Dinner with friends – how Mantı came from Mongolia through Turkey to Frankfurt
A friend of mine had wished for Mantı from our friend Arzu when he last visited Frankfurt. Out of that came a great, funny and interesting evening with exciting conversation, new culinary delights and experiences.
Mantı are small pasties filled with minced meat. They are served with a garlic-yoghurt sauce and topped with a butter and tomato/pepper sauce. Arzu explained to us that it is believed that they are originally from Mongolia. From there, they came by Turkic people to todays Turkey.
It is a tradition that women meet to prepare Mantı together. They sit around a wooden round table. One of the women starts with rolling the dough with a Oklava, a wooden rolling pin. Another woman cuts the rolled dough in little squares. The rest of the women are busy with the filling of minced meat as described below. They place the filling in the middle of the square and wrap it with a special wrapping technique which can be different from region to region. There is also mini Mantı.
The tradition of handmade Mantı has also been brought to Frankfurt by Turkish women. Everytime they meet in a different house to prepare big portions of Mantı for themselves and also for charity or Kermes (Turkish street food vendor). It is a celebration of women get together to talk, drink tea and exchange a bit of gossip.
The basic recipe is always the same.
This is Arzu’s recipe for 4 persons:
For the dough:
- 500 g flour
- 1 tablespoon salt
- ca. 180 ml water
For the filling:
- 200 g minced meat (beef)
- 2 onions, grated
- 1/2 tablespoon salt
- 1/2 tablespoon ground sweet red pepper powder
- 1/2 tablespoon dry mint
For the yoghurt sauce:
- 700 g natural yoghurt
- 2 garlic cloves, pressed
- 1/2 tablespoon salt
- 100 g butter (gheebutter or olive oil)
- 1 tablespoon pepper powder or 2 tablespoon salça (tomato/pepper paste)
- dry mint as one prefers
- For the dough place the flour in a mixing bowl. Add salt, water and mix and knead the dough until smooth. Cover and let it rest for 20 minutes.
- Mix all the ingredients for the filling in a bowl and mix it well.
- Roll the dough with a rolling pin to form a thin layer on a floured working table. Then cut the dough into 2-3 cm squares. For each square you take ¼ tablespoon of the filling and place it in the middle. Then bring the four corners of the square together to form a pyramid to close it.
- Mix the ingredients for the yoghurt sauce thoroughly.
- Melt the butter in a pan, add the pepper powder or salca and move the pan for 2-3 minutes in a wave-like motion so that it mixes well.
- Add enough water in a big pot and bring to boil. Add salt and Mantı pasties and cook with medium heat until the Mantıs float on the surface. Then drain the pasties into a sieve and serve them immediately.
- On every plate of Mantı place a little bit of yoghurt sauce and top it with butter sauce and decorate it with dried mint.
Nowadays Mantı can also be made with spelt flour. Our tasty handmade Mantı came from the mother of one of the Turkish girlfriends of Arzu.