Jamie Lynne Grumet, mom to 2 adorable little boys, writer of the popular I am Not the Babysitter blog, and founder of the Fayye Foundation. She is passionately supportive of the efforts of organizations like Fayye Foundation and Awassa Children’s Project to fight both the orphan and AIDS crises in Ethiopia. Jamie and her mom are sharing their recipe of manti/monti, an Armenian dish that their entire family loves.
I’ve been around my mom making manti since I could remember, but this time I was actually going to learn to replicate it at home. Though we have always used beef, apparently, true Armenian manti uses lamb– which I am a fan of, but my mom is not. Here is my mom’s recipe for delicious manti.
1/3 c water
1/8 tsp salt
2 T melted butter
1 1/2 cups plus 2 T flour
In a food processor, combine egg, water, salt, and butter. Process it until well mixed. Add the flour and process it until the mixture forms a ball. If it’s too sticky, add a bit more flour. When the dough is done it should feel like your earlobe.
Turn the dough out on a lightly floured board and knead a bit (about a minute) until the dough is smooth and elastic. Cover the dough with plastic wrap or a towel and let it rest while you are making filling.
1/2 lb ground beef (It’s customary to use lamb, but you will all love the beef)
1 onion, chopped very fine
1/4 cup or so, finely chopped parsley
1 or 2 cloves of minced garlic
1/2 tsp salt& 1/8 tsp pepper
2-4 T salted butter, melted; used to drizzle on just before putting in oven
Combine the meat, onion, parsley, garlic, salt, and pepper and mix until well-blended.
2 cups (at least) of plain greek yogurt (we like the Fage brand)
1 or 2 cloves of minced garlic
1/4 tsp salt, or more to your liking….we use more, of course!
Combine ingredients and refrigerate until serving time.
I have never used the broth recipe, but some people use the following:
3 cans of beef broth (or homemade), or chicken broth
a couple T of ketchup
a splash of Tabasco sauce
Assembling the Manti:
(First of all picture the end result in your mind so you see where we’re going with this. They look like little fat canoes with a ball of meat in them).
On a lightly floured board, roll out half the dough at a time to form a 9 inch square about 1/8 inch thick. Cut dough into 1 1/2 inch squares. Note: I just roll out some dough to the right thickness as long as you get little squares to fill.
I take a baby spoon and fill about 1/2 tsp of filling on each square. Then pinch the two opposite ends tightly. It now should look like a little boat with the meat inside! As each manti is formed, put it meat side up in the prepared pan. You can put them fairly close together, as long as they aren’t touching.
Ok, now you can leave this part out, but it’s not going to taste as good as mine!…drizzle the melted butter over the manti!
Bake them on the middle rack in the oven on 350 for about 35 minutes. I check them after about 25 minutes. The dough should be browning, but don’t let the bottoms start burning. Cool them on the pan.
Although, completely good on their own…..we serve it in a bowl with the broth, garlic yogurt, and topped with slowly grilled “crispy” onions. Take 1 chopped yellow onion and slowly cook in a saute pan in……butter! It takes some time so start this early in the preparation of the manti. Cook it until it is caramelized and nice and brown a little crispy. This is the “garnish” you put on top of the yogurt sauce.
I personally like it with less water and lots of yogurt sauce on top, but Daddy likes more water with yogurt sauce mixed together, and then he adds the manti.
I would have taken a picture, but we ate them all before I could get my camera out! Here is my mom and me making monta in the same kitchen when I was a child!
Do you have a special dish you remember making as a child? What dishes are you passing on to your children?