Mastering the Art of Turkish Lamb Dumplings Manti

Turkish lamb dumplings


Manti, the delectable Turkish lamb dumplings, are a culinary treasure that beckons food enthusiasts from around the world. These tiny parcels of joy, bursting with flavor, are often referred to as “Turkish ravioli.” The key to their allure lies in the meticulous preparation and the harmonious balance of ingredients that create a symphony of taste in every bite. In this step-by-step guide to make Turkish Lamb Dumplings, we will walk you through the process of making Manti with a delightful yogurt and brown butter tomato sauce, ensuring that you can recreate this Turkish masterpiece in your own kitchen.


For the Manti:
– 1 pound ground lamb
– 1 small onion, finely grated
– 2 cloves garlic, minced
– 1/2 teaspoon salt
– 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
– 1/2 teaspoon ground paprika
– 1 package round dumpling wrappers (approximately 50-60 wrappers)
– Flour for dusting

For the Yogurt Sauce:
– 2 cups Greek yogurt
– 2 cloves garlic, minced
– 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the Brown Butter Tomato Sauce:
– 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
– 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
– 1 teaspoon dried mint
– 1/2 teaspoon paprika
– 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
– Salt and pepper to taste


Step 1: Prepare the Lamb Filling

Turkish lamb dumplings

1. Start by finely grating the small onion and mincing the garlic. These aromatic ingredients will form the flavor base of the lamb filling.

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground lamb, grated onion, minced garlic, salt, black pepper, and ground paprika. Mix the ingredients thoroughly until well combined.

3. It’s essential to ensure that the filling is evenly mixed to create a harmonious flavor profile. Refrigerate the mixture while you prepare the dumpling wrappers.

Step 2: Assemble the Manti Dumplings

Turkish lamb dumplings

1. Lay out the round dumpling wrappers on a clean, floured surface. Make sure to have a small bowl of water nearby for sealing the dumplings.

2. Place a small amount of the lamb mixture in the center of each wrapper. Be mindful not to overfill, as it may make sealing the dumplings difficult.

3. To shape the Manti, there are various techniques. A simple method is to fold the wrapper in half to form a half-moon shape. Seal the edges by moistening them with water and pressing them together, creating a secure pocket for the filling. Then, bring the two corners of the half-moon together, overlapping them slightly, and press to seal, forming a hat-like shape.

4. Continue this process until all the dumplings are assembled. Place the finished Manti on a lightly floured tray or baking sheet, ensuring they don’t touch to prevent sticking.

Step 3: Prepare the Yogurt Sauce

1. In a separate bowl, combine the Greek yogurt, minced garlic, and salt. Mix thoroughly to create a smooth and flavorful yogurt sauce. Adjust the salt to taste.

2. Cover the yogurt sauce and refrigerate it until it’s time to serve.

Step 4: Cook the Manti

Turkish lamb dumplings

1. Fill a large pot with salted water and bring it to a boil.

2. Carefully add the Manti to the boiling water, stirring gently to prevent them from sticking together. Cook the dumplings for about 8-10 minutes, or until they are tender but still slightly firm (al dente). Keep a close eye on them, as overcooking can cause the Manti to become mushy.

3. Once cooked, remove the Manti from the water using a slotted spoon, allowing excess water to drain off. Place them on a serving platter and cover to keep warm.

Step 5: Create the Brown Butter Tomato Sauce

Turkish lamb dumplings

1. In a separate saucepan, melt the unsalted butter over medium heat.

2. Add the red pepper flakes, dried mint, and paprika to the melted butter. Sauté the spices in the butter for a minute or two until they become fragrant.

3. Carefully pour in the canned crushed tomatoes, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Allow the sauce to simmer for about 10-15 minutes, allowing it to thicken and develop its flavors.

4. Once the sauce has reached the desired consistency, remove it from heat and set it aside.

Step 6: Serve the Manti

Turkish lamb dumplings

1. To serve, arrange the cooked Manti on a serving plate. Spoon a generous amount of the yogurt sauce over the dumplings, allowing it to coat them evenly.

2. Drizzle the prepared brown butter tomato sauce over the yogurt-covered Manti. The combination of these two sauces creates a harmonious blend of flavors that complements the lamb filling perfectly.

3. Optionally, garnish the dish with additional dried mint or red pepper flakes for a pop of color and added flavor.

4. Manti is often served with a side of sumac, which adds a citrusy tang to each bite. You can sprinkle some sumac on top for an authentic touch.

Step 7: Enjoy Your Homemade Manti

Sit down and savor the fruits of your labor. Manti is a dish meant to be enjoyed slowly, as each bite tells the story of tradition and culinary artistry. The delicate dumplings, savory lamb filling, creamy yogurt, and aromatic tomato sauce create a symphony of flavors that’s sure to leave a lasting impression.


Mastering the art of making Turkish lamb dumplings, or Manti, with yogurt and brown butter tomato sauce is a rewarding culinary journey. This flavorful and comforting dish carries the rich history and tradition of Turkish cuisine, and now, you have the skills to recreate it in your own kitchen. The careful preparation and balance of ingredients in this recipe showcase the essence of Turkish cuisine, making Manti a delightful and unforgettable experience for your taste buds. So, gather your ingredients, follow the steps diligently, and embark on a culinary adventure that will transport you to the heart of Turkey with every delectable bite.

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