Anyone Said The Manti (Turkish Ravioli)?

Which One Of Us Can Say No The Manti, One Of The Best Tastes Of Anatolian Turkish Cuisine?

The Perfect Harmony Of Dough, Mince And Yogurt
Pastries are undoubtedly one of the indispensable flavors of Anatolian tables. We all enjoy the patty, pancakes and pastries that come out of the skillful hands of our mothers. Although doctors tell us to stay away from three whites which one of us can say no the mantı, one of the best tastes of Anatolian Turkish cuisine?

Manti Types From Country To Country
The discovery of wheat, which is one of the most basic and most important foods of human beings, dates back to very old times. It is known that wheat was planted in Harran for the first time and that the first known mills in history were in Anatolia. In around 2600 BC it is known that Egyptians discovered that adding yeast in the dough made of wheat flour and waste mixture makes bread softer and puffier. The production of flour from wheat, fermentation of the dough and various dishes made of dough showed up and spread to the world.  The history of the mantı, which is made with the harmony of dough, mince and yoghurt, is also quite old. According to the research, it is known that mantı is of Asian origin. It was made by the Chinese in the 13th century and the name etymology is said to come from the Chinese word “Mantou“. In the 15th century, this magnificent dish reached the territory of Anatolia through the Turks of Central Asia and spread from here to Europe. For this reason, in different countries, has received different names, diversified with different interior materials and sauces.

Types Of Manti From Country To Country
The process of cooking, the method of cooking and the way of serving of mantı vary from country to country.   Mantı is known as “dumpling” in China. Dumpling is a celebratory dinner on New Year’s Eve and is believed to bring luck. It is usually cooked with steam in bamboo containers. The Chinese usually prefer to eat the mantı by dipping it in soy sauce. All kind of ingredients can be put into the manti from meat to seaweed. In Japan, manti called “gyoza” is mostly steamed but also boiled and fried. In Korea, mantı is called “mandu”. It contains vegetables, meat and fish. The Russians call manti “pelmeni” or “piroshki”. It is made with dried fish, mushrooms or meat, especially in winter days.  Manti in the Caucasus region is called “hingal”. This name is also used in Eastern Anatolia in our country. In Dagestan, Ahıska, Ardahan and Kars, hingal is the most important dish of local cuisine. Mantı made from sun-dried pastrami or goose meat, as well as blue cheese, are also highly desirable.

From The Ottoman To The Present: Manti 
Mantı has a special place in Ottoman cuisine. It is rumored that Fatih Sultan Mehmet always had mantı in the breakfast table for 28 days of the month. Although Kayseri is the first place that comes to mind when we talk about mantı in our country, traditional mantı have been made with various names for centuries in our cities such as Adana, Aksaray, Ardahan, Çorum, Niğde, Kırşehir, Konya, Sivas, Tokat and Yozgat. The preparation of mantı food varies in every region. For example; in Kayseri, mantı are made small and it is said that it is acceptable to fit forty pieces in a spoon. In addition, it is preferred to be made as triangler shaped in Eastern Anatolia, Black Sea and Trakya. Mantı is an indispensable dish of Ardahan and Ahıska region. In this region, mantı has such an important place in the cultural structure that even folk songs were composed for it. In the lyrics of the folk songs in the archive of Anatolian folk songs it is mentioned about cooking mantı and waiting for food.

How To Make Manti?
Mantı is usually prepared by placing mince with various spices into the dough cut into small squares. After these dough pieces which is closed are boiled in water, sauce is added and ready to serve.  It can be cooked by boiling or optionally with steam or in the oven. Sometimes it can be fried in oil. Ingredient of mantı is typically mince. Meat cubes, green lentils, spinach, chickpeas, yellow squash, cheese, potatoes and chicken meat can also be used as ingredient.

There are some tricks to be aware of when cooking mantı. Some of them are kneading by adding eggs, salt and warm water to the dough until it has a soft consistency and covering with a damp cloth for half an hour to rest. It is also very important to finely chop the materials to be used for ingredients. For those who like this food, which is very hard to cook, but who have a limited time it is an alternative to buy it as take-home prepared food from grocery stores and bakery shops. Thus, after boiling mantı just prepare the garlic yoghurt, sauce with butter and tomato paste and add sumac, dried mint, chili pepper and serve. For those who want to make mantı themselves and those who know how to open the dough, we did not forget to give the classic mantı recipe.

Manti Places Of Istanbul
It is possible to find mantı in many places offering traditional dishes on its menu. These restaurants offer a combination of mantı made in different parts of the world and Anatolia. We have listed some of the mantı restaurants that are famous for mantı in Istanbul and where there are many mantı varieties.

Mr. Dumpling/ Kadıköy
Mr. Dumpling, is a restaurant located in Kadıköy and famous for its large variety of mantı.  The restaurant consists of two sections, a small outdoor area and an interior. Mantı on the menu are divided into two categories as boiled and crispy. Under this category, there are many types of mantı. Alternatives such as classic, hıngel, dumpling, Sinop, gluten-free, einkorn wheat flour can be preferred. Vegan options are also available for boiled and crispy mantı. They are made with spinach and potatoes. Having vegan mantı options gives the place a privilege. Boiled mixed or crispy mixed options are also available for those who cannot decide among such alternatives. So you can try more than one type of mantı.  Restaurant classifies mantı according to its shape.  For example, in the crispy mantı, both the classic flat shape and the navicular shape have a long-shape option.

Aşkana Manti / Ulus
The place, which means “aşhane” in Tatar language which means kitchen, is one of the oldest mantı restaurants in Istanbul. It was founded in 1987 by a Tatar family in a quiet corner of Ulus, unknown to anyone. Aşkana Mantı, a family-run business, has maintained the same cuisine culture since it was founded to keep the flavor memory of its regulars fresh. The taste of the daily mantı made according to the methods of Tatar cuisine cannot be described but only experienced. From mince to dough, from yogurt to butter, everything is fresh. The motto of Restaurant that is quality material and taste standard has not changed for years.

Hingal Manti / Beykoz
Every type of mantı that will stretch our imagination is made in Hıngal. White and whole wheat flour is used in Dagestan mantı, which cooked specially for the place, as well as natural colorants. For those who care not only for taste but also for visuality you can choose flavors such as black colored with salmon and blue colored with vegetables, white and green with meat-nettle, brown with cheese-coffee, red colored minced-spicy. The restaurant in Beykoz has a unique place among mantı flavors and 12 different types of mantı can be eaten.

Sayla Manti / Kadıköy
Founded in 1969 in Kadıköy Bahariye, Sayla Mantı continues the tradition of the same place and the same flavor. The restaurant has never wanted to break the 50-year-old tradition of mantı. Thus, the flavor has managed to maintain its stability. Daily mantı preparation starts in the morning and continues until the evening service is closed. It is possible to sit and eat the freshest mantı in the place, as well as buy it and serve it to your guests at home.

Casita / Beşiktaş
Founded in 1983, Casita is known as the place for gourmets and those who trust their taste. The place, which connects its name to its famous guests and the tradition of regulars, attracts attention with its different and pleasant ambiance. The restaurant, committed the taste of its mantı to memory when it was founded, has evolved over the years to a rich menu consisting of many proprietary and delicious dishes. In addition to Nişantaşı, Etiler and Bağdat Street, it is possible to find the same tastes in every place of Casita which continues to serve with Bodrum Antique and Bursa Podyumpark branches.

Sinop Manti / Beşiktaş
In Sinop Mantı located in Beşiktaş different mantı options are served including unmixed, walnut and yogurt. Mantı dough is quite thin and the inner meat is made by putting more. Satisfactory portions in Sinop Mantı is one of the characteristics of the restaurant. Half of the same service can be ordered as unmixed mantı, half with walnut or yogurt mantı.

Bay Manti / Üsküdar
Bay Mantı’s motto is “Our mantı is addictive.“ The most important feature of this lovely, small restaurant is that it offers a variety of mantı that is unique not to only Anatolian cusine. As one of the partners of the restaurant is Russian, the menu includes Russian mantı. The Russian mantı is prepared by the Russian partner Ms. Valentina.  The materials used in mantı preparation are brought from Erzincan with an organic preference. It’s not the only kind of mantı that Bay Mantı is assertive. A variety of home-style dishes and desserts also delight the tastes of the regulars.


Hinkal Folk Song*

How great hinkal is
Not get enough to taste
Hurry up and make a fire
Too difficult to wait hinkal

Hinkal is very famous for strangers
How great hands making hinkal
Hurry up they wait for it
Too difficult to wait hinkal


Classical Manti Recipe
3 cups of flour, 1 cup of water, 1 egg, 1 pinch of salt, 1 cup of flour (for kneading) For filling: 300 gr. Mince, 1 piece of onion-grated, 1 table spoon of mint, salt, black pepper

Cooking of Mantı at Home: Mix all ingredients for the dough in a bowl and knead. Cover the dough with a wet cloth and let it rest for half an hour. Divide the rested dough into two pieces. Roll out the dough thin and cut into small squares. For fillings knead mince, grated onion, dried mint, salt and black pepper. Put the filling into the doughs that you cut and close all around. Add 8 glasses of water and salt to a deep saucepan and boil. Put mantı in boiling water and boil for 7-8 minutes. Take mantı on the serving plate and serve with yogurt sauce and top with tomato sauce. Enjoy your meal!

By: S.Bahar Alban

*This article was published in the September-October issue of Marmara Life. 

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