Manti with Butter Tomato & Garlic Yogurt is a special meat dumpling dish that is as delicious as it is beautiful! The secret easy step…wonton wrappers!
Manti, as is the case with so many foods, has an uncertain origin. However, it is said that the Chinese brought it to Armenia and then to Turkey. So, with that being said, both regions are known to make some amazing Manti. Turkish Manti tends to be a closed square shape, and the Armenian style is more like a boat shape, which is what we did here.
My love intensified with Mayrig…
One of the most famous restaurants in Beirut, Lebanon is an Armenian place called Mayrig. When I had their Manti, I was obsessed! It is indescribably delicious and all I wanted to do was try to make it when I got home. So, my mom enlisted the help of some of her oldest Armenian friends who all gave some tips and insights on how to make this magical dish. Then I off I went to make it. I mean, I may not be Mayrig, but this Manti recipe is pretty darn good!
To cheat or not to cheat…
Making authentic Manti requires making your own dough from scratch. Since we’re “modern” middle eastern, that’s where I decided to take a shortcut. I went to my local supermarket and picked up a package of wonton wrapper squares. They sell some in rounds, don’t get those! Now, you basically only have to cut them into smaller squares (I cut one square into 4). Then fill and pinch closed! No mixing and rolling dough!
My next cheat is dealing with grating an onion. Traditionally you grate an onion, which to me is torture. So, I throw mine into the blender or food processor and call it day. The consistency comes out the same and I don’t have to suffer and cry about it, literally.
A labor of love…
Much like Dolma/Stuffed Grape Leaves, this dish isn’t really difficult (even though it totally looks it), it’s just time consuming. So don’t be scared to put on some good music or show and make some Manti. You won’t regret it. Take a look at the how-to below and enjoy being addicted like I am!
This incredibly delicious meat dumpling dish sits on top a rich, spiced, buttery tomato sauce and topped with cool, garlic yogurt sauce. It's made simple by using store bought wonton wrappers!
- 1 package wonton wrapper squares
- 1 pound 80% ground beef (if you make it with less fat, add 1 T of butter or oil)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon baharat, 7 spice, or all spice
- 1 medium onion, grated/blended
- 1 tablespoon ghee/butter or oil, melted and divided (half to coat pan, half to coat mantis)
- 1/2 cup tomato paste
- 3 tablespoons ghee/butter
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 teaspoons Aleppo pepper (or any other spicy pepper you prefer)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt (or to taste)
- water (enough to make the paste into a sauce, about 2 cups)
- Sumac (sprinkled on top)
- Parsley, chopped (garnish)
- 2 cups plain yogurt
- 4 cloves garlic, pressed
- 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- water (enough to create pourable consistency)
Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Use melted ghee/butter to coat the pan and set aside
Open wonton wrappers and they should be in a stack. Align them perfectly and cut in half lengthwise and then widthwise, leaving you with 4 1" squares and place aside.
In a medium mixing bowl, add ground beef, salt, spice, and mix well. Then add grated/blended onion and mix until fully incorporated and onion and meat mixture are evenly combined.
Take one wonton square at a time. Place the square on your work surface. Use a small bowl of water to dip your finger and wipe two side edges of the wrapper.
Place a 5 gram sized ball of meat (a little larger than a dime) in the center of the wrapper.
Take the top 2 corners and the bottom 2 corners and sqeeze them firmly together. The wrapper should hug the little meatball. Then while still squeezing both sides, press the dumpling into the counter so it flattens the bottom and the dumpling stands on its own.
Repeat this process until the meat is finished. Then arrange them in a round pan lining the outer edge, working your way inward.
Place in the oven for about 15 min, rotating halfway through. Or until manti have a golden color. While manti bakes, make the sauces.
In a medium saucepan over medium high heat, add tomato paste, ghee/butter, oil, salt, and pepper and stir until all is disolved together, then add water very gradually until you achieve a sauce like consistency.
In a medium bowl, add yogurt, garlic and salt. Then add water gradually until you achieve a pourable consistency.
Cover the plate with a thin layer of tomato sauce, place the manti over the sauce, then top with drizzles or dollops of yogurt sauce, a sprinkle of sumac and a pinch of parsley and serve!
You can feel free to use less butter and oil for the tomato sauce. It's not necessary to use the full amount, but makes it richer and more delicious.
Salt is to taste. So adjust that to your liking. Always start with less and build from there.