‘Mantı’ means dumplings in English. The most famous dumplings dish name in Turkey is ‘Kayseri Mantısı’. It is one of the favorite main dishes of Turkish cuisine. The birthplace of this dish is the Kayseri city of Turkey, where my father and my roots are from. Kayseri city is located in the heart of Anatolia and it carries full of Turkish history in it. So for all these reasons, ‘Kayseri Mantısı’ has a very special place in my heart as a dish.
‘Kayseri Mantısı’ is 100% Turkish flavor that everyone on this planet has to taste in his/her life at least once. It will take time to prepare this delicious dish, but it will be worth every minute of your time. ‘Kayseri Mantısı’ has to be prepared in very small pieces. In Kayseri city we say that one spoon should get 40 pcs of ‘Mantı’ (dumplings) otherwise you either don’t know how to do it or you haven’t put effort while preparing it. The below photo shows exactly what I mean. It is seriously not an easy task to fit 40 pcs to a spoon.
The Story of Kayseri Mantısı
Mantı word came to Turkish cuisine from Central Asia. The roots of the ‘Mantı’ word originally came from the Chinese ‘Montou’ word. ‘Kayseri Mantısı’ officially get into the Ottoman cuisine in the 14th Century.
At that time, Kayseri city was one of the oldest Turkish cities in the Anatolia region. Kayseri city joined Ottoman Empire around 1395. During that period, Sultan Yıldırım Bayezid was the ruler of the Ottoman Empire and he had visited the Kayseri city in 1398. During his visit, there were big celebrations and feasts. According to the folk rumors, it was the first time an Ottoman Empire Sultan has met with ‘Kayseri Mantısı’. After following years, Ottoman Palace head chefs involved ‘Kayseri Mantısı’ to the palace menu.
In Kayseri city, besides the famous ‘Kayseri Mantısı’, there are about 15 different variations of the ‘Mantı’ dish. ‘Mantı Soup’, ‘Tray Mantı’ and ‘Şebit Mantı’ dishes are the other popular ‘Mantı’ variations that we love.
Where to eat?
When I go to Kayseri city, I mostly stop by at ‘Gubate’ Restaurant. They are offering delicious folk food, breakfasts, and of course ‘Kayseri Mantısı’. I strongly suggest you this place if you ever visit Kayseri city for some reason. The name of the restaurant called ‘Gubate‘. I receive the below recipe from the head chef of the restaurant. Enjoy!!
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup lukewarm water
- 250 g ground beef
- 1 onion chopped finely
- 1/4 bunch parsley chopped finely
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 cups yogurt
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tbsp butter and/or olive oil
- 2 teaspoon red paprika powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon dried mint for every plate to be served
- 1 teaspoon sumac for every plate to be served
In a bowl place the egg, flour, salt and water. Knead about 8-10 minutes till you get a firm and smooth dough. Cover it with a moist towel and rest it 15-20 minutes.
While the dough is resting, mix all the filling ingredients in a plate and set a side to use at making Mantı.
Divide the dough into 2 or 3 pieces. Take one dough and place on the floured counter. Don’t forget to cover rest of the dough. Then flatten the dough with a flat surface rolling pin as thin as you can.
Cut the flatten dough with knife into 3/4 inch (about 2 cm) square pieces. Then use 1/4 of a teaspoon to fill each squares. Then stick the opposite corners of the each square by pressing with your finger tips. Do the same steps for remaining dough pieces.
Boil the water for cooking in a big pot and add salt in it. Then add the all Mantı into the boiling water and stir in every 5 minutes to prevent the Mantıs to stick each other. Do not close the lid at cooking this dish. Cook at medium-high heat about 10-15 minutes.
While it is cooking, you can able to prepare the both yogurt and oil sauce.
In a bowl pour the yogurt, salt and garlic. Mix them well.
In a small pan; melt the butter first and then add the paprika powder and tomato paste. Cook them about 3 minutes at medium heat.
Drain the cooked manti and transfer it into your serving plates. Then put yogurt sauce over it. And finally pour about two tbsp of oil sauce over.
If it is requested, sprinkle some dried mint and sumac over Kayseri Mantı.