Manti or simply dumplings are popular in most Turkic cuisines, as well as in Caucasian, Central Asian, and Chinese Islamic cuisines, closely related to the East Asian buuz, baozi, jiaozi, mantou, and mandu, and to the Nepali momo.
These particular dumplings are the ones the we do in our family – steamed, with minced lamb or beef and are of average size (not as small as Kayseri manti, but not that big as Uzbek manti).
To make these dumplings, you will need a steamer pot.
First, make a dough from just 4 ingredients – flour, eggs, water and salt.
I personally prefer mixing dry ingredients into wet as I can better control the stickiness and softness of the dough. The dough should be elastic but not sticky.
Next, making filling. Add any spices and herbs you like. I think mint goes perfectly with red meat and just pinch of cinnamon gives that sophisticated taste and flavour.
And of course you can’t go without black pepper – I use coarse black pepper.
Roll out the dough in a thin sheet (or couple of sheets) about 2 mm thick. Use a pizza cutter or a knife to cut into 7-10 cm squares. Place a teaspoonful of the filling in the middle of each square.
Now, use your fingers to bring the opposite corners up to meet on top, and then pinch together two corners that are next to each other.
While you are making the dumplings they start drying out – just brush them with a little sunflower oil.
Now, make this delicious red pepper and tomato dressing. Roast peppers in the hot oven, then take the skin off and seeds out and blitz using a stick blender. Mix in the remaining ingredients. You can store it for up to a week in a jar in a fridge.
Serve the manti on a shallow plate with yogurt and red pepper and tomato dressing and sprinkle over chopped fresh parsley.
Caucasian Manti With Red Pepper And Tomato Dressing
- 1 egg
- ~80 ml lukewarm water
- ~200 g plain flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 300 g minced lamb or beef
- 1/2 large onion, finely chopped
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- 1 tsp dried mint
- 1/2 tsp ground paprika
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp coarse black pepper
- generous pinch of cinnamon
- 2 large red bell pepper
- chili pepper (grated from frozen), to taste
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tsp dried mint
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- plain yogurt
- salt to taste
- a little bit of water
- Crack the egg in a measuring cup, pour lukewarm water until hit the mark 100ml. Whisk slightly.
- In a separate bowl combine flour and salt.
- Combine dry ingredients with wet to make an elastic dough. Leave to rest for 30 min.
- Meanwhile, make the filling by combining minced meat, chopped onion and all herbs and spices.
- Roll the dough in a thin sheet (or couple of sheets) about 2 mm thick.
- Cut into 7-10 cm squares.
- Place 1 heaped teaspoon of the filling in the centre of each square. Bring the opposite corners up to meet on top. Pinch together two corners that are next to each other.
- Continue until all the dough and filling is used.
- Bring water to a boil in a steamer pot. Grease tiers with a little sunflower oil.
- Put the dumplings on the tiers, put into a steamer pot and simmer for ~35 min.
- Meanwhile make the red pepper and tomato dressing.
- Preheat the oven to 220C. Roast the peppers for 25 min until soften.
- Remove from the oven and leave until cool enough to handle.
- Remove the charred skins, stalks and seeds.
- Using a stick blender, blitz the peppers, then mix in the remaining ingredients.
- For the yogurt dressing, combine a little bit of water and yogurt. Season with salt.
- Serve the manti on a shallow plate with yogurt and red pepper and tomato dressing. Sprinkle over chopped fresh parsley.