Mushroom Manti Dumplings

More traditionally made with spiced minced meat, this vegetarian version of a Turkish classic is lighter, but still as full of flavour. Aleppo pepper, or pul biber, is used as a table spice throughout Turkey and adds vibrant colour, fruity warmth and delicious smokiness to any dish. It stains the hot butter an intense vermillion red and makes a striking and delicious contrast to the garlic yogurt sauce.

Unless you’re already a dab hand at speedy dumpling construction, there’s no denying that this dish is a bit of a project, but the gentle repetition of filling and shaping these tiny dumplings can be a soothing way to while away a couple of hours. For days when patience is lacking, you can make fewer, larger dumplings if you wish; they will be less authentic, but still delicious, and will require a slightly longer cooking time.

Ingredients for the dough Serves: 2

Ingredients for the filling

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 125g chestnut mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp sherry vinegar
  • A small handful of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper

Ingredients for the yogurt sauce

  • 100g full fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 small cloves of garlic, minced
  • A generous pinch of fine sea salt

Ingredients for the spicy butter sauce

  • 25g unsalted butter
  • 2 tsp Aleppo pepper
  • A small handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped

Method for mushroom manti dumplings

  1. To make the dough, put ‘00’ pasta flour in a large bowl, stir a generous pinch of salt, and make a well in the middle. Add a beaten egg and olive oil, and mix together with a fork.
  2. Add 1-2 tbsp warm water to help the dough come together if you need it – you might not need any water, or you might need it all.
  3. Tip the dough on to a lightly floured work surface and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic – it shouldn’t be sticky. Put the dough back in the bowl and cover with a damp cloth. Leave to rest for half an hour while you make the filling.
  4. Heat olive oil in a large frying pan on low-medium and add the onion, chestnut mushrooms and minced garlic. Stirring every now and then, until the mushrooms have leached out their water. Season generously with salt and pepper and add the ground cumin.
  5. Increase the heat and continue to fry the mushrooms, stirring intermittently, until the moisture has evaporated and the mushrooms have started to colour. Add the sherry vinegar (1 tsp, plus more to taste) and a small handful of finely chopped flat leaf parsley. Stir until the herbs have wilted. Taste for seasoning and acidity and adjust if necessary, then spread the mixture on to a plate to cool.
  6. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the manti dough until it is about 2mm thick – it is easiest to cut if you try to stick to a roughly square shape. Keep lifting and rotating the dough as it gets bigger, to ensure it does not stick. Cut the dough into small squares of about 1.5 inches/4cm.
  7. Place a small amount of filling in the centre of each square and fold the opposite edges in and pinch together firmly. You may need to lightly brush the rim of each dumpling with water before pinching, if your dough is too dry to hold together. Place each dumpling on a tray lightly dusted with semolina or flour. Once all the manti have been made, bring a large pan of salted water to boil.
  8. In the meantime, make the yogurt sauce by stirring full fat Greek yogurt, minced garlic, a generous pinch of salt, and 2 tbsp warm water, to thin it. Set aside at room temperature.
  9. Place the unsalted butter in a small pan over a low-medium heat to melt. Add the Aleppo pepper, stir to heat through, then take the pan off the heat.
  10. Tip the manti into the boiling water and leave for about 3 minutes, or until they float to the top. Drain and divide between two dishes.
  11. Arrange the yogurt sauce over the top, followed by the Aleppo pepper butter. Scatter over a small handful of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped, and serve immediately.
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Mushroom Manti Dumplings

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