This dish is fun to prepare and eat with your family!Yulia Mulino
Manty is a traditional meal of the peoples of Central Asia, Turkey, Korea, and China. They mainly consist of finely chopped meat inside thin dough, but every country has their own method of making manty. One of the most popular recipes in Russia comes from Tatarstan and has the following filling: lamb or beef, potatoes and onions.
The word manty, which we use in the Russian language, is in fact borrowed from the Turkic group of languages, but it originally derives from the Chinese "mantou", meaning "stuffed head".
The taste of manty depends on the meat that you use. In order to make them juicy, you need to use lamb with the fatty parts. Beef, however, needs to be tender. There is also a trick in preparing the meat. The quickest way would be to mince meat in a grinder, but the authentic version is chopping it in small cubes manually.
To make sure everything cooks properly I prefer to chop all ingredients in pieces smaller than 5 mm. It will be easier to work with the filling and you’ll have an even distribution of all the dumpling ingredients.
One interesting fact about manty is that, according to etiquette, this dish should be eaten with your hands. Not only because you want to keep the juice inside but because they taste better.
Traditionally, sauce is not needed when serving manty. However, I like them with fatty yoghurt.
Another particular characteristic of manty is how they’re cooked, which requires a special steam pan. But don't worry if you don't have one. I use a normal pan with a steaming basket. To be honest, you can even cook manty in a tomato sauce, but this is not the most authentic way.
If you like meat dumplings and have a half day to spend in the kitchen, perhaps happily cooking together with your family, manty is what you’re looking for. You’ll enjoy the preparation process and will be definitely pleased with the final result.
1. Mix water and eggs, and place in a processor. Start mixing with a special attachment for dough, and begin adding flour mixed with salt. I use two types of flour (400 g of ‘00’ flour and 100 g of semolina), which gives solid dough and which is not a classic variant. If you want a tender dough, use only the white ‘00’ flour. Mix the dough until it has a homogeneous dense mass (for about 10 minutes). Make a ball, put it in a bowl, cover it with a plate and let sit. Meanwhile, you can move on to the filling.
2. Cut the meat into small cubes. The smaller the better. Mine were about 5 mm.
3. Chop potatoes and onions, also in small cubes. The smaller the pieces the quicker they’ll be cooked.
4. Add the spices to the filling ingredients.
5. Mix the filling and let it stay while you work with the dough.
6. Divide the dough in four parts. While working with one quarter, keep the others covered.
7. Roll over the dough as thin as you can.
8. Cut it in accurate squares of 8 cm.
9. Put a filling in the middle of each square.
10. Connect all the corners of the squares on top.
11. Connect the side parts together.
12. Repeat with all the squares.
13. Spread olive oil over the steamer surface. I used pieces of paper to make sure manty don’t stick to the bottom. Add water in a steamer, put manty and cover the pan with a lid. I put bay leaves to add more flavor to the dish. Cook them for around 30 minutes. Make sure there is always water inside the steamer.
14. When manty are ready, spread them with butter.
15. As I mentioned you may cook manty in tomato sauce (canned tomatoes, garlic, onions, spices, salt, olive oil). But don’t tell anybody – that is not the correct way of eating authentic manty.
16. Add any sauce you prefer or none, and enjoy!
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