My vegan alternative for Turkish manti, dumplings traditionally filled with mince meat and served with yoghurt and a chilli butter sauce. A good meat substitute is essential here, I prefer the all natural mushroom varieties, such as Fable. This is cooked with a caramelised onion base for a sweet and jammy filling. A plant based yoghurt will substitute for Greek yoghurt, seasoned with tahini and lemon. If you can’t get hold of Pul Biber or Turkish red pepper flakes, then paprika will work just fine.
300g Turkish inci flour or ‘00’ pasta flour, plus extra for dusting
1 tsp fine salt
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Fine semolina, for dusting
For the Filling:
3 onions, finely diced
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground coriander
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp tomato puree
250g mushroom meat substitute, finely chopped
20g parsley, finely chopped
For the Sauce:
1 tbsp pul biber (Turkish chilli flakes, paprika can substitute)
1 garlic clove, minced
For the Yoghurt:
200ml non-dairy yoghurt
1 tbsp tahini
1 lemon, zested and juiced
Extra virgin olive oil
5 sprigs of thyme, leaves only
20g pine nuts, toasted
Start with the manti dough by mixing the flour and salt in a big bowl. Slowly drizzle in the water and olive oil mixing until it comes together as a dough. Turn out on a floured surface and knead for a few minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. Cover the dough and leave to rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes while you prepare the filling.
Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a frying pan and cook the diced onions over a low/medium heat until soft and translucent, 15 minutes. Turn up the heat and fry the onions until they caramelise and turn soft and jammy, another 5 minutes. Add the garlic, spices and tomato puree and cook for 2 mins. Add the finely chopped ‘meat’ and cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring through to coat in the onions and spices.
Transfer the filling to a bowl to cool. Stir in the parsley and season well with salt and pepper.
For the tomato sauce, heat a drizzle of olive oil in a small saucepan. Fry the garlic and red pepper flakes for 2 minutes until fragrant. Add the passata and cook until thickened and slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Prepare the yoghurt by mixing the ingredients together in a bowl and season.
When the filling is cold, cut the dough in half and on a floured surface, roll out one half of the dough to 2mm thick. Use a knife to slice the dough into 10cm squares. Fill the centre of each square with about 2tsp of filling. Fold the corners of the square into the middle and press the edges together to seal. Brushing the edges of the square with a little water will help the sticking. Place the manti on a tray dusted with fine semolina. Finish shaping the manti with the rest of the filling and leave on the tray with semolina.
Bring a pan of salted boiling water to the boil and cook the manti for 10 minutes until soft and cooked through.
Serve with the yoghurt and a drizzle of the tomato sauce. Finish with the toasted pine nuts, sumac, thyme leaves and a drizzle of olive oil.