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Inside-out Mantu


Join us on a journey to dumpling heaven, with these tasty morsels from the Afghani cookbook Parwana. A delicious warming meal for those cold winter days.


Prep time: 1 hour

Cooking time: 30 mins

Makes: 12-14 Dumplings


Ingredients filling:

1 small carrot

1 onion

125g cabbage

1/4 tsp coriander

1/2 tsp curry powder

Ingredients dough:

225g plain flour

1/2 tbsp oil

125ml warm water


Ingredients lamb sauce

30g chana dal

1 tbsp oil

1 small onion

1 garlic clove

250g minced lamb

1/2 tsp ground turmeric

1/2 tsp curry powder

1/2 tsp coriander

1 large tomato

1 tbsp tomato paste

1/2 tsp white vinegar


Ingredients yoghurt dressing

65g plain yoghurt

1/4 tsp garlic powder

Dried mint and paprika for garnish


1. Hello Dal'ing


The first step in this mammouth cook is to boil the 30g of chana dal. They take a long time to cook so it's best to get them started ASAP. Of course, if you (unlike us) have enough foresight to soak the dal overnight it probably won't take a lot of time. But the secret middle letter of GWS is a "C" for chaos and we wouldn't have it any other way.




2. Filling good

The next step is to prepare all your filling ingredients. We grated and finely chopped our 125g of cabbage, 1 carrot and 1 onion but you could also use a food processor is you're a fancy kitchen wizard. Then, chuck it all into a pan with 125ml of water. Cover it and let it cook for about 15 minutes until soft (cooks tip, this is a good time to start on the dough, see the next step), drain in a colander and then sprinkle over the 1/4 tsp coriander and 1/2 tsp curry powder as well as a large pinch of salt and pepper. Stir it all together and set it to the side to cool down once cooked.



2. D'oh!

Mix together your 225g plain flour with 1tsp of salt and 1/2 tbsp oil, slowly add 125ml of water (note: you may not need all of it, so go slow!). Bring it together until it forms a ball of dough. Get in your daily workout, and knead it for 5 minutes on the work surface until it is smooth, then leave it to the side to rest for 15 minutes. While you're waiting, check in on those lentils and vegetables to makes sure both are cooking nicely. After the dough has had its resting time, roll it out as thin as humanely possible (yes you've guessed it, that means Lady Cassandra thinness) until it's about 30x20cm wide.



Cut this square into ~10cm strips and stack them on top of each other. Then cut these strips into 10cm squares which should leave you with about 12 squares of mantu dough ready to be filled to the gods.



Next, add in about a teaspoon of your now cooled filling, dampen the edges of the square. No devil fingers here please, only the lightest of angel touches.



Next, you want to pinch the adjacent sides together so it creates an x in the middle and then 'loop' together two of the corners to wrap it up (see below for photos of ours in our steamers).

This method is a little complicated to explain, so please watch the below video for an expert to show you what to do instead of us amateurs. You can also just pinch the mantu to have a diagonal shape, they will still taste as delicious (both styles can be seen in our photos below)!

Once you have shaped your mantu it's time to steam them. If you've disastrously run out of baking paper, then use some of your leftover cabbage leaves instead. Heat up some boiling water in a pan and place your steamer over with the dumplings inside and leave to cook for around 20 minutes, which conveniently is just enough time to make your topping sauce.




4. Top it off

Chop up and fry the onion and one garlic clove in 1tbsp of oil. Once they are browning, add in the meat and stir and break it up to cook it. While the meat is cooking, finely dice your tomato.

One the meat is browned, add in the 1/2 tsp ground turmeric,1/2 tsp curry powder, 1/2 tsp coriander and 1/2 tsp of salt. Cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes then add in the chopped tomato, 1 tbsp tomato paste and 1/2 tsp white vinegar along with 125ml of water. Leave to simmer and boil for about 10 minutes, continuing to break down larger clumps of meat until it becomes a rich sauce.





5. Yo ghurt girl!

To make the yoghurt dressing, mix together the 65g plain yoghurt and 1/4 tsp garlic powder. Spread half of this over the dish you will be serving on and when they are ready, slip-slide your mantu on top.

When the sauce is thick, drain off the (hopefully cooked) chana dal and add them to the sauce. Stir it all together and pour over the top of the dumplings on the plate. Add the rest of the yoghurt sauce on top, and salt-bae sprinkle from a great height with mint and paprika for the piece de resistance.




Grab a dumpling and dink and sink!




Food for Thought

Lizzy says: "Golly gosh, I have never made a recipe that resulted in such chaos to clean up afterwards. There were so many parts to this it was hard to keep up. I really enjoyed the result - maybe I felt I had to because it took so much work. The dumplings were okay, but you couldn't taste the filling, and there were far too hard to fold properly, I had a lot that were a bit off road. But, the mince and yoghurt were a great combination. I think this would have worked really well with just pasta instead of the overcomplicated dumplings. 7/10"




Kate says: "I think these are more like inside-out mantis, because I'm sure normally the meat is on the inside... Maybe that is the Afghani way? Nevertheless the cabbage/carrot filling was very delicious and I loved all the flavours together which were certainly elevated by the mint, yoghurt and paprika on top. It was also a lot of fun to form the dumplings but I had a few problems with my dough which wouldn't roll out very thin. The eventual taste was very rich and luxurious but I don't think it was worth the effort it took to make these( I think it took us about 2 hours of hands-on cooking) If you've got some time to kill maybe this is the recipe for you. Also beware, the lentils take a very long time to cook!! 7/10 "



.../10 Gasps


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