Mantoo (Afghan food) Recipe

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I always joke with my husband that when I burn out of my current job, I should become a food critic.  Okay, maybe I'm actually sort of serious about that.  I mean, who wouldn't want to sit around and try good food all day?  

That said, I'm always on the hunt for new recipes, especially ones from other countries.  I'm planning to try the one below later in the week because it looks delicious, and I already have most of the ingredients in my pantry.  I'm not sure I'll be able to prepare it as well or make it as beautiful as the man in the video below, but I'm no professional chef.  

I also wanted to try this recipe because in Oklahoma, we do not have many restaurants that specialize in Middle Eastern cooking.  From what I have read, Afghan food is diverse.  It is neither spicy nor bland, and it often includes ingredients such as barley, wheat, rice, dried fruits, and nuts.  Mantoo is one of the most popular dishes in Afghanistan.  Below is the recipe.  I have adapted it slightly from this website.  Good luck!

 Mantoo (Dumplings with Sauce)

-1 lb. ground beef

-Salt and pepper to taste

-1 1/2 T ground coriander

-1/4 T ground cumin

-2 large onions, finely chopped

-1 package wonton wrappers (can usually be found in the refrigerated section of the grocery store by the vegetables, or on the Asian food aisle)

-2 T tomato paste

-6 T vegetable or canola oil

-3/4 cup plain yogurt

-1/4 T dried mint (set aside a little extra for garnish)

-2 cloves minced garlic

To make the filling:  Combine beef, salt and pepper, onions, garlic, cumin, coriander, and one cup of water in a large skillet.  Cook over medium heat for 30 minutes, or until water is absorbed, stirring occasionally.  Allow the mixture to cool.

To make the dumplings:  Place the wrappers, one at a time, onto a lightly floured cutting board or other flat surface.  Fill a bowl with cold water.  Dip your finger into the water and rub it along the edges of each wrapper to make it wet.  Place one tablespoon of the beef mixture into each wonton wrapper.  (You should have some of the beef mixture left over at the end.)  Pull each corner of the wonton wrapper into the center.  Seal the edges as well as you can to enclose the beef mixture.  

Pour the oil into a shallow bowl, and dip each filled mantoo into the oil.  Place the dumplings in a steam cooker and steam on medium heat for 40 minutes.  

To make the sauce (do this while you are waiting for the dumplings to steam:  The leftover beef mixture should still be in your skillet, so just stir in the tomato paste and let the sauce simmer for 10 minutes.  

Mix the mint and two tablespoons of water into the yogurt.  

To serve (the video will help you with this part):  Put a layer of the yogurt onto a flat serving plate, then place the mantoo dumplings on top of the yogurt.  Put another layer of yogurt on top of the dumplings, then pour the sauce over the entire dish.  Garnish with dried mint.  

Happy eating!  

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About the author


Mary Rachel Fenrick is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma, where she obtained a Bachelor of Science in Education and a minor in Spanish. She currently teaches Special Education and English for Norman Public Schools in Norman, Oklahoma. Some of her passions include reading, writing, editing, teaching, distance running,…

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