Foodie Friday First: Mantu

Mantu: steamed ground beef and lamb dumplings, served with sour cream and a meat sauce

mantuI confess: I’ve never had Afghan food. So when my hubby mentioned a local restaurant, I was intrigued. The decor was luscious, with dark-toned long tables. Along the sides of the room were cushioned benches embellished with jewel-encrusted throw pillows. Now on to the food…

Mantu is a very popular dish in Afghanistan and is cooked in a multi-layered steamer. People sell it on the street corners, kind of like our American hot dog stands. Mantu dates back to the time of Mongol horsemen, and it’s believed that the dumplings were boiled over camp fires for dinner.

I’ve had many dumplings in my life, but mantu was totally different than my previous culinary experiences. The stuffing of ground beef and lamb gave it a very meaty taste, while the wrappers were steamed to fall-apart softness. It’s got an interesting take on condiments, with its two sauces. The first is a tomato-based style and the second, the sharp tang of sour cream (although some recipes call for yogurt).

Mantu is pretty tasty, but it requires a new mindset on my part, not to lump it together with other dumplings like the wonton.

 

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Comments

  1. DANIEL AMARE says:

    Mantu must be delicious Afgani dish, have yourself made to your husband yet? I have tried other dishes at Afgani restaurant in the past, Maybe it was Mantu.

    • Jennifer J. Chow says:

      I haven’t made mantu yet. It looks so complicated that I’m afraid I wouldn’t be able to get the taste just right. Thanks for dropping by, Daniel!

  2. I’ve never had Afghan food, don’t think there’s an Afghani restaurant in my county. But, if I ever went to one at least I’d know what to order. The meal sounds delicious and I love sour cream on food.

  3. How has this not been in my life before?! I love Middle East/Arabian cooking in general – spicy meat, sign me up! – but I don’t think I’ve every come across specifically Afgan before… of to try to track some down in Stockholm!

  4. Yummy! Looks and sounds delicious. I like curry dishes – is it anything like that?

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