Manti, also manty, mantu, mantou, or manties
are a type of dumpling in Turkish and various Central Asian and
Caucasian cuisines, closely related to the east Asian mantou, baozi, and
mandu. Manti dumplings consist of a spiced meat mixture, usually lamb or
ground beef, in a dough wrapper. It is either boiled or steamed.
Left: Armenian manti served
with thick sour cream.
The word manti is used only
in plural, referring to the collection of dumplings on a plate or in a pot.
Manti were carried across Central Asia to Anatolia by
migrating Turks in the Chingizid-Timurid periods. Turkic and Mongol horsemen on the move are supposed to have carried frozen or
dried manti, which could be quickly boiled over a camp-fire. Manti are popular throughout
the former Soviet Union, where the dish spread from the Central Asian republics.
In Kazakh cuisine, the manti filling is normally ground lamb
(or beef or horse meat) spiced with black pepper, sometimes with the addition of
chopped pumpkin or squash. Manti are cooked in a multi-level steamer and served
topped with butter, sour cream, or onion (or garlic) sauce. When sold as street
food in Kazakhstan, manti are typically presented sprinkled with hot red pepper
Left: Kazakh or Uzbek manti
in a steamer.
In Kyrgyz cuisine, manti are usually made of one (or a
combination) of the following ingredients: lamb, beef, potato, or pumpkin, with
fat often added to meat manti. Steaming, frying and boiling are all common.
Manti are usually topped with butter and served with sour cream, tomato sauce,
or fresh onion rings (sprinkled with vinegar and black pepper). A sauce made by
mixing vinegar and chilli powder is also common.
Time and energy-consuming, the preparation of manti is often
a family activity.