Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Manti - New Year's Tradition

For New Years, we traditionally make Manti (Манты). They are traditional central asian dumplings, which are about 3" in diameter and are filled with meats and pumpkin. Since we were unable to find an un-sweet pumpkin to use, we use butternut squash which works out really well.
We used three different types of meat, that we put through our awesome meat grinder to make the meat. The filling is made usually with 1/3 meat, 1/3 onions and 1/3 squash/pumpkin proportions.
The dough is a bit hard to get right and actually this time we did not do as well, the dough was too soft which is resulted in dumplings that didn't want to stay together quite as much.
The dumplings get steamed in a special steamer for 45 minutes. The amount that we made was enough for about 2 4- layer pots going at the same time. Next time we will take more pictures, but we were having too much fun on New Years to do so. It is always great to get together and have everyone make delicious food.
The manti can be served with salsa or, a sour cream + dill + cilantro and garlic sauce - which is best when it has had time to sit for a while.

The Manti do take some preparation in advance, the dough needs to be made a few hours ahead of time. We would also recommend starting to boil the water as soon as you start making them as the pot is really large and it takes a while for the water to boil.

After transferring the cooked manti in a large bowl, make sure to put in butter so they don't stick together.

Manti do not freeze well, but they do make great left overs when they are fried the next morning!
Next morning, fried manti with sour cream sauce

different angle of next morning manti

And yet a different angle again

Just cooked manti (due to the incorrect dough elasticity, some fell apart)

nom nom

Freshly ground meat filling

Mixing the meat 

Meat filling

this is the manti steamer

Putting manti in the steamer

Manti getting arranged for steaming!



Ingredients:

Dough:

2 eggs
2 tbsp olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
250-300 ml water
approx 4.5 cups flour (until proper consistency is reached)

Meat:
approx 2-3 lbs total of meat - we used a combination of lamb, pork and beef, do not trim any of it
2-3 onions, chopped (to equal the same quantity as meat)
1 butternut squash, chopped into small cubes ( to equal same amount as each ground meat and onion)
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
small bunch of cilantro, chopped (optional)
1 cup warm water

Directions:

1. Mix all dough ingredients together until a firm ball forms that does not stick to your hands. Cover and let sit for a couple of hours.
2. Mix together all ingredients for the meat filling.
3. When dough is ready, there are two methods to make manti. Method 1 - roll out a large sheet and selecting a large cookie cutter or bowl use as a template to cut out the circles. Method 2 - cut off a piece of dough, make it into a sausage and cut into uniform pieces. Roll out each piece into a circle.
4. Put a generous scoop of meat into the center of each dough circle. Pinch the dough from four sides and bring those to the middle making a sealed X, then pinch two sides of the x together creating a figure 8 shaped design. Another method, is to pinch in from three sides and seal it that way, creating a triangle shaped design.
5. Place dumpling onto an oiled tier of the steamer. Continue until the steamer layers are all filled. Be careful not to touch the sides or each other so that they do not stick together.
6. Place onto the boiling bottom layer of the steamer. Cover and cook for 45 minutes.
7. After they are cooked, dump into a large bowl with butter to make sure they don't stick together.
8. Serve with salsa or sour cream sauce.

What we liked:

The filling was the best we have ever had!

What we didn't like:

The dough was not quite proper this time around. 

What Kaspian thought about it:

He liked the dumplings! Astrid especially loved the dough pieces. 

Next time:

Make sure the dough is correct - add more flour. It was too soft this time.