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  • Turkish Meat Dumplings With Yogurt

    A simple dough made of flour, water and salt, which is then cut into various shapes before being stuffed with a filling and boiled is a tradition that we encounter in many cuisines of the world. It is possible to say that mantı or meat dumplings is the source of this tradition that has spread from Central Asia to most of the world. In this sense, mantı is like a cultural bridge that extends from Asia to Anatolia. Today, mantı is mainly eaten topped with garlic yogurt sauce and completed with a drizzle of browned butter and red pepper flakes. There are different varieties according to each region, and is not only boiled but sometimes can also be baked. In the past, in Kayseri that is famous for its mantı, the skills of new brides were measured according to whether they could make the mantı small enough to fit 40 pieces in one spoon.

    Serves 6
    • 500 g all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 15 ml olive oil
    • 1 egg
    • 60 ml water

    For the filling

    • 250 g minced mutton or beef
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • ½ teaspoon black pepper
    • 1 medium onion, very finely chopped

    To cook the mantı

    • 3 lt water
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • 15 ml olive oil

    For the tomato sauce

    • 80 g butter or clarified butter
    • 30 g tomato paste or
    • 2 large tomatoes, grated
    • 60 ml of the mantı broth

    To garnish

    • 600 g yogurt
    • 6 garlic cloves, crushed
    • ½ teaspoon salt 
    1. Put the flour in a bowl and make a well in the center. Add the salt, olive oil, egg and water. Mix all the ingredients with the flour by hand.
    2. Knead thoroughly until the dough is firm. Cover with a cotton cloth and leave to rest for 30 minutes.
    3. For the filling carefully knead the minced meat with the other ingredients in a bowl.
    4. Divide the dough into two equal pieces, take one of the doughs and cover the other. Dust a surface with flour.
    5. Using a thin rolling pin, roll out one piece of the dough to approximately 3 mm thick. Then cut into long strips about 2.5 cm wide.
    6. Cut these strips into 2.5 cm pieces to make 2.5 cm x 2.5 cm squares.
    7. Place about half a teaspoon of the meat filling in the center of each square. Then gently pinch the edges together to seal.
    8. Place the mantıs on a greased, lightly floured oven tray. Make sure they do not stick to one another.
    9. Bring the salted water to the boil in a saucepan.
    10. Bake the mantı for 10 minutes in a 180 °C preheated oven.
    11. Then transfer the lightly browned mantı into the boiling water. Gently stir a couple of times to prevent them sticking together.
    12. When the mantı rise to the top, in about 15 minutes, they are cooked.
    13. To prepare the tomato sauce, melt the butter in a medium sized frying pan. Dilute the tomato paste with some of the mantı broth before adding it to the melted butter. (Add some salt if using grated tomatoes).
    14. Mix the crushed garlic and yogurt in a separate bowl.
    15. Drain the mantı using a perforated ladle and transfer to a deep serving bowl. Add a little of the broth. First pour the garlic-yogurt sauce over the mantı in deep serving bowls, then drizzle the tomato sauce over the hot mantı and serve immediately.
    16. Serve the mantı garnished with sumac, dried mint and red pepper flakes.
    Chef's Note

    The broth remaining from the boiled mantı can be used to make soup. Instead of tomato sauce, according to preference lightly brown butter in a frying pan, approximately 15 g per person, remove it from the heat and add 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes. Drizzle this mixture over the yogurt, sprinkle with mint and serve.