My Little Dumpling: Manti!

lamb manty and tea by marko boni, on Flickr

So I made the tremendous error of renaming my blog “The Dumpling Cart,” in honor of Central Asia, and my friend Richa. This of course got me searching for a good picture of manti. Which got me hungry. Below are the best recipes I found, and I’m hoping to try making manti (or at least fake manti) soon!

Uzbek Lamb Dumplings This manty recipe seems pretty standard: dumplings with lamb and onions, covered in yogurt and fresh dill or mint.

Kazakhstan Manty Soup I don’t know if this will be as good as what Namara and I had in Mongolia, but Manty soup is delicious! This recipe uses lamb or beef dumplings, simmered in a soup of spices, black-eyed peas, tomatoes, and potatoes, and served with yoghurt and dill. Tasty!

Spicy Manty for Americans In this scaled-down version for young Americans, former Peace Corps Volunteer Sheryl Abrahams recommends using wonton wrappers and frozen spinach, along with Sriracha/Rooster Sauce for heat, and cooling it down with sour cream and cream cheese on top. Seems vegetarian, but I’m sure you could add meat.

Non-“Southern” Kazakh Manti This expat returnee gives a recipe using a food processor, if you’ve got one of those. He rejects cilantro and yogurt-garlic sauce as being too “southern” for Kazakhstan. One commenter recommends fresh diced tomatoes and garlic for a sauce. Sounds delicious.

“Wanton Manti” Joshua Foust uses “wanton” wrappers, lamb, squash or zucchini, and pumpkin. I’ve had pumpkin manti in Indiana two years ago, and it was delicious!

Kaz-Am Manti Nyura makes Kaz-Am Manti, which she compares to Tex-Mex in adjusting recipes to match local foods and lifestyle. She uses wonton wrappers, and butternut squash in place of fresh pumpkin.

Authentic Uzbek Manti has a basic manti recipe using lamb, lamb fat, and onions. Along with detailed instructions for kneading dough, chopping meat, and folding the dumplings. Anna also warns us not to drink anything cold while eating or after, and to “Skip the soda, seriously.”

Turkish Manti and “Fake” Manti This is a cute recipe from a Turkish woman who tells about her grandmother cooking Manti for her when she was a little girl. She adds chickpeas into the Manti in honor of her grandmother, and serves the manti with yogurt and red pepper sauces on top. She also suggests making “fake manti” using pasta stuffed with meat. Namara has experienced this at Pamukkale in Ulgii, Mongolia. See, Namara! It’s a technical Turkish dish 🙂

Uzbek Manti (Meat Dumplings) This might just be the best recipe ever, with lots of detailed how-to pictures. See pic below, then go look at it!

Best of all, the Little Dumpling Who Travelled Across a Continent, as one article called it, even has a wikipedia article of its own! Which, like other articles, eagerly repeats the legend that Mongol and Turkish horsemen originally carried dried manti on horseback, boiling it over a fire when on the run.

All of this still makes me want to start an all-dumpling restaurant. My original idea was to call it My Little Dumpling. What other names would be good? Pelmeni? Manti? Vareniki’s? Pierogi’s? Or just… Demdi Goi!

2 Comments

  1. Thanks for linking to me. 🙂 I’m always struck by the fact that so many cultures have some sort of dumpling and how different yet similar they are. But, manti are my favorite, followed by pelmeni.

    • Thanks for commenting, Anna! I read a book a while back called “A World of Dumplings.” Look it up sometime if you get the chance. It’s just beautiful!

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