Manti, dumplings with seasoned ground pork and onion, is one of Turkey's all-time favorite foods. Family members assemble in Anatolia, in particular, to prepare the dough and fill the tiny dough squares with the filling together; it's a labor of love, so it's lovely to get together for it, and it's well worth the work. The combination of melt-in-your-mouth dumplings, garlic yogurt sauce, and spice-infused olive oil is delicious. Sumac, red pepper flakes, and dried mint steeped in olive oil provide another layer of flavor and perfectly complement the garlic yogurt sauce for manti.
Manti comes from the word mantu, which means dumplings. It's a shared culinary tradition that nomadic Turkish tribes brought from Central Asia to Anatolia, today's Turkey, in the 13th century. "Turkic and Mongol cavalry on the move was meant to carry frozen or dried manti, which could be swiftly boiled over a camp," according to Holly Chase; what a fantastic concept. Most Turkic cuisines and Armenian, Caucasian, Central Asian, Afghan, and Chinese Islamic cuisines include these delicious dumplings.
These excellent dumplings, known as manti, can now be found at almost every supermarket in Turkey and Turkish specialized stores and Middle Eastern stores overseas, but nothing beats homemade manti. It is recommended to make a double batch, boiling the dumplings (which gives manti a sound bite) and freezing part of it for a delicious surprise later on. The inside is traditionally made up of ground beef, onion, and spices. Still, in Eastern Anatolia, mashed chickpeas with cumin and red pepper flakes are also used to fill, making for a delectable vegetarian option.