Mantu Recipe - Discover the Art of Afghan Dumplings

Dish recipes: Mantu
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Mantu, a beloved Afghan dish, is a testament to the rich flavors of Central Asian cuisine. These delicate dumplings are typically filled with a savory mixture of spiced ground meat, enveloped in soft, thin dough, and steamed to perfection. In this recipe, we'll guide you through the steps to create these exquisite Afghan dumplings in the comfort of your kitchen.


For the Dough:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup warm water

For the Filling:

  1. 1 pound ground beef or lamb

1 medium onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/2 teaspoon ground paprika

Salt and black pepper to taste

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

For the Sauce:

  1. 2 cups plain yogurt

2 cloves garlic, minced

Salt to taste

For Garnish:

  1. Ground dried mint

Ground red pepper (cayenne)


Step 1: Prepare the Dough

In a mixing bowl, combine the all-purpose flour and salt. Gradually add warm water while kneading until a smooth, elastic dough forms. Cover the dough with a clean cloth and let it rest for 30 minutes.

Step 2: Prepare the Filling

In a skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the finely chopped onion and sauté until translucent. Add the minced garlic and ground meat. Cook until the meat is browned and crumbled. Stir in the ground coriander, ground cumin, ground turmeric, ground paprika, salt, and black pepper. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes until well combined. Remove from heat.

Step 3: Assemble the Mantu

Roll out the rested dough on a floured surface until it's very thin, about 1/16-inch thick. Cut the dough into small squares, approximately 3x3 inches in size. Place a teaspoon of the prepared meat filling in the center of each square. Fold the dough over the filling to create a triangular shape, sealing the edges with a bit of water. Ensure there are no air pockets inside. Repeat this process until all the dough and filling are used.

Step 4: Steam the Mantu

Arrange the prepared Mantu in a steamer basket, ensuring they are not touching each other. Steam the dumplings over boiling water for about 30-40 minutes or until the dough is cooked through and the filling is hot.

Step 5: Prepare the Yogurt Sauce

In a bowl, combine the plain yogurt with minced garlic and salt to taste. Mix well.

Step 6: Serve and Garnish

Place the steamed Mantu on a serving platter. Drizzle the yogurt sauce generously over the dumplings. Garnish with ground dried mint and ground red pepper (cayenne) for an extra burst of flavor and color.

You've now mastered the art of making Mantu, a delectable Afghan delicacy. These dumplings are not only a treat for your taste buds but also a beautiful representation of Afghan culinary heritage. Share this dish with friends and family, and savor the unique flavors and textures of Mantu together. Enjoy your homemade Afghan dumplings!