Manti is common in most Turkish cuisines as well as in South Caucasus, Central Asia, Afghanistan, Balkans, Bukharan Jews, and Chinese Muslims cuisines. Manti is also eaten nowadays in Russia and other post-Soviet countries, where the dish has spread from the Central Asian republics.
Typically, the dumplings consist of a mixture of spiced meat, usually lamb. Some recipes also use ground beef in a dough wrapper that is either boiled or steamed. Based on the geographical region, the size and shape differ greatly.
Manti reflects the Chinese jiaozi and baozi, Korean mandu, Mongolian buuz, and Tibetan momo. The name of the dish is cognizant of the Korean mandu, Chinese mantu, and Japanese manjū, though the Chinese and Japanese equivalents refer to different dishes.
About Turkish Manti Dumplings
Every square is loaded with a mixture of ground beef, onion, and spices, and shaped like a small pouch, pinched at the end. Shortly afterward, the manti dumplings are fried or cooked in salted water and drizzled with a white sauce and a red sauce providing freshness and spiciness.
Since making manti is time-consuming, most Turkish women get together and turn it into a collective activity that makes planning both easier and more fun. The major feature of Turkish manti is that in Asian and European cuisines, they are considerably smaller than their ravioli-like relatives.
In Afghan cooking, the mantu is filled with beef or lamb combined with thin onions and spices, steamed and then covered with a very traditional sauce of yogurt, dried or fresh mint, lemon juice, and thin or pressed garlic.
Usually, the mantu are often served with a very small quantity of tomato-based sauce that can contain split peas, red kidney beans, and/or some ground meat sautéed. However, the quantity of yogurt sauce is much larger than the tomato sauce.
Unlike the Central Asian varieties, manti are usually boiled or baked rather than steamed like they are in Anatolia and Transcaucasia. For more international snack recipes, click here.
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