National Cuisines of Kyrgyzstan
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There is, apparently, some dispute as to the origin of Manty – Turkish, Tartar, or ... somewhere in Central Asia. Manty are small, steamed, dumplings with a meat filling. Although manty are traditionally steamed – some recipes suggest boiling them, as with ravioli, but this is how a different dish – pelmeni – is prepared. There is also a version of "baked manty".  

A mantyshnitza (steamer) is a special pan for cooking manty. It is like a multi-tiered saucepan in which water is poured into the bottom pan, and the other tiers have holes in the bottom through which the steam rises. They fit one on top of the other and placed over the boiling water – with a lid on the pan which comprises the top tier.   

Ingredients: 1 kg of flour; 1 egg; 2 bulbs of garlic; 200 grams of fat; 2 big onions; 1 kg beef or mutton finely chopped or minced; (Pumpkin or potatoes may be added or substituted for meat); ½ teaspoon red pepper; ½ teaspoon black pepper; salt.


1. Mix the flour, egg, and 2 cups of hot water with one-teaspoon of salt to make the dough.  Knead until soft. Leave it to stand, covered with a large bowl, for 30 minutes. 

2. Cut the fat into small piece and add to the finely chopped meat.  Cut the onions and garlic into small pieces and add to meat mixture. Add peppers. Dissolve 1-tablespoon salt into 2 cups warm water and stir into mixture.   

3. Divide the dough into four equal pieces. Roll the dough out onto floured board or table until the dough is thin but won’t break. Cut it into strips, about 10 cm in width. Cut the strips to make squares, about 10cm square. Place one tablespoon of meat mixture on each square.  Bring up two diagonal corners of the dough and press them together on top – do the same with the other two corners.  Bring two corners next to each other on the sides and press them together. Do the same with the remaining two corners.

4. Oil the trays of the steamer. Place the prepared manty onto the steaming trays so that they don’t touch each other (they will stick together if placed too close). Steam for 40 to 50 minutes.   

Prepared manty can then be either baked, or fried. Serve with vinegar.