Homemade Manti (Armenian Dumplings)

October 13, 2010 (Last Updated: June 29, 2020)
This post may contain affiliate links, which means that I may receive a commission if you make a purchase using these links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

These homemade baked Manti (Sini Manti) are traditional Armenian and Turkish dumplings. They feature a savory beef filling, and a luscious yogurt-garlic sauce. While some recipes differ, using lamb instead of beef, this is my family’s beloved version. It’s by far the best I’ve ever had on two continents!

Bowl of manti (Armenian/Turkish dumplings) with yogurt garlic sauce and sumac on top.

I remember seeing Ratatouille in theaters when it was first released. One of my favorite moments in the film is when the evil food critic Anton Ego takes a bite of ratatouille. He immediately returns to his humble beginnings, eating his mother’s ratatouille as a young child in the French countryside. It’s the first sign of humanity we see in the character, and I’m sure we can all relate to how food can have this transcendent effect on people.

A tray of assembled manti, unbaked

What are manti?

I can relate to Anton Ego. I experience this food nostalgia every time I taste a bite of manti, my ultimate childhood favorite food, the dish that both of my grandmothers have made for me and with me, where I learned the art of cooking, the greatest dish on Earth. Did I lose you yet? I’m sure many of you have never heard of this dish. If you’ve heard of it, or had the pleasure of eating it, you probably know where I’m coming from, and why I feel so strongly about it.

A tray of assembled manti, baked

There are actually two kinds of manti.  My favorite is the baked version (sini manti in Turkish). There’s also a variation cooked in broth as a soup (sulu manti). Although the dumplings are prepared the same general way, they are shaped differently and cooked in broth instead of baked in the oven.  After baking, these canoe-shaped dumplings are topped with a yogurt-garlic sauce and sumac, a lovely, tart, purple Middle-Eastern spice.

Bowl of manti (Armenian/Turkish dumplings) with yogurt garlic sauce and sumac on top.

How to make Armenian manti

Some people take short-cuts and use wonton wrappers.  This is as wrong to me as it is wrong to a native Italian to use store-bought wonton wrappers for their ravioli (sorry Giada, but it’s just not the same!). Making manti is a tedious process (not unlike making ravioli). Ever since I was very young, I remember both of my Armenian grandmothers making these baked dumplings. It was a treat to have it for dinner, because it wasn’t a quick meal. We would always make an extra tray or two to freeze for future meals. Or at least that was the plan. Manti rarely make it to the freezer. They usually end up in our stomachs. Complete food coma.

A tray of assembled manti, baked

Years ago, my grandmothers would roll out the dough with a rolling pin, and cut it with a knife into squares for assembly.  Since then, a hand-cranked pasta rolling machine has made life easier. A pizza cutter has replaced the knife for faster cutting. If you have a Kitchenaid pasta roller attachment, I highly recommend it to make the process even faster. The faster you make it, the faster you can eat it! It still helps to have an extra pair of hands (or more) to assemble these morsels because even with the newest dough-rolling technology, they can be a lot of work, but so worth it!

Bowl of Armenian dumplings with yogurt garlic sauce and sumac on top.

My family typically sets up a factory-style set-up. We make the dough in our Kitchenaid stand mixer using the dough hook. While it rests for 30 minutes, we butter the pans, and mix together the ground beef mixture. One of us rolls out portions of dough using the Kitchenaid pasta roller attachment. Another then cuts the ribbons of dough into squares, while yet another dots the top of each square with a spoonful of beef. Then we pinch the dumplings closed and arrange them in the pans. Repeat.

A tray of assembled manti, unbaked

Then we dot the tops of these Armenian dumplings with more butter (no one claims this is healthy), and bake until golden and crisp. At this point, we ladle a combination of chicken broth and water over the tops of the manti and then return them to the oven. They will absorb some of the broth, and yield a crispy-chewy-soft texture. To serve, we often ladle extra broth over the top of each bowl. To finish, we drizzle yogurt and garlic sauce and sprinkle sumac generously over the top. And there you have it! The best manti ever!

And to prove it, I actually was invited to Union Square Cafe in New York City to make this recipe for the staff for family meal. They all raved about it, and so will you 🙂

A tray of assembled manti, baked

Other recipes you may like

Bowl of Turkish dumplings with yogurt and sumac on top

Have you ever eaten manti before? What is your favorite family recipe? Please share in the comments below!

A shallow bowl full of Armenian manti, topped with yogurt-garlic sauce and sumac

Manti (Armenian Dumplings)

Victoria
These homemade baked Manti (Sini Manti) are traditional Armenian dumplings. They feature a savory beef filling, and a luscious yogurt-garlic sauce. While some recipes differ, using lamb instead of beef, this is my family's beloved version. It's by far the best I've ever had on two continents!
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 50 mins
Resting Time 30 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 20 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Armenian, Turkish
Servings 4 to 6 servings
Calories 623 kcal

Ingredients
  

Dough

  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour plus more as needed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Meat Filling

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 small onion minced (about 1/3 cup)
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Yogurt-Garlic Sauce

  • 2 cups plain yogurt
  • 3 cloves garlic finely chopped or crushed
  • Kosher salt

To Finish

  • 4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter plus more for greasing pans
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth or chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Sumac for serving

Instructions
 

  • To make the dough by hand, fill a large mixing bowl with the flour and make a well in the center. Beat together the eggs, salt, water, and olive oil. Add the wet ingredients to the well. Slowly incorporate the flour into the wet ingredients until a ball of dough is formed. Alternatively to make the dough in a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, add the flour to the mixer bowl, then add the wet ingredients and mix for 3 to 4 minutes until smooth and pliable. If the dough is sticky add a bit of flour as needed, and continue to mix/knead the dough until smooth. Cover the dough with a tea towel and set aside for 30 minutes.
  • Mix together the ground beef, onion, parsley, salt, pepper, and paprika until well incorporated. Refrigerate until needed.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Grease 2 (13 by 9-inch) baking pans with butter and set aside.
  • Using a hand-cranked pasta roller or a rolling pin, in batches roll out the dough until it very thin, dusting the dough with flour as needed. If using the Kitchenaid pasta roller attachment, roll until #4 for thickness (see notes below).
  • Cut each strip of dough into 1 1/2 inch squares. Place a 1/2 teaspoon of meat filling into the center of each square and pinch the two ends with your fingers to form a canoe-shaped dumpling.
  • Repeat with the remaining dough and meat filling. Arrange the manti close together in the buttered pans. Dot the tops of the manti with bits of butter, and bake for about 35 to 40 minutes, or until golden brown.
  • Meanwhile, mix the yogurt and garlic, and season with salt. Set aside. Add the chicken broth and water to a saucepan and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer.
  • When the manti are golden brown, remove the pans from the oven and ladle the broth mixture over the manti. The broth should fill the pan about 3/4 of the way up the manti. Reserve the rest of the broth for serving. Return the pans to the oven and bake for 10 minutes longer until most of the broth is absorbed into the manti, and about 1/4-inch of broth remains on the bottom. They will have a firmer than al dente texture, with a slight crunch at the ends, but you can bake them longer with the broth if you want a slightly softer texture.
  • Remove the pans from the oven and serve manti in individual wide bowls, ladling some more of the hot broth over it. Top with yogurt-garlic sauce and sumac. Enjoy!

Notes & Nutrition

To roll the dough with a manual pasta roller or Kitchenaid pasta roller attachment: Cut off a 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 ounce piece of dough (approximate) from the large ball of dough in the mixing bowl, and cover the remaining dough with a clean kitchen towel. Lightly flour your work surface and the small piece of dough and carefully stretch and press it into a rough rectangle. With the pasta roller on its widest setting (usually #1 on the dial), roll the dough through the machine to flatten and stretch it. With the machine still on the widest setting, fold the dough back over itself and run it through the machine again. Do this 2 or 3 times total, lightly flouring the dough if necessary in between. Then one at a time, adjust the dial to the next widest setting (#2) and run the dough through the machine again one time. Then tighten it to next thickness and repeat. And so on. You’ll do this until you reach your desired thickness. On the Kitchenaid pasta roller attachment we like setting #4 for the optimal thickness.
To freeze: prepare the trays of manti through step 5 (before adding the broth). After cooling they can be wrapped in foil and frozen in their trays, or they can be frozen in freezer bags and then reassembled in a single layer into trays before finishing. To finish cooking: defrost the manti overnight in the refrigerator. Bake them in trays at 400 degrees F for about 10 minutes, then add the hot broth and continue with the following steps as instructed.
Servings 6.0 * calories 623 * Total Fat 28 g * Saturated Fat 6 g * Monounsaturated Fat 3 g * Polyunsaturated Fat 1 g * Trans Fat 0 g * Cholesterol 92 mg * Sodium 68 mg * Potassium 58 mg * Total Carbohydrate 55 g * Dietary Fiber 3 g * Sugars 2 g * Protein 28 g
*All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more.*

Pin it for Later!

Homemade Armenian Manti in a white bowl at the top of the photo collage; in the bottom of the photo collage it's in a pan.

6 Comments

  • Reply
    Mary Kabakian
    January 22, 2020 at 9:23 pm

    5 stars
    One of my most favorite dishes ever! Can never have enough of it. My whole family absolutely loves it. Who wouldn’t? We should make some very soon.

    • Reply
      Victoria
      January 23, 2020 at 10:43 am

      We definitely should. It’s the ultimate comfort food for Armenians! Yummy 😀

  • Reply
    Camille
    January 23, 2020 at 10:31 am

    5 stars
    These look really good! My brother in law is Turkish, so I’m excited to ask him if this is something that his family makes too! I want to make some!!

    • Reply
      Victoria
      January 23, 2020 at 10:42 am

      It’s a lot of work to make but so worth it! We usually only make it once a year in the winter because it’s really time consuming, but we always double the recipe so we we have a lot of eat 😀

  • Reply
    Sharon Madzoeff
    April 21, 2020 at 3:36 pm

    5 stars
    Great recipes especially the Armenian ones! Brings back so many memories of my grandmother’s delicious meals she prepared for us

    • Reply
      Victoria
      April 21, 2020 at 3:48 pm

      Thank you, Sharon!

    Leave a Reply






    shares