Preparing the traditional Turkish dumplings, Manti, has been one of a kind experience while volunteering in Kayseri, Turkey.
I wrote before about traditional Turkish cuisine, and I’ve shared with you which ones are my favourite here.
But this is a special post just about Manti, the most famous dumpling from Turkish cuisine.
What is Manti?
Manti dumplings typically consist of a spiced meat mixture, usually lamb or ground beef, in dough, and either boiled or steamed. There is the vegetarian version, which involves bigger patches of dough filled with a mixture made out of onion and potatoes fried in oil.
There are many different variations of Manti in terms of shape and way of serving, but the most famous type of Turkish Manti is the one from Kayseri, an Anatolian city.
Usually, Manti is boiled or baked rather than steamed and tend to be small in size in this region. Here Manti is typically served with a dressing made of yoghurt and garlic, spiced with red pepper powder and topped with ground sumac – (and/or dried mint because they put it in everything). It can also be served with the water it was boiled in, and often in Kayseri, it is consumed as a soup prior to the main dish.
The Manti dish is tied up to the local culture
In Kayseri when a couple is engaged to be married, the mother of the groom visits the bride’s house and during this visit, the bride should prepare Manti for her prospective mother-in-law.
The smaller the Manti dumplings are, the more the bride is considered to be skilful in the kitchen.
Traditionally the dumplings prepared for the prospective mother-in-law are supposed to be so small that 40 of them can be fit into one spoon.
Manti may be made from shredded meat of quail, chicken or goose in some regions of Turkey, while boş mantı (‘empty dumpling’) lack filling entirely.– source Wiki
If you ever come to Turkey, especially Kayseri, you shouldn’t miss their renowned dumplings.
We had a lot of fun preparing the most famous dish from Kayseri: