Manti (Armenian Dumplings)

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If you ever wished for dumplings that are shaped like boats with the meat visible inside, try making these Armenian dumplings called manti. You can use either ground beef or ground lamb and they are traditionally served with either plain yogurt or a yogurt-based sauce.

1
Prep Time:
40 mins
Bake Time:
55 mins
Rest Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 5 mins
Servings:
6
Yield:
42 dumplings (manti)

Armenian-Style Manti Dumplings – Rock the Boat

I usually try to get relatively competent at a recipe or technique before I unleash it on the general pubic, but there are two scenarios when I don't. One would be when a recipe fails so miserably that I think it would make for a funny video, and possibly provide a "teaching moment" or two. The other is when the recipe is so amazing, and/or interesting that I just can't wait to master it before sharing, which is what happened with these incredible Armenian-style manti dumplings.

Like I said in the video, even a bad manti is a great manti, and I stand by that claim. I love everything about the taste, texture, and shape of these already, so you can imagine how excited I am to refine the technique even further. My dumpling dough needs to be softer, and has to be rolled thinner. Also, my meat needs to be tucked in more, so the dumplings stay together a little better. The great news is that the only way I'm going to improve those things is by practicing. Over, and over, and over, until I get it.

These will work with any ground meat, or plant-based alternative, and can obviously be seasoned to suit your taste. We really liked the flavor and texture produced by using the tomato-spiked broth to finish the dumplings in the oven, but that's also an optional step. Many versions are simply baked and served with a yogurt sauce, which, by the way, is not optional in my book. That would be like French fries without ketchup, only worse. But, no matter how you adapt these, I really do hope you give them a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients

For the Dough:

  • 1 ⅔ cups all-purpose flour, or more as needed

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 ½ teaspoons olive oil

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

  • 2 tablespoons water, or as needed

For the Filling:

  • ½ pound ground beef

  • ¼ cup finely diced onion

  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper

For the Broth:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 clove crushed garlic

  • ½ cup tomato sauce

  • 2 cups chicken or beef broth

  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

  • cayenne pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Combine 3/4 of the flour, egg, olive oil, salt, and water in a bowl. Mix with a fork, just like when making a pasta dough, until ingredients just come together. Continue mixing everything with your hands into a shaggy dough. Turn out mixture onto a floured surface and keep kneading until dough is nice and smooth. Add additional flour as needed. Cover and allow dough to rest on the counter for 30 minutes.

  2. Combine ground beef, onion, parsley, smoked paprika, kosher salt, pepper, and Armenian cayenne in a bowl. Mix with a fork at first, then use your hands until filling is well combined. Cover and chill in the refrigerator.

  3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees C (200 degrees C). Grease a cast-iron skillet with olive oil.

  4. Lightly flour a work surface and set the dough on top. Cut dough in half and roll out one half as thin as possible into a large rectangle. Cut dough first into strips, then into 20 small rectangles, about 1.5 x 1.75 inches each. Reserve dough scraps in case there is left over filling to make extra manti. Repeat with second half.

  5. Use a teaspoon to portion out the filling, about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon per manti, and set into the middle of each dough rectangle (you can also use your hands to portion out the filling as shown in the video).

  6. Moisten the outer, shorter edges of each rectangle with a little bit of water on your fingertips, pick up a rectangle, and trap the filling inside by pinching both ends of the dough together, creating the classic "little man in the boat" design. Press dumpling together so manti will sit up straight in the skillet, making sure the dough at the ends is as thin as it is around the filling.

  7. Set manti inside the prepared skillet in such a way that there is still a little room between the dumplings as the dough will expand to about twice its size during cooking.

  8. Bake in the preheated oven on the center rack for 40 minutes.

  9. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a pot over medium-high heat and cook garlic until fragrant, 20 to 30 seconds. Add tomato sauce and stir quickly. Add chicken broth and season with salt, pepper, and cayenne.

  10. Bring tomato broth to a simmer and turn off the heat.

  11. Ladle tomato broth over the manti and return to the oven for 15 more minutes.

    manti in skillet with yogurt sauce
    Chef John

Cook's Note:

You can use any ground meat for this recipe. Ground lamb works very well, too.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

257 Calories
15g Fat
20g Carbs
11g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 257
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 15g 19%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Cholesterol 65mg 22%
Sodium 1014mg 44%
Total Carbohydrate 20g 7%
Dietary Fiber 1g 5%
Protein 11g
Potassium 220mg 5%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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