Last fall and in the early part of this year, I was on a huge dumpling making kick. I made dumplings from Germany, Ukraine, Sweden, Nepal, and Italy and also made a Chinese-style one. I’ve even semi-joked that I should open a dumpling shop, where they are the only thing on the menu, with dumpling recipes from around the world being represented. You can’t say that it wouldn’t be unique.
Unfortunately, due to a great number of things, my cooking portion of the blog somewhat suffered this year. I simply was lacking in time and energy to spend my already limited free time cooking away in the kitchen. But since Thanksgiving here in the United States means (for most) a four day weekend, I finally got in some long overdue cooking. And I also succeeded in trying out a new dumpling recipe, manti (lamb dumplings) from Turkey.
I think what I liked most about the manti is that one, they were made with ground lamb and two, the topping. The contrast of the tart yogurt to the brown butter sauce really gave the manti a unique taste and the inclusion of the yogurt with a hot savory item just seemed so Mediterranean. I could imagine myself with a glass of Turkish tea feasting away on my manti as I gazed out at the pristine blue waters of the Aegean Sea.
The pasta dough wasn’t terribly difficult to make, especially as I did it without the use of a stand mixer. (I really need to get myself one of these; the problem is they’re so big and take up so much counter space when not in use!) I would recommend making the filling portion in advance as it took no more than 15 minutes and that’s one less thing to do (and dirty dishes to accumulate) during the dough making part of the recipe.
My manti didn’t come out 100% perfect; the dough was perhaps a bit too thick. The problem with dumplings is, after you’ve already made two dozen, your dough pieces keep getting bigger and bigger as you just want to wrap up and be finished. So I could potentially benefit from a dumpling dough making class. But even with the larger pieces by the end, there was still enough manti for two meals and a lunch.
To make your own manti, click here for the recipe.
The Red Headed Traveler’s Cooking Tips
-Before covering the dough with plastic wrap to rest, spray it with a tiny amount of cooking spray. The plastic was quite difficult to remove as it stuck to the dough.
-I didn’t have the Baharat spice mix on hand and instead of making it myself, I used Turkish kofte seasoning instead. I think as long as you use spices that are both sweet (cinnamon and nutmeg) and savory (coriander and cumin), you should be good.
-If your food store doesn’t sell ground lamb (I had to go to my fancy mega one to get it), substitute ground turkey or beef.
-Serve this with a side of grilled or broiled eggplant.