A dish similar to a dumpling, Turkish Manti is a traditional and popular Turkish dish that is often known as Turkish ravioli with yoghurt. It comes in various forms from tiny to large pieces. It is really difficult to describe this dish as it has similarities with a dumpling, tortellini, and ravioli, which all has varying sizes and a meat filling. It can also be served fresh or dried and then boiled for a quick meal later.
It has been thought that the dish originally came from Central Asia. It was brought to Turkey when the migrating Turks returned from Mongolia and brought this dish with them as a quick meal throughout their journey back home. It was also known as Tatar böregi as it was brought by the nomadic Mongols and Turks. Today, the most famous Turkish Manti is Kayseri Manti. This dish consists of tiny Manti (dumplings), which are served with oil mixed with tomato paste and garlic yoghurt.
Though it is time consuming to make a Turkish Manti dish, it is fun to make for the entire family or friends. Also, with its taste, the dish is worth the effort and time.
The main ingredients of making the pasta for Manti include 3 cups of plain flour, 1 piece of egg, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 2 to 3 cups of lukewarm water. The ingredients for its filling include 250 grams of minced beef or lamb, 1 medium finely chopped onion, salt and pepper, yoghurt sauce, 3 cups of plain or Greek yoghurt, 3 to 4 cloves of crushed garlic, pepper oil, 4 to 5 tablespoons of butter or olive oil, and 2 teaspoons of red pepper flakes. For an alternative oil topping, the following are needed: 4 to 5 tablespoons of butter or olive oil, 1 tablespoon of tomato paste, 2 to 3 teaspoons of Pul Bibber or Paprika, and 1 to 2 tablespoons of water.
To make the pasta for the Manti, mix the flour, salt and egg in a bowl. Add a little water at a time to form the dough. Avoid making the dough wet and if needed, add a little more flour to make it firm. When it is ready, knead the dough for 10 minutes and then cover it with a clean damp cloth or towel. Let it rest for about 15 minutes.
While waiting for the dough to rise, prepare the filling. Mix the minced lamb or beef with seasoning and onion. Mix them thoroughly to make sure that the mixture is smooth like a Kofte. Set it aside.
Dust the work area and cut the dough into 4 pieces and roll each piece as thin as possible. Cut each sheet of the dough into squares. The squares can be big or small. Place a small amount of filling inside each square. Pinch all corners of the square together or simply fold one corner to make a triangle. Once all squares are filled, boil water in a pot and add salt. Add the Manti to the boiling water and stir them occasionally. Let it cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until the Manti is soft.
Prepare the topping while waiting for the pasta to cook. Mix yoghurt and crushed garlic together in a bowl. Also, lightly toast the pepper flakes in a butter or olive oil in a pan. Do not let it burn. Drain the Manti and place it in a serving bowl. Pour over the yoghurt and garlic mixture and drizzle over the pepper oil and serve it while warm. Mint and thyme can also be sprinkled over the Manti before serving.