Our visit to the new outdoor and ski centre at Erciyes was understandably primarily aimed at getting to know the options and offers for outdoor activities that have already been completed, but as always and everywhere, also the local cuisine.
The region around Kayseri is particularly well known for Mantı, a filled pasta specialty that is somewhat comparable to real ravioli from Italy, but then again completely different.
The homemade mantı are the most tasty ones
Mantı are the Turkish version of pasta pockets, which are mainly filled with minced meat, then served with creamy yoghurt and finally decoratively covered with a spicy, buttery tomato sauce or paprika sauce.
There is also a lentil filling as a vegetarian option. The shape and size of the mantı vary depending on the region.
As a rule, homemade mantı are tastiest when the dough is also homemade. Alternatively, pre-made Yufka dough can also be used.
To make the dough, mix the flour with the egg and a little water and knead it very well until you have a firm dough consistency. Then place the dough in a bowl, cover with a cloth or lid and let it rest for about 30 minutes. During this time, you can work on the filling. Depending on your taste, chop an onion very small, almost puree it, mix it with the minced lamb (alternatively minced beef), add parsley, salt, pepper and paprika powder and then mix all the ingredients.
Alternatively, the ingredients for the meat can of course be adapted to your own taste, perhaps by adding garlic or pine nuts or mint. Even all three ingredients mixed together give a great aroma.
Depending on the size you choose, between 5 and 7 minutes of cooking time
Now turn back to the dough, which is rolled out to about 2 millimetres thick. Depending on your preference, you can now cut out squares about 3 centimetre long, onto which you can then place a teaspoon-sized amount of the filling. Now pick up all the corners and press the dough together at the seams so that the filling is completely enclosed. The result is a slightly angular, somewhat teardrop-shaped mantı. If you prefer a slightly larger shape, just cut out squares about 5 centimetre in size, add 2 teaspoons of filling to them and then fold the mantı into a triangle. Now press the edges together here too and the dumplings are ready.
The dumplings, better known as mantı, are then cooked in salted water for a cooking time of between 5 and 7 minutes, depending on the size chosen.
To give the yoghurt a special touch, our favourite recipe, we mix freshly made garlic paste into the yoghurt using a garlic press. The yoghurt should be almost creamy and liquid and seasoned with a little salt. A second sauce, and this is actually the icing on the cake of the Mantı dishes, consists of lightly roasted butter into which hot paprika powder has been stirred.
The mantı are now cooked, drained and distributed onto the plates. The cold yoghurt is now spread over the mantı, so that the consistency of the hot mantı and the cold yoghurt on top alone has an interesting note. The crowning achievement is now the second, again hot red sauce, which is usually poured decoratively in a circle or cross shape onto the white, cold yoghurt.
Looks great and tastes simply delicious.
250 g minced lamb (or beef)
2 tbsp parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper, black
4 tsp paprika powder, very hot
4 cloves garlic
3 tbsp Butter
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