Lamb Manti (Turkish Dumplings) with Garlicky Yogurt and Browned Butter Tomatoes

Manti 3

About a dozen years ago, the Elbasi family immigrated to Canada from Turkey, opening one of the best eateries in town – Anatolia Turkish Cuisine in the Crossroads Market. They now have a bricks-and-mortar location downtown, and at their farmers’ market location they have the only phyllo sheeting machine in Canada. But more importantly, they’re a lovely family, cook wonderful food, and when I was researching different varieties of dumplings for CBC, walked me through how to make tiny manti – Turkish dumplings filled with lamb or beef, encased in a soft dough and drizzled with melted butter.

Manti 2

On the day I was pestering them with questions, they happened to be making some for that evening’s iftar. They said tomatoes were typical, and when I came across some browned butter tomatoes, I couldn’t not make them.

Manti 1

The dumplings themselves are not entirely unlike peroghies, in terms of assembly; they’re tinier, and have four points, but the dough is soft and easy to press together. It’s very satisfying, and even more fun when you have a small team of friends – or better yet, tiny-fingered children – to form an assembly line at your kitchen table. Any dumplings not simmered immediately can be frozen in a single layer, than transferred to a freezer bag to be dumped straight into boiling water when you’re ready for them.

Filled manti

Lamb manti are my favourite, but beef works well too – they’re delicious tossed with butter (browned, if you have a few extra minutes), or any form of tomato sauce, and I love that they’re nestled into a smear of garlicky yogurt first.

Filling manti 1

This recipe was inspired by several sources, including Feast: Food of the Islamic World, by Anissa Helou, Saveur magazine, and the Elbasi family.

Manti (Turkish Lamb Dumplings)
Manti (Turkish Lamb Dumplings)

Lamb Manti (Turkish Dumplings) with Garlicky Yogurt and Browned Butter Tomatoes


July 1, 2018



2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup warm water

1 large egg


1/2-1 lb ground lamb or beef

1 small onion, coarsely grated

1 tsp baharat (optional-a spice blend with mint, pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon, coriander and cumin)

1/2 tsp salt

freshly ground black pepper

Garlicky Yogurt:

2 cups plain full-fat yogurt

2 garlic cloves, finely crushed

pinch salt

Browned Butter:

1/4-1/2 cup butter

2 ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped

pinch Aleppo pepper or dried chili flakes

sumac (optional)


1To make the dough, combine the flour and salt in a large bowl, stir in the water and egg and stir until you have a soft dough. Knead it for a few minutes, until smooth. Cover with a tea towel and let rest while you prepare the filling.

2In a medium bowl, blend the lamb, onion, baharat, salt and pepper with your hands until well combined. Stir the garlic and salt into the yogurt and set aside or stash in the refrigerator.

3To fill the manti, divide the dough into four pieces, and working with one at a time (keep the others covered with a tea towel), roll the dough out thin and cut into strips 1 1/2” wide, and again across, making 1 1/2” squares. (Or go 2” if they’re too small to handle.) Place a tiny amount of filling on each square and gather up the corners to meet in the middle, pinching down the seams to seal. (These can be filled in advance and frozen, or kept covered in the refrigerator until you’re ready for them.

4To cook the manti, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and drop them in; boil for 6-8 minutes, until tender. Remove from the pot with a slotted spoon.

5Meanwhile, in a skillet set over medium-high heat, melt the butter and continue to cook it until it turns golden and smells nutty. Add the tomatoes to the pan along with the pepper and a pinch of salt and cook until the tomatoes break down and become thick and jammy.

6Divide the yogurt between 4-6 shallow bowls and top with the manti, browned butter tomato sauce and a light sprinkle of sumac. Serves 4-6.


About Julie

4 comments on “Lamb Manti (Turkish Dumplings) with Garlicky Yogurt and Browned Butter Tomatoes

  1. Anika
    July 4, 2018 at 2:40 pm

    Just a headsup, got confused as it said to cool manti, i assume it’s mistyped for cook?
    beside that, I love the recipe! Thinking I should make it soon. I love dumplings(doesn’t matter what sort), haven’t tried these ones so gotta stock up on ingredients for this one now 😀

    • Julie
      July 10, 2018 at 9:09 pm

      Ooh thanks for catching that!

  2. fanfiction
    July 13, 2018 at 10:26 pm

    Look very delicious !!! I want to eat all these things right from the first time I see them. Thank you for sharing this dish.

  3. vex 3
    July 25, 2018 at 1:34 am

    wow, the cake looks delicious and very attractive, thank you for sharing

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