Vegetarian Manti with sautéed onions, chickpeas and spices
Here is my vegetarian manti, Turkish dumplings, with sautéed onions and chickpeas, a popular variation especially enjoyed in Central Anatolia, Turkey. Sautéed onions add a delicious natural sweetness and moisture to the earthy chickpeas. Warm, pungent cumin is made for chickpeas, and with a lovely heat from pul biber, they make a great vegetarian filling. I made these manti dumplings a bit bigger than my previous manti, hence easier to make and equally tasty. I hope you enjoy them as much as we did.
Recipe type: Vegetarian Manti
Cuisine: Turkish cuisine
Serves: 4
  • Dough ingredients:
  • 300g/10 ½ oz. all-purpose plain flour (plus a little extra for rolling)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 115ml /4fl.oz water
  • 30ml/2tbsp olive oil
  • 5ml/1tsp sea salt
  • For the filling:
  • 1 onion, very finely chopped
  • 30ml/2tbsp olive oil (to sauté the onions)
  • 400g/14oz cooked (can of) chickpeas, rinsed
  • Small bunch of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 30ml/2tbsp olive oil (to knead the filling mixture)
  • 10ml/2tsp ground cumin
  • 5ml/1tsp pul biber or red pepper flakes
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • For the garlic yoghurt:
  • 400g/14oz 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 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
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C / 350 F
  2. 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 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.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat the yoghurt with the garlic and season with salt to your taste. Cover and set aside to bring to room temperature.
  4. While the dough is resting, make the filling. Finely chop the onion. Heat the 30ml/2tbsp olive oil in a heavy, wide pan and stir in the onions. Sauté for 8 minutes over medium heat, stirring often. Season with salt and ground black pepper and mix well. Stir in the chopped parsley and combine well, turn the heat off to cool.
  5. Place the cooked and rinsed chickpeas in a large bowl. Mash them with a potato masher (I like to go hands on and mash and knead with my hands but if you find this labour intensive, you can mash in a food processor too). Stir in the cooled sautéed onions, 30ml/2 tbsp olive oil, cumin, pul biber or red pepper flakes. Season with salt and ground black pepper (this filling needs good seasoning, and its being vegetarian, you can taste the filling and adjust the seasoning to your taste). With clean hands, knead the mixture for a couple of minutes and combine well. The filling is ready.
  6. Cut the dough into 3 balls. Working one piece of dough at a time (and cover the rest of the dough balls with a cling film 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 4cm/1 ½ in). Spoon a teaspoon of the filling, rounded at a size of 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. Make sure to lightly flour your hands if handling the dough becomes sticky, so that you can seal the manti well.
  7. Repeat with the rest of the dough and place the stuffed dumplings in a greased oven proof dish, stacking them next to one another in one layer. Bake uncovered for 8 - 10 minutes, until the manti, dumplings start to get a light golden colour. Take them out of the oven and let the manti cool. You can freeze some of this baked manti at this point, in a sealed bag for up to 3 weeks.
  8. 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.
  9. 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 pul biber or red pepper flakes, dried mint and sumac, combine well and simmer for 1-2 minutes.
  10. Arrange manti on a serving dish and spoon the garlic yogurt over them. Then drizzle spices infused olive oil with the tomato/red pepper paste sauce over the garlic yoghurt. You can decorate with extra red pepper flakes, dried mint and sumac and serve immediately.
  11. Afiyet Olsun.
Recipe by Ozlem's Turkish Table at