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Manti In Yogurt With Sizzling Paprika Butter

Manti In Yogurt With Sizzling Paprika Butter
T. Susan Chang for NPR /

I have found that two-thirds of the recipe of manti dough is sufficient to wrap the lamb, but you may enjoy cutting up the excess into rough shreds of pasta, which are delectable eaten with the yogurt and butter. You don't have to make dumplings so tiny; it's a time-consuming task, and you're going to gobble them up in 5 minutes anyway. If you use a 2- or 3-inch wrapper instead of a 1-1/2 inch, it's unlikely anyone will cry foul. This recipe is adapted from Turquoise by Greg and Lucy Malouf (Chronicle 2008).

Makes 4 servings

Manti Dough

2 to 3 large eggs

14 ounces bread flour

1 teaspoon sea salt


7 ounces minced or ground lamb

1 small onion, grated

Sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Garlic-Yogurt Sauce

3 cloves garlic

1 teaspoon salt

14 ounces Greek-style yogurt

Mint-Paprika Butter

2 ounces unsalted butter

1/2 teaspoon hot paprika

1/2 teaspoon dried mint

To make the manti dough, lightly beat two of the eggs, and put these into the bowl of an electric mixer with the flour and salt. Use the dough hook to work it to a stiff dough. If the dough is too stiff, add the remaining egg, lightly beaten. Knead for about 5 minutes, then put the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead by hand for another 5 minutes or so, until smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, then cover with plastic wrap and leave to rest for about 1 hour.

Separate dough into pieces the size of a golf ball. Working with one piece at a time, roll the dough on a lightly floured work surface to form a large, paper-thin rectangle. Cut into strips around 1-1/2 inches wide, Repeat with the remaining dough. Stack the strips on top of each other and cut into 1-1/2-inch (or 2- to 3-inch) squares. (If you have a pasta machine, roll the dough through the settings, then trim the sheets to end up with 1-1/2-inch squares.)

Combine the lamb and onion in a bowl, then season with salt and pepper. Place a chickpea-sized amount of filling (or more, if using larger squares) in the center of each manti square. If you're brave enough to attempt the traditional shape, bring two opposite corners together over the filling and press to join at the top. Repeat with the other two corners, carefully moistening and pinching the side "seams" as you go to seal them. You should aim to end up with a four-cornered starlike shape. For an easier option, simply moisten the edges with a little water and fold the pastry over the filling to create little triangles, then squeeze to seal. Whichever shape you decide to make, ensure that the edges are sealed well so the filling doesn't come out as the manti cook. Place the manti on a lightly floured tray as you complete them and repeat until all the dough and filling have been used.

Crush the garlic with 1 teaspoon salt, then beat into the yogurt until well-combined.

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Drop in some of the manti — they will rise to the surface within 1-1/2 to 2 minutes as they are cooked. Use a large slotted spoon to transfer the cooked manti to four warmed serving bowls. Repeat with the remaining manti.

Spoon the garlic yogurt sauce over the warm manti. Quickly sizzle the butter in a small frying pan, then add the paprika and mint and heat until foaming. Swirl the sizzling butter over the manti and serve immediately.

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