Posted by: Stephanie | March 18, 2011

Food File: Making Mantı

Mantı is one of my favorite Turkish dishes. (fyi -others have written better recipes, so I’m not writing one, just about the experience) In Ankara, I’ve found where the best mantı places are, and usually, they involve being in someone’s house. As far as restaurants go, there’s a quaint shop just down the

Rolling Manti Dough

street from our apartment. It features plenty of homemade food, so if you can’t get into a house, I highly recommend Sedir in Çankaya.

As I said, the best mantı is homemade, and I got an opportunity last week (while Andy was gallivanting in Germany) to make some with my Turkish friends. Not only mantı, but we also had kısır (another of my favorites), sarma, börek and homemade tiramisu. What a delicious day.

I’ve heard before that making mantı is a time-consuming process. It involves making the dough, rolling it out into large, thin circles, cutting small squares, placing a meat mixture onto the squares and pinching them up. If you’re alone, I can see how this can be time-consuming. For Turkish housewives, everything is communal, so with 4 of us, we made enough easily within an hour.

After you’ve made the ravioli part, you cook the pasta. Once that’s finished, dish the mantı into bowls. Pour garlic yogurt over the top (add garlic into plain yogurt), and add red sauce. The red sauce is made with a tomato sauce, butter and chili flakes heated together. On top of that, you can add nane (mint flakes) and sumac. I always add a bit more chili flakes because I like spice!

I had a lovely day with those women. We ate up all our hard work, drank Turkish çay, drank Turkish coffee and relaxed for the rest of the afternoon!

The Spread: front - sarma; the middle - kısır; the back - almost finished mantı

My tip, I wouldn’t try to get mantı in some of the more touristy places. We tried it at a place in Ölü Deniz and it wasn’t so good.



  1. I was in Kayseri not so long ago, famous for its manti. Unfortunately I don’t like it but give ten out of ten to anyone that can make it.

    • Ha, thanks Natalie! I’ve heard mixed reactions to the famous Kayseri manti, from expats and Turks. It always amuses me when Turks don’t like really Turkish things, like cay, manti, raki.

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