Mantı. We tried the beloved Turkish ravioli, filled with ground lamb or beef, three different ways in our travels around the country. In Kayseri, in Central Anatolia, whose version of the dish is most famous, the boiled dumplings are tiny and set afloat in a soupy tomato sauce, dolloped with garlicky yogurt and finished with a sprinkle of oregano, pul biber (red pepper), and chili oil.
At a roadside cafe in Istanbul we tasted a more standardized mantı, all yogurt, chili oil, and biber, the dumplings folded much larger.
Mantı in Istanbul
And in Sinop, along Turkey’s Black Sea coast, the ravioli are likewise bigger, with soft, delicate skins, and they’re topped with a generous amount of melted butter, chopped walnuts from the region, and—of course—yogurt.
Cevizli mantı, with yogurt, in Sinop
We loved all three—and will soon have more details on each of them in our Turkey pages—but it was in Sinop only that we got to witness the making of the mantı. At Teyzenin Yeri Mantı Salonu the female staff deftly rolls, slices, fills, and folds all day long. It’s no wonder the restaurant is one of the more famous spots in town for this regional style of mantı.
The ladies were kind enough to let us film their process. You’ll have to use your imagination, though, when it comes to the dousing-in-butter part.