Little dough dumplings filed with meat
One of my favorite childhood memories is making manti with Grandma. I would watch her as she rolled the dough into a large, very thin sheet, and cut it into tiny precise squares, placing a dab of the meat mixture in the center of each one. She would methodically and quickly press the edges together to make tiny boats and “sharel” line them up on rimmed baking trays. We would sneak them right off the tray once they came out of the oven, piping hot. They were so delicious this way, crispy and buttery but as they were meant for dinner, she would admonish us “save these for dinner- you eat manti faster than I can make it!
Manti is still a family favorite, and has become more common and easy to find in Armenian and middle eastern delis, which is great if you have a sudden craving. But if you have the time, or just love the aroma of something delicious throughout the house during the fall and winter (or any time of the year) it’s a fun project and there is nothing like home made! Wonton skins cut in fours is also a popular way to make them, but here, I will share the recipe for the dough, meat, and process. The last batch I made served 10 as the main course, with no leftovers!
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 medium eggs (whisked)
2 tablespoons butter (melted)
½ cup water
pinch of salt
1 pound ground lamb, beef, or combination of both
½ cup finely chopped parsley
1 medium yellow onion finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1-2 minced garlic cloves (optional)
Combine all ingredients and refrigerate.
1/8 cup unsalted butter (melted)
8 cups chicken broth
1-15 ounce can diced tomatoes
Combine salt and four in a medium bowl. Make a well. Add eggs and water. Dip palms of hands and tips of fingers in the melted butter and knead the dough to a soft consistency. Divide the dough into 4 equal parts and cover for up to 1 hour. The resting will allow the dough to relax and become easy to roll.
Preparing the Dough
Making the Manti
On a floured surface, roll the dough to a large very thin rectangle (up to 1/16” thick). Cut into 1 ¼ inch squares. Place approximately ½ teaspoon of the meat mixture in the center of each square. Fold the square in half and pinch each end to form tiny boat shapes. Place in rows on a greased baking sheet. Brush tops with melted butter.
Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes until golden. When done, manti can be frozen or served immediately.
Combine chicken broth and canned diced tomatoes in a pot and bring to a boil. Drop the desired amount of manti into the boiling broth. Simmer for 5-8 minutes if the manti is fresh or 7-10 minutes if the manti is frozen. The manti will float to the top of the broth when ready.
Prep time: 30 min
Resting time: 1 hour
Assembling time: 1 ½ hours
Cook time: 20 minutes