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I`m going to share with you all one of my favourite traditional Armenian/Middle Eastern recipes - manti!
Manti are basically Armenian style dumplings. They are traditionally eaten in a soup but many people enjoy snacking on them or eat them topped with plain Greek yogurt and garlic.
Like most dumplings, they consist of 2 parts, the dough and the stuffing.
The stuffing usually consists of some ground meat, traditionally, lamb was used but most modern recipes use beef. You want to make sure that you have some sort of fat so you don`t end up with dry dumplings, so you can use a fattier meat, or just add some oil. You then season it up, with salt and pepper. You also add some tomato paste to the mixture, and if you want a spicier dumpling you can use some red pepper paste instead. I usually use a combo of both!
I also add some finely chopped onion to the mix and some garlic. Generally, I make the mixture either the night before, or a couple of hours ahead so the flavours have a chance to meld.
The dough is very similar to a dumpling dough, so as a cheat, we usually use wonton wrappers! It saves a lot of time and ensures a nice, thin wrapper!
If you want smaller dumpling, you can cut the wrappers down by half, or even quarter! But we usually make nice a big ones since they are crunchier! The traditional shape is the `boat`like shape ( some people also call them Navik, which means `little boat`). It`s super simple: all you need to do is put a small amount of the mixture in the center of the sqaure or rectangular wonton wrapper. Then, use some water to moisten two opposing edges. Next, fold up the edges leaving a bit of the mixture showing. Lastly, still pinching the two corners, flatten the bottom edge along the table or work surface. Hopefully, you can tell what I mean based on the picture!
Once you have folded them up, you want to transfer onto a greased sheet pan and bake in the oven at 375 until browned and crispy, and the meat is cooked through.
Once you are done, you can serve in a cream based or tomato based soup. But the best way is just topped with some Greek yogurt and minced garlic!
What is your favourite type of dumpling?