Afghan Beef Mantu Dumplings

How to make Afghan Beef Mantu Dumplings

This recipe makes 80 dumplings.

The Ingredients:

  • 800 grams lean beef mince
  • 1 or 2 finely chopped small Green Chili to liven it up a little, as you please
  • 4 Garlic cloves
  • 8 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 teaspoons Turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons Cumin
  • 2 teaspoons Coriander powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground Black Pepper
  • Pinch of Salt
  • Water
  • 3 large Onions
  • Wonton pastry squares – requires 80 sheets
  • 1 cup split yellow peas washed well
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste

Yogurt sauce

  • 3 garlic cloves crushed
  • 2 cups yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon of dry mint leaves
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary (optional)

Oil topping

  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 2 TBSP olive oil 1 TBSP dry mint

The Cooking Method

Making the mince mixture:

  1. Weigh 180 grams of the meat mince and set aside.
  2. Put the remaining mince in a separate bowl with the following ingredients;  green chili and crush two garlic cloves. Mix well.
  3. Add 3 tablespoons oil to a heavy set pan and add the following ingredients: 1 teaspoon of turmeric, cumin, coriander powder, pepper and salt.
  4. When the spices are aromatic, add one finely chopped onion with 2 tablespoons water and turn the heat to low.
  5. Cover with a lid and allow the onion to sweat until soft. Add the mince that you mixed with the garlic and chili.
  6. Stir to ensure the mixture is well blended with the onions. Ensure all the moisture has dried up & the meat has browned well.
  7. Taste for salt and pepper, add if required.
  8. Take off the heat. Very finely chop one of the remaining onions and add it to the cooked mince and mix well. Set aside to cool.

Filling the dumplings

  1. When the mixture has cooled down, begin filling the pastry skins.
  2. Lay out a few squares of pastry on a bench.
  3. Wet the outer edges of the pasty squares with water.
  4. Drop approximately 1 teaspoon of cooked mince mixture on the centre of the pastry square.
  5. Take two opposite corners of each square and seal them together, next join the other two opposing corners together at the tips. It should look like a little parcel with filling inside.
  6. Continue until all the mince and pastry skins are finished.
  7. Put the dumplings into a steamer and steam for 3-5 minutes.
  8. Taste to ensure the dumplings skins are cooked through before you remove them. If not, cook longer depending on the type of steamer you use.

Making the Sauce

  1. Place the yellow split peas in a microwave safe bowl, cover with water and plastic wrap.
  2. Cook in the microwave for 10-15 minutes on medium.
  3. Take out, rinse, and set aside. They should be softened but not broken down.
  4. In a deep saucepan, add 5 tablespoons olive oil and 1 teaspoon each of cumin, coriander seeds, and turmeric, as well as the last large onion finely chopped with the remaining garlic cloves. When the onion is soft, add the mince that you had set aside.
  5. Make sure the meat is browned well. Add tomato paste.
  6. Cook, stirring regularly until the mince has cooked through. Add the split peas and enough water to just cover the mixture.
  7. Simmer on low heat. Salt to taste and add more chopped fresh chili, if you like it spicy.
  8. Keep adding water until the peas are cooked soft but hold their shape. When the split yellow peas are cooked, turn down the heat and simmer.
  9. Allow the moisture to thicken up so you are left with a lovely sauce.

Set aside and keep warm.

Yogurt sauce

  1. Take half the yogurt and put into a blender with all the ingredients. Blend until the herbs and garlic are completely broken down.
  2. Pour the mixture into a large bowl. Add the rest of the yogurt and mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste. Adding rosemary is optional but not traditional – but the flavour it adds is superb!

Arranging the dumplings and oil dressing

  1. Once the dumpings and sauce is cooked, you are ready to serve.
  2. Spread the yogurt sauce on a large platter.
  3. Place dumplings on the yogurt sauce as one single layer.
  4. Add more yogurt on top of the dumplings.
  5. Spoon the sauce over the top to cover the dumplings.
  6. Make the oil dressing by heating the oil and frying the garlic until soft brown, but not burnt.
  7. Add dry mint leaves and stir quickly.
  8. Pour over the top of the dish and serve immediately.


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