Mantu - Afghani Stuffed Dumplings in Yogurt Sauce
Mantu is an Afghani dish that has dumplings (stuffed with minced meat) which are steamed to perfection and dipped in a flavoursome yogurt sauce and topped with cooked lentils and tomato sauce.
I first had Mantu at a food festival in Mississauga, Ontario. The presentation of the dish itself was so tempting that I knew I had to try it out and as I finished my first bite, I told my husband I cannot share this plate with him. Finished it all. It was delicious!!!
I made Mantu for the first time last Ramadan for Iftaar. And I realized that home made Mantu was better than the ones made in restaurants. Try the recipe below, you'll know what i'm talking about ;)
Prepared ground Chicken / Lamb (Kheema)
15-20 Wonton wrappers
For the yogurt sauce:
1 cup whipped yogurt
Quarter cup water
Zeera dhania powder(cumin seeds and coriander seeds powder) - half tsp
Dried Mint leaves - crushed
Oil - 1 tsbp
Salt to tase
For the lentil and tomato sauce:
Half cup - chana dal (boiled until tender)
Tomatoes - 3 to 4 chopped
Ginger Garlic paste - half tsp
Turmeric - half tsp
Red chilli powder - half tsp
Cumin seeds - half tsp
Black pepper powder - half tsp
Salt to taste
First prepare the ground meat. For that, i just sliced a few onions, fry them until golden brown, add the ground chicken or lamb and fry for a few seconds. Then add ginger garlic paste, turmeric, red chilli powder, black pepper powder and salt (according to your preference). Cook until the meat is tender. Keep aside and let it cool.
Now comes the main part of the recipe, to make the wonton dumplings! Tedious job but fun! Roll out each wonton wrapper (looks like a square now) and place the prepared meat in the middle part of the wrapper. Pull opposite sides and stick them with water, repeat the same with the other two sides left and seal all of them together. Your dumpling should now look like a square pouch.
When you're done making the dumplings (I usually make 15 to 20 dumplings which should be enough for 4 people if you're making Mantu as a starter) steam them in an oil greased steamer for 15 mins. Take them out and keep aside.
Now prepare the sauces.
For the yogurt sauce, whisk the yogurt, water, zeera dhania powder, dried mint leaves, salt and oil.
Lentil and Tomato Sauce:
For this sauce, heat oil in a pan and add ginger garlic paste, let it splutter and then add cumin seeds. Fry for a few seconds then add the turmeric and red chilli powder, saute and then add the tomatoes. Fry until the juice of the tomatoes comes out. Add the boiled chana dal and mix well. Cook for 10 mins on medium heat. Add salt and pepper accordingly.
Now assemble the tray by drizzling extra virgin olive oil on the base. Pour yogurt sauce on it and spread evenly. Now arrange the dumplings on the sauce. Finally, top it off with the lentil and tomato sauce. Sprinkle with fresh coriander leaves. Serve warm!