Friday, December 7, 2012

borek, manti and some stuffed vine leaves

Istanbul is brilliant, by the way.
I can't get enough of the energy and sheer enthusiasm the city radiates so effortlessly. It is where I eat like a King and sleep like an insomniac while generally just be with truly great people. 
Now, I am a bit of a dumpling fan, and the Turkish manti being a delightful version which are also served up in Armenia do resemble my more familiar friends from my part of the world. They are quite closely related to the east Asian mantou, baozi, and mandu and the Nepali momo, and are just as delicious.
As far as I can see, in Istanbul manti are typically served topped with a pungent garlic yoghurt which is again splashed with some dried chilli flakes that have been woken up in hot oil. There will always be a few pots on the side with some sumac, extra chilli and maybe some dried minto too for you to play around with.
Traditional Manti
Serves 4
2 cups flour
Combine the flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Add the eggs and water, mixing well with your hands. Add more water, if needed, to form a soft dough. Cover and set aside for at least 30 minutes. Shred the onions and place them in a colander or sieve set over a bowl; drain the juice and discard. Combine the onion, ground beef, salt, and pepper; mix the meat well with a spoon until mashed.
Divide the dough into two portions and lightly flour a work surface. Keep one piece of dough covered while you roll out the second portion into a rectangle, rolling the dough as thin as you can. Cut the rectangle into 2-inch squares with a knife or pastry wheel.
Place about a teaspoon of the meat filling in the center of each square. Seal the dumplings by gathering the edges of the dough and pinching them together at the top to form a bundle. Transfer the finished manti to a floured plate, and sprinkle more flour over the manti to prevent sticking. Repeat with the second piece of dough.
Heat the oil and red pepper flakes in a small pan over low heat just until the pepper flakes have started to colour the oil; don't let them burn. Remove from the heat and keep warm. Stir the minced garlic into the yogurt and set aside.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat, and cook the manti until the filling hot, and the dough is tender, no more than a few minutes. Drain well. Divide the manti among four plates. Spoon the yogurt sauce over the manti and drizzle each serving with the hot pepper oil.
afiyet olsun