Manti

Manti is a dumpling version of the Central Asia region with spiced meat.

Lastest Updated January 5, 2024
Verified by A-Z Cuisines Team
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Fact: The name “manti” derives from “mantu” or “mantou”, referring to dumplings.

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Basic Information

Manti: Basic Information

Pronunciation

/mahn-tee/

Alternative Name(s)

Manty, mantu, manta, mantı

Dish Type

Dumplings

Course

Main course

Mealtime

Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Popular Variations

Origin and Region

Manti: Origin and Region

Origin

Undetermined

Continent’s Region

Central Asia, West Asia, Balkans, Middle East

Country’s Region

Unspecified

Associated Region

Unspecified
Ingredients and Preparation

Manti: Ingredients and Preparation

Main Ingredients

All-purpose flour, beef or lamb

Main Cooking Method

Boiling or steaming

Preparation Process

Wrapping spiced meat mixture in thin dough sheets
A Deep Dive

Manti: A Deep Dive

Cultural Significance

Manti is a food that symbolizes hospitality, tradition, and family

Taste

Savory

Texture

Chewy, soft

Aroma

Varies based on ingredients

Color

White or slightly yellow

Serving Style

On a plate with dipping sauce on the side

Serving Temperature

Hot

Accompaniment

Yogurt, garlic, butter, sour cream, onion sauce, or garlic sauce

Occasions

Weddings, festivals

Seasons

Year-round

Special Diets

Non diet-specific

Calories

170 calories per 100-gram of servings, according to data of MyFitnessPal for manti

Popularity

Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Afghanistan, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Central Asia, West Asia, Middle East, Caucasus, Southeast Europe

Popular Similar Dishes

  1. Jiaozi
  2. Baozi
  3. Mandu
  4. Buuz
  5. Momo

Popular Dining Area

Street vendors, local restaurants, and eateries in Central Asia

Manti is a dumpling primarily found in Turkish and Central Asian cuisines, though its influence extends to other regions, like West Asia, South Caucasus, and the Balkans.

Manti Infographic

These dumplings are traditionally made with a spiced meat mixture, often lamb or ground beef, encased in a thin layer of dough sheet and then either boiled or steamed.

Depending on the region, the size and shape of manti differ considerably. Intriguingly, manti bears a resemblance to various Asian dumplings, like Korean mandu, Mongolian buuz, Chinese jiaozi and baozi, and Tibetan momo.

Each country in the region has a different name and variation for manti, resulting in different fillings and sometimes even different cooking methods.

You’ll also learn about how this Central Asian dumpling came to be and its influences on countries. Plus, the many variations along with the good and bad sides of eating manti and the comparison between it and dumplings are the information you simply shouldn’t miss.

Key Points

  • Manti is a type of dumpling primarily found in Turkish and Central Asian cuisines but has influences in other regions.
  • The filling is made with a spiced meat mixture (lamb or ground beef) wrapped in a thin dough sheet.
  • Each country in the region has its unique name and manti varieties.
  • Manti fillings and accompaniments are what set it apart from other dumplings.

Manti Images

What Is The History of Manti?

The word “manti” traces its origins to the Chinese “mantou”, referring to a popular dumpling in China. Manti was introduced to Turkey and Central Asia by Turkic and Mongol tribes in the 13th century.

Its flavors evolved along the Silk Road, influenced by Armenian, Bosnian, Afghan, and Central Asian cuisines.

Historical mentions highlight dishes resembling Turkic manti from the Mongol Empire era. Additionally, manti was first mentioned in a 15th-century Ottoman cookbook, with boiling being a favorite way of cooking these dumplings.

Aside from being just a dish, manti symbolizes hospitality, tradition, and family bonds. It’s a staple at special occasions like weddings and holidays. These Central Asian dumplings are diverse with various forms across regions, from size and shape to fillings and sauces.

While the history and significance of manti span across various cultures and regions, its preparation and enjoyment take on unique flavors and traditions in specific countries. One such region where manti holds a special place is Central Asia.

How Manti Is Adopted into Central Asian Cooking?

The Central Asian version of manti is notable for its size and meticulous preparation. Most often, these dumplings are steamed in specialized multi-tiered metal devices, such as mantovarka, mantyshnitsa, manti-kazan, or manti-kaskan. 

The fillings vary by country: in Kazakh and Kyrgyz cuisines, manty typically contain minced lamb, beef, or horse meat, sometimes with pumpkin or squash. Uzbek and Tajik manty commonly include lamb, beef, cabbage, potato, or pumpkin, with added fat for the meat versions.

Once ready, Central Asian mantis are adorned with various sauces and toppings, like onion sauce, garlic sauce, vinegar, chili powder, yogurt, butter, or sour cream.

Additionally, these dumplings are celebrated across a vast region from Idel-Ural to the Far East and have spread widely in the cuisines of Afghanistan, Russia, and other post-Soviet countries.

How Manti Is Enjoyed in Afghan Cuisine?

In Afghanistan, manti goes by the name “mantu” with a thin dough filled with a mix of beef or lamb, minced onions, and spices, then steamed to perfection. Often, mantu is accompanied by additional sauces or a flavorful carrot qorma.

These bite-sized Afghan mantu are topped with a tangy yogurt sauce made from chaka, lemon juice, mint, chili powder, and garlic. Alternatively, locals employ a rich tomato sauce featuring split peas, red kidney beans, or sautéed meat. 

Despite their similarities, Afghan mantu is distinct from aushak, another version of dumplings in this country. The key differences lie in the filing and preparation method, with aushak being boiled rather than steamed.

While Afghanistan has its unique way of savoring manti, the dish’s adaptability is further showcased in Turkey culinary traditions, where it takes on a different form and flavor profile.

Manti Kind Dumplings
Afghan mantu with a filling of lamb or ground beef.

How Do People Savor Manti in Turkey?

Turkish manti offers versatility in its fillings, ranging from various types of meat to even being unfilled. One of the particularly renowned variants is the kayseri mantısı, which is characterized by its small size and is traditionally served with a combination of yogurt, melted butter, mint, and aleppo pepper.

Commonly, Turkish people serve manti with yogurt and garlic with a touch of red pepper powder for the modern version of manti in Turkey. Aside from Turkey, Armenia is where manti adapted into various forms to please locals’ palates.

Turkish Manti
Turkish kayseri mantısı is a famous dumpling specialty for the locals.

How Manti Are Served in Armenia?

Armenian manti, often referred to as “monta,” are distinctive dumplings traditionally paired with yogurt or sour cream and garlic, often complemented by a clear soup. This version of manti is especially popular among Western Armenians.

Additionally, eastern Armenia often prefers another variation of manti known as khinkali. Surprisingly, this version of manti is also loved in Georgian alongside hingel, another popular adaptation of manti in the region.

What sets Armenian manti apart from other regional variations is their preparation method. Instead of being steamed or boiled, Armenian manti are baked, resulting in a unique, crunchy texture.

As the crunchy texture of Armenian manti delights the palate, a shift toward Bosnia reveals yet another captivating rendition of manti.

Georgian Dumplings Khinkali
Flavorful Armenian and Georgian khinkali with tomato sauce and spices.

How Manti Is Eaten in Bosnia?

In Bosnia, manti take on a unique form and are locally known as “klepe” or “kulaci.” These dumplings are crafted with a filling of minced meat combined with onions.

Once prepared, they are traditionally served with a tangy sauce made from yogurt and garlic, offering a delightful blend of flavors.

While the Bosnian way of enjoying manti offers a unique and flavorful experience, there are certain aspects, like the various manti versions to uncover.

Klepe is Served On A Plate
The national food of Bosnia, klepe is served on a plate.

What Are the Variations of Manti?

Manti has different adaptations in each country made using different ingredients. For that, let’s uncover 6 popular versions of manti:

Next, let these advantages and disadvantages of eating manti shed light on your decision of whether it’s worth it to eat this dumpling.

Pros and Cons of Eating Manti

These are the features relating to the benefits and drawbacks that anyone should know before trying out manti.

Pros

  • Versatility: Manti is filled with a variety of ingredients, allowing for regional and personal adaptations.
  • Flavors: Manti offers various tastes simply by customizing the filling and cooking methods.
  • Adaptability: Manti is great for steaming, boiling, or baking, catering to different culinary preferences.

Cons

  • Preparation Time: Making manti is time-consuming, especially if preparing the dough and fillings from scratch.
  • Caloric Content: Depending on the filling and sauce, manti is potentially high in calories.

After knowing what you’re in for when eating manti, make sure to dive into how these manti distinguish themselves from regular dumplings.

What Is The Difference Between Manti and Dumpling?

Manti and dumplings, while similar, have distinct characteristics easily distinguished through these features.

Having explored both manti and dumplings, let’s now explore more about manti with some commonly asked questions about it

Manti FAQs

Yes, manti is found in various cuisines, including Turkish, Central Asian, and West Asian regions, which would encompass areas of Iran. However, the specific name and variations differ based on regional influences.

Manti and wontons are similar in that they both involve wrapping a filling in a thin dough. While they resemble each other, traditional manti wrappers and wonton wrappers have slight differences in ingredients and texture.

Yes, you can freeze manti. To freeze manti, you need to cool them thoroughly on a serving platter and place them in a bag.

Yes, you can fry manti. Since they are a part of the dumpling family, manti are perfectly fit for frying to have a crunchy texture.

Adam Sam

Adam Sam

Senior Food and Drink Editor

Expertise

Food Writer & Recipe Developer, Recipe Tester, Bartender, Cooking-video Maker, Editor In Chief

Education

  • University of Gastronomic Sciences – Pollenzo (Italy) (MA Food Culture, Communication & Marketing)
  • Johnson & Wales University (US) (Baking and Pastry Arts)
  • Professional Bartender at HNAAu School (Vietnam, International Joint Training Program)

Adam Sam, an experienced food writer and recipe developer, is passionate about blending diverse culinary traditions, national dishes, and innovative beverages, showcasing his proficiency in both traditional and modern recipe testing.

As the Editor-in-Chief, he elevates culinary content from street food to fine dining, focusing on Western cuisine and types of drinks at azcuisines.com, and is professional in creating engaging cooking videos that simplify complex dishes and ingredients.

His passion for food is evident in his writing, where he uniquely merges various cultures, traditions, and contemporary trends, skillfully combining classic recipes with modern cooking methods.

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