How to Make Turkish Manti with Garlic Yogurt Sauce

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Turkish Manti with Garlic Yogurt Sauce www.compassandfork.comTurkish manti with garlic yogurt sauce is a very common Turkish meal. Often described as Turkish ravioli, you can either make your own Turkish manti or buy it already prepared.

Also known as manti dumplings, it is essentially a very small version of ravioli, usually filled with a slightly spicy, meat mixture. But it can be vegetarian as well. Instead of following a Turkish manti recipe, you can also buy fresh or dried manti, even outside of Turkey.

In Turkey, you will find many specialist, manti restaurants that basically only offer manti dishes on their menus. And manti with garlic yogurt sauce is one of the more popular choices.

Manti with garlic yogurt sauce is an easy dish to add to your repertoire and it is super-quick. But, despite being a quick dish to prepare, Turkish manti has a long history and it is still to this day, the dish that many chefs and cooks in Turkey are judged by. Read on to find out more.

The History of Turkish Manti

The history of manti is quite fascinating. Its origins are likely to be Chinese/Mongolian. Being horsemen and on the move, cooking up dried manti was a very simple dish to make. Merely boil some water and add your manti! Very convenient when you need to set up camp each evening.

Upon migrating from China/Mongolia to Anatolia (the Asian part of Turkey) the Turks brought this delicacy with them. Turkish manti recipes remains a very popular and dish to make at home. Today in Turkey you can purchase manti in a dry format but it is still common practice there to make it from scratch. It is much like making a Turkish ravioili, with the whole family pitching in to help.

You can read more about the history of Turkish manti here.

The Manti Dumplings Test for Prospective Daughters-in-Law

There is a slight snobbery attached to this dish. In Turkey, chefs consider the smaller the manti dumpling, the greater the skill the chef exhibits. Indeed, one quaint Turkish custom is for a prospective daughter-in-law to make manti dumplings for her prospective mother-in-law.

It is a test of cooking skills, so the mother-in-law can relax knowing her son’s eating future is in good hands so to speak! The manti dumplings must be made by hand with the emphasis being on making the manti as small as possible. Indeed, 1 story I read claimed that up to 40 manti dumplings could fit on 1 spoon. That sounds a bit extreme to me. I actually preferred the larger manti dumplings, as I could taste more of the delicious filling.

Making Turkish Manti is A Family Affair

Apart from satisfying prospective mothers-in-law, it is a common practice in Turkey to make the manti dumplings by hand and for the whole family to take part in the process. This is so typically Turkish! They consider the family to be sacrosanct and making the meal together is just a normal, everyday pleasure. A nice touch.

True slow food while actually speaking to other members of your family. The traditional process involves rolling the dough out by hand with what looks like a broom handle. Next, you cut the dough into shape, you add the filling and then form the little parcels into their final shapes. The final step is to seal the manti dumplings. You can see how it forces you to slow down and talk to other members of your family!

But don’t worry, you can purchase either fresh or dried manti without going to the trouble of making it yourself. In Turkey, we purchased our fresh manti from the market as our kitchen did not have a rolling pin. How’s that for a good excuse? 

Turkish Manti with Yogurt Garlic Sauce
Pastry & Manti at the market


Manti with Garlic Yogurt Sauce

The key to any manti with garlic yogurt sauce recipe is the garlic yogurt sauce component. And the good news is that you can easily learn how to make garlic yogurt sauce by following this recipe.

Serving manti with garlic yogurt sauce is the traditional way in Turkey. It will usually have paprika as well. To this you can add dried mint and sumac. Other options are to just use sizzling butter with maybe some pul biber and dried mint. So, only 2 or 3 minutes to prepare the sauce while the manti is cooking. Could it get any simpler than that?

If you are after a Turkish manti recipe to make from scratch, it follows. But the truth is, you can also buy and use pre-prepared manti. The choice is yours. We detail how you can buy it after the recipe.

Other Great Recipes Featuring Yogurt

Turkish yogurt is brilliant and we really enjoyed it when visiting there. If you can’t find Turkish yogurt, use Greek or Bulgarian-style yogurt instead. And, if you enjoy yogurt, you might also enjoy the following recipes:

This easy yogurt soup. also hails from Turkey. And, you can serve it either hot or cold.

Turkish mezes are another fine way to enjoy yogurt with some fabulously-colored appetizers.

Using yogurt is also a fine way to dress shish kebaps, simply skewered meats and vegetables, Turkish style. They’re fabulous on the outdoor grill.

Our healthy pomegranate breakfast also features yogurt. Just delicious in summer.

Using yogurt, you can easily make labna, which is strained yogurt, and very thick. It is delicious!



Turkish Manti with Yogurt Sauce



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Manti with Yoghurt Sauce
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The recipe below instructs you how to hand make the manti from scratch. We purchased fresh manti from the market. You can also purchase dried manti from Amazon. If you have the time, try making it from scratch. If you have a pasta machine, then I would use that rather than rolling by hand as they do in Turkey. But remember they have had a lifetime of experience rolling dough out by hand and they are quick at it. The filling we are using is the traditional lamb mixture but you can also use beef. Vegetarian filling is less common but we provide an option in the cooking notes. The sauce is added cold over the hot manti, whereupon it melts over the whole dish. If you buy already prepared manti then this dish is easy. It is more work if you make from scratch.
Servings Prep Time Cook Time Passive Time
4people 45minutes 15minutes 1hour
Servings Prep Time
4people 45minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
15minutes 1hour
Servings: people
Servings: people
  1. Combine the flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Lightly beat the eggs and then add these to the flour mixture. Combine well. If the mixture is too dry add the water. Add further water if needed. Knead in the bowl for about 5 minutes to form a smooth dough. If you have a mixer with pastry hook, you could use this instead.
  2. Place the contents of the bowl onto a floured surface and continue to knead for about 5 minutes until smooth and elastic.
  3. Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and leave to rest for about 1 hour.
  4. Divide the dough into golf ball size portions. Lightly flour a work surface and working with one piece at a time roll the dough as thinly as possible into a rectangular shape. If you have a pasta machine then use that. Cut each rolled portion into 1 & 1/2 inch (4cm) squares, using a knife or pastry wheel.
  5. Make the manti filling by combining the minced lamb with the sea salt and ground pepper.
  6. Place a chick pea size portion of the filling inside each square of dough. Using a small amount of water, moisten the edges of the dough. Fold one edge over the filling to form a triangle. Squeeze to seal, making sure there are no air pockets. This is important.
  7. As an alternative to the triangle shape described above, you could make the traditional star shape instead. Bring two opposite corners together over the filling and press to join at the top. Repeat with the other two corners, moistening and pinching the side as you go to seal them.
  8. Transfer the finished manti to a floured plate. Sprinkle more flour over the manti to prevent sticking.
  9. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook the manti for about 12 to 15 minutes. The manti should be floating when cooked.
  10. While the manti are cooking, prepare the sauce. Combine the yogurt and garlic. Put aside. Gently melt the butter over a low heat and then whisk for about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the paprika.
  11. When the manti are cooked, carefully drain. Serve the manti onto plates. Add the yogurt garlic mixture and then pour the butter paprika sauce over the top. Finish off by sprinkling over the dried mint and serve.Turkish Manti with Garlic Yogurt Sauce
Recipe Notes

If you are making by hand, then as for making pasta it is best to use "strong" bread or pasta flour.  You can buy prepared manti here.

Minced lamb is the traditional filling.  Minced beef can be substituted.

Turkish-style yogurt is thick.  If you can't find it then use Greek yogurt.

If you are using a mild paprika, you can double the measure to 1 teaspoon.

If you are after a vegetarian option then you can try spinach and cheese instead of the meat filling.

You could also try this sauce over your favorite tortellini- the smaller the size of the tortellini the better.

11 Responses

  1. Carmel pitt
    | Reply

    Thank you for the recipes. I am now addicted and have to try them all. How delicious.

  2. Emily Leary
    | Reply

    Looks and sounds lovely. Might have a go at making a vegetarian filling with this recipe. Thanks!

    • Editor

      Emily, we also saw vegetarian manti in Turkey. Cheese or mushroom would work well I think. Thanks for your comment. Cheers….Mark

  3. Madiha Nawaz
    | Reply

    Manti is my favorite but I’ve never tried making it myself ever. Now that I have got this well explained recipe, I’ll surely try my hand at it 🙂
    Thanks for sharing!

    • Editor

      Thanks for your comment. It really is easy to make especially if you by the pre-made manti. Cheers….Mark

  4. Molly Kumar
    | Reply

    I love dishes with lamb & yogurt and this looks really delicious.

    • Editor

      Molly, it is very tasty. And a bit different.

  5. Donna
    | Reply

    This sounds delicious! Quite similar to Lebanese spaghetti, which is my absolute favourite meal of all time (and we literally had it for dinner tonight). Pinning this to try as a variation on our usual dish! Delicious 🙂

    • Editor

      Donna, I am going to look out for Lebanese Spaghetti now, thanks for the tip!

  6. Sandi (@sandigtweets)
    | Reply

    I love how much I learn when I read your posts. I wonder if I could sub gluten free flour for the flour in this recipe. Looks like a great dish.

    • Editor

      Sandi, I am sure you could. Jenny at the Nourished Kitchen talks a bit about Eikhorn flour as a good alternative for baking with a gluten free flour. Also depending on where you live you might be able to find a gluten free ravioli or tortellini, I have seen them in the health food shop. Let us know if you try it. Thanks for reading. I am glad you enjoy the blog, we love learning about this kind of thing and sharing it!

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