Year:)

  2. seniordogsabroad December 18, 2013 at 1:32 pm #

    [Marked as spam by Antispam Bee | Spam reason: Server IP]
    Özlem, We must be on some kind of a common wavelength! I was just yesterday having a conversation with my husband about mantı and how much we like it, and how hard I thought it was to make, but I’d really like to try some day, blah, blah, blah. And like a miracle, your recipe came. I’ve decided to give it a try on New Year’s Day. Should be a fun thing to do and my husband can help. (He also likes to cook.) BTW, I made your bulgar and patlıcan pilav last week. Awesome! Your blog has really been a blessing. I’ve learned so much about how to make good Turkish food. Can’t thank you enough. Yes, here’s to seeing you in 2014. Take care and Mutlu Yıllar.

    • Ozlem Warren December 18, 2013 at 4:07 pm #

      Merhaba Jolee, always a pleasure to get your note, glad we have been both on the manti zone :) hope you have fun making these, it’s comforting playing with the dough and making manti, especially if you have a helper around :) so glad you enjoyed bulgur pilav with eggplants, so glad to hear – and I so can’t wait to meet you guys in 2014! Mutlu Yillar :)

  3. joyce December 18, 2013 at 2:30 pm #

    hi ozlem! i can’t wait to make these. thanks so much for the recipe! have a wonderful holiday! joyce

    • Ozlem Warren December 18, 2013 at 4:05 pm #

      Hi Joyce, have fun making these tiny treasures:) happy holidays to you too!:)

  4. Joy (My Traveling Joys) December 18, 2013 at 5:08 pm #

    Oh I wish you could whisk yourself over here and make me some manti too. I’ve caught a nasty sinus cold and I think these would cure me right up! ;-) Or if I had a nearby “gunluk yufka” place too would be nice!

    Have a wonderful new year too!

    • Ozlem Warren December 19, 2013 at 5:52 pm #

      Greatly wished we were close too Joy, big virtual get well soon wishes to you and my best wishes for 2014!:)

  5. Peri December 19, 2013 at 4:07 am #

    Dear Ozlem, this looks magnificent! Love the savory flavors of ground meat in a dough topped with yogurt…each bite must a delight on the taste buds:) have a wonderful and happy holiday season. XxPeri.

    • Ozlem Warren December 19, 2013 at 5:52 pm #

      Thank you dear Peri, glad you enjoyed this festive dish, hope we can share a bite together sometime soon : ) My best wishes to you all for the festive season, xx Ozlem

  6. Joanne T Ferguson December 19, 2013 at 4:18 am #

    G’day Ozlem! Your Manti recipe and photos look so YUM today, true!
    Wish I could come through the screen (bringing a coffee or tea) and we could have a chat while I try some of this too!
    Cheers! Joanne
    Thanks for continuing to inspirw me via What’s On The List
    http://bit.ly/18SNnJf

    • Ozlem Warren December 19, 2013 at 5:51 pm #

      You’re so right Jonanne, how I wished we could do that too – glad you enjoyed it, many thanks for stopping by!

  7. Emrullah Gümüştaş December 19, 2013 at 8:17 am #

    Merhaba Özlem Hanım.

    Kayseri mantısını Türk mantısı olarak göstermeniz yerine diğer çeşitlerimizden de örnekler gösterseniz iyi olurdu.
    Kayseri mantısının özgünlüğü içinde bol soğan ve az et ile etin hemen çürüyerek yumuşaması ve çabuk pişen hamuruyla birlikte yumuşamasıdır. Aslında mutfağımızda mantı harcının pişirilerek yapıldığını belirtmek isterim. Diğer mantı çeşitlerimizde çok renkli ulusal yapımız içinde Hınkal ve Ruslardan geçen bazı tiplerde önemli bir yer arz etmektedir. Dünya mantıları içinde ise mantılarımızın en küçükleri olması ve sarımsaklı yoğurt ile servis edilmesi özelliğini de hatırlatmak istedim. Hepinizin eline koluna sağlık.

    • Ozlem Warren December 19, 2013 at 5:50 pm #

      Merhabalar, degerli mesajiniz icin cok tesekkur ederim, sayfama hosgeldiniz. Blogumda mutfagimizi ve yoresel mutfaklari elimden geldigince tanitmaya ozen gosteriyorum – Kayseri yaglamasi, Antakya mutfagindan ornekler gibi-. Ne zengin bir mutfagimiz var, diger manti cesitlerimize de bolgumda seve seve yer vermek isterim. Size katiliyorum, sarimsakli yogurt mantinin olmazsa olmazi, bende bunu vurgulamaya calistim. Yeniden degerli bilgiler ve katiliminiz icin tesekkur ederim. Selamlar, Ozlem

  8. BacktoBodrum December 19, 2013 at 8:53 am #

    [Marked as spam by Antispam Bee | Spam reason: Server IP]
    Now I know where I have gone wrong in the past, I didn’t bake my mantı for 10 minutes. Time to try again. Thank you.

    • Ozlem Warren December 19, 2013 at 5:56 pm #

      If you like a bite to your manti rather than really soft, a little baking first really helps – and you can freeze some after this stage to use later; hope you enjoy it:)

  9. Alan December 19, 2013 at 9:24 am #

    treasure indeed! J and I always seek out the little manti houses when on our travels – they are facinating places to be with mother and daughters beavering away in between dishing out steaming bowls of delicious manti. Gosh! My taste-buds are going crazy!

    • Ozlem Warren December 19, 2013 at 5:54 pm #

      Lucky you Alan, enjoy all these wonderful manti stops, they’re the real deal :) My best wishes to you and J and hope to meet up in 2014 :)

  10. Phil in the Kitchen December 20, 2013 at 4:41 pm #

    I’m definitely not a horseman but I’d love these. That sauce sounds so good – a great combination of flavours.

    • Ozlem Warren December 23, 2013 at 12:24 pm #

      Thank you Phil, the olive oil infused spice sauce and garlic yoghurt complement the manti very well, and brings out the flavors, glad you enjoyed it.

  11. cali December 24, 2013 at 12:03 pm #

    Omg! Thanks for posting this, one of my favorite Turkish foods. When I was in Kappadokya, we had manti at a restauraunt and it was topped with some type of cheese in addition to the yogurt sauce. Do you know what kind of cheese that might be? It wasmt melted but more like small chunks. It might have been feta but it wasn’t as sour. Are there variations of manti that are garnished with cheese? It was the best manti that I tried in all of Turkey.

    • Ozlem Warren December 26, 2013 at 3:21 pm #

      Merhaba Cali, glad you enjoyed manti and that you may have a go making your own; traditionally, we wouldn’t put cheese over manti; just garlicky yoghurt and spices with a tomato based sauce, so I am curious the one you enjoyed in Kapadokya. Perhaps it was something like cokelek – crumbled mild flavoured sort of feta cheese? – Whatever it was, so glad you enjoyed it!

      • Cali December 26, 2013 at 6:53 pm #

        Hi Ozlem

        I am now thinking that maybe it was the quality of the yogurt. I made the manti recipe yesterday and boy was it a long process! I still have one dough ball left to do. I ran into one little problem. After I cut the squares and started to add the filling one by one, by the time I finished the dough was pretty dried out. For the second ball, I covered the squares with a towl and put the filling on a few at a time and this helped to keep them from drying out. When I was shaping the dumplings, the dough would stick to my fingers a bit but it was difficult to get the edges to stick together to form the shapes so my poor manti came out deformed. Any suggestions for making the dough seal up? The dish still came out delicious with the sauce and I’m not too bummed considering it was my first time but I hope to perfect it. Thanks!

        • Ozlem Warren December 28, 2013 at 5:27 pm #

          Merhaba Cali, thanks so much for your feedback; manti is a very special meal though it is a labor of love and yes, takes quite a bit of time – that’s why I love it the way it is done in Anatolia, where friends and family gather together to prepare and fill the dough pieces, you need that extra pair of hands!- I would definetely recommend keeping the rest of the dough balls under damp towel so that it won’t dry out. When you’re filling the little pieces and sticking the ends together, speed is important so that the dough won’t dry out. You may like to have a little bowl of water with a dash of olive oil next to you when you are forming the dumplings. If you have difficulty sealing the dumplings, you may damp your fingers a little and that can help with sealing – not too much though otherwise it may get soggy.
          I am so impressed you gave it a go and that you enjoyed it. I am sure you will perfect it the next time – please let me know if I can help further, many thanks again for the feedback.

          • Cali December 28, 2013 at 7:35 pm #

            Merhaba Ozlem!

            I will definitely let you know and will try the olive oil water dip. Thanks for your help and keep up the good work with your blog. I love the recipes and the photos are beautiful and VERY helpful. I own a really good cookbook called The Sultans Kitchen. The only pet peeve of mines is that he doesn’t have more photos especially for recipes that could use step by step photos. So I really would like to thank you for that! I always look forward to the recipes that you post. : )

          • Ozlem Warren December 29, 2013 at 11:33 am #

            Merhaba Cali: ) So very kind of you, thank you! I greatly appreciate the feedback and interaction with you all, I am so glad you’re enjoying the recipes – I agree with you; photos are a big part of the recipes, they are the visual translation of what goes on in the recipe, very glad they help. Look forward to sharing more recipes soon – many thanks again for your kind note : ) Cok Selamlar, Ozlem

  12. Sarah January 2, 2014 at 1:21 am #

    Dear Özlem,

    Thank you so much for this recipe and your blog. I have eaten them a long time ago at a friend’s home and she told me how difficult it was to make. I made them with your recipe for NYE as a surprise to my turkish husband. And it was a hit!! I couldn’t believe I made them! They tasted just as the ones I ate in Turkey :) Cannot wait to try new recipes. Içli köfte is the next one ;)

    • Ozlem Warren January 2, 2014 at 7:35 pm #

      Merhaba Sarah : ) Thank you so much for your kind note – so glad to hear you enjoyed my manti recipe, no better compliment:) it is a special dish and well done you! I hope you enjoy icli kofte – do let me know if I can help out:) Many thanks again! Ozlem

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