The food Manti is a type of dumpling popular in most Turkish cuisines, as well as in the cuisines of the South Caucasus, Central Asia, Afghanistan, and Chinese Muslims. Nowadays, manti are also consumed throughout Russia and other post-Soviet countries, as it has gained acceptance in these countries of the world. In the long list of the very tasty Turkish cuisines, Manti has a staple food and the highly satisfying dish that always brings almost all family members on one table. Most times Mantı tends to remind you of ravioli at first sight, but this traditional Turkish dish is completely unique in taste and texture. The size and shape of this unique dish may vary significantly depending on the geographical location.
Manti stands out with a unique name in various regions and countries. The name, depending on the language, can refer to a single dumpling, or to more than one dumpling at a time; in English, it is often used as both a singular and plural form. Manti is one of those dishes you could tag as ‘sacred for the special day’, considering that it takes a valuable piece of time to prepare and in most part of the Asian continent, it stands out as one of the few meals for the festive moments.
Throughout Turkey, many varieties of mantı can be found in varying sizes. Circassians make bigger mantı pieces and fill them with potatoes—this dish is called psıhalıve. In the Trakya region, there are versions of mantı filled with goose meat called kuru mantı (dry mantı)—this variety is not served with yogurt, that’s why it’s considered dry. Another Trakya version, sulu mantı (watery mantı), is also filled with goose meat and is served with yogurt and additional goose meat on top. Thracians use local geese for meat and water buffalo milk for the butter and yogurt. Considering the ingredients used in the preparation of Manti, you could think of mantı as some kind of dumplings.
Most people in the Asian part of the world belong to the school of thought that, homemade Manti gives the consumer both the required satisfaction and the sumptuous mouthwatering taste he can never forget, although, how true this is, can only be ascertained by the consumer.
Ingredients used to prepare Manti include:
- 2 cups flour
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon water, or as needed
- 2 onions, peeled
- 1/2-pound ground beef
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 (8 ounce) container plain yogurt
Procedure/ How to Prepare:
- Combine the flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Add the eggs and water, mixing well with your hands. Add more water, if needed, to form a soft dough. Cover and set aside for at least 30 minutes.
- Shred the onions and place them in a colander or sieve set over a bowl; drain the juice and discard. Combine the onion, ground beef, salt, and pepper; mix the meat well with a spoon until mashed.
- Divide the dough into two portions and lightly flour a work surface. Keep one piece of dough covered while you roll out the second portion into a rectangle, rolling the dough as thin as you can. Cut the rectangle into 2-inch squares with a knife or pastry wheel.
- Place about 2 teaspoons of the meat filling in the center of each square. Seal the dumplings by gathering the edges of the dough and pinching them together at the top to form a bundle. Transfer the finished manti to a floured plate, and sprinkle more flour over the manti to prevent sticking. Repeat with the second piece of dough.
- Heat the oil and red pepper flakes in a small skillet over low heat just until the pepper flakes have started to color the oil; don’t let them burn. Remove from the heat and keep warm. Stir the minced garlic into the yogurt and set aside.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat, and cook the manti until the filling is no longer pink, and the dough is tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Drain well. Divide the manti among four plates. Spoon the yogurt sauce over the manti and drizzle each serving with the hot pepper oil.
It is very true that food continues to remain a vital need of man but it should never be forgotten that a good meal always has its way of creating a great experience for man.