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  • Writer's pictureSibel

Mercimekli Sini Mantısı (Turkish Baked Lentil Dumplings)

These little boat-shaped dumplings are filled with spiced lentils and served with chilli oil and garlicky yoghurt. Hearty and full of flavour, these dumplings are the ultimate Turkish comfort food!


Mercimekli Sini Mantısı

Today I'm sharing a vegan version of another one of my favourite Turkish comfort foods. Mercimekli Sini Mantisi is one of many meat-free Turkish recipes, and it's one of the first recipes my grandmother taught me how to make. Whenever I make this dish I’m taken back to the long summers spent at my grandmothers house in Turkiye; she’d prepare the filling and we’d shape the dumplings together while she told me stories about days gone by. This is one of those dishes that takes a lot of love and time to prepare, but let me tell you, the end result is so worth the effort!


Mercimekli Sini Mantısı


What is Mercimekli Sini Mantısı?


Sini Mantısı is a type of dumpling that is quite similar to the classic Turkish manti, but rather than being filled with minced meat it is filled with spiced lentils and the shape and size is a little different. The boat-shaped dumplings are left open-faced and are baked until crisp. Once baked, they are soaked in a tomato-infused broth, and baked until tender. They’re finished with a dollop of garlicky yogurt and a chilli and mint infused oil. Today, Manti dumplings are popular throughout Turkey, as well as in numerous other cuisines such as Armenian, Afghan, and Central Asian.



Mercimekli Sini Mantısı

Alternative Filling Suggestions


When it comes to dumplings, you can get as creative as you want with the filling. The traditional Sini dumpling is filled with spiced lentils, but you can use other legumes such as kidney beans or black beans. These dumplings can also be filled with pureed potatoes or other root vegetables such as parsnips and squash.


What to Serve with Mercimekli Sini Mantisi?


This type of Manti is traditionally served with a dollop of garlicky yoghurt and a generous drizzle of chilli and butter sauce. I would suggest using a Greek style vegan yogurt as it has a more savoury taste.

Mercimekli Sini Mantısı

Mercimekli Sini Mantisi Ingredients


Here’s everything you’ll need for this recipe – consider it your shopping list!


For the Pasta Dough:


  • Flour: I’d recommend you use ’00 pasta flour’. The main difference between 00 flour and all-purpose flour is the gluten content. The 00 flour will give the dumplings and lighter texture, but you can use regular flour instead if you can’t find pasta flour.

  • Olive oil: Olive oil adds flavour, and makes the dough more supple and easier to roll out.

  • Salt: a bit of salt will help to season the dough.


For the filling:


  • lentil: I used canned green lentils, but you could use dried green lentils instead. If you’re using dried lentils, make sure to boil them until they're fully cooked before preparing the dumpling filling.

  • Olive oil: I’ve used olive oil to fry the onions, but you can use any oil of your choice.

  • Onion and garlic: you’ll find that most savoury Turkish recipes call for onion and garlic. These two ingredients add a delicious depth of flavour to almost any dish!

  • Aleppo chilli flakes: The Aleppo chilli flakes add a slow-building heat and a delicious earthy, fruity taste to the dish. You could use different types of chilli flakes, but bear in mind that different types of chilli will have different levels of heat, so make sure to add it accordingly.

  • Paprika: I find that the paprika gives a delicious, earthy taste and lovely colour to the filling

  • Vegetable stock: You’ll need 1 crumbled vegetable stock cube, or alternatively you can use 1 tsp vegetable bouillon.

  • Salt and pepper: you’ll need some salt and pepper to season the filling.


For Tomato Broth:


  • Tomato puree: This will help to flavour the broth. I recommend you use a good quality, concentrated tomato puree.

  • Vegetable stock: You’ll need 1 crumbled vegetable stock cube, or alternatively you can use 1 tsp vegetable bouillon.

  • Olive oil: The olive oil will help to prevent the dumplings from sticking together.

For the Sauce:


  • Butter: I’ve used the Flora plant butter, but any vegan butter or margarine will do. Olive oil also works well in the sauce.

  • Paprika: You’ll need about 1 tsp sweet paprika, The will give the chilli sauce a lovely colour.

  • Dried mint: I’d recommend you use dried mint rather than fresh as dried herbs have more depth.

  • Aleppo chilli flakes: The Aleppo chilli flakes add a slow-building heat and a delicious earthy, fruity taste to the Sauce. You could use different types of chilli flakes, but bear in mind that different types of chilli will have different levels of heat, so make sure to add it accordingly.


For the Yoghurt Topping:

  • Vegan yoghurt: I’d recommend you use a vegan Greek style yogurt as it has a thicker consistency and a delicious, sour taste. I used the Alpro Greek style yogurt, any vegan Greek-style yoghurt will do.

  • Garlic: I’ve used fresh garlic for an intense garlicy favour. If you’re not a fan of garlic, you can omit this ingredient.

Mercimekli Sini Mantısı

How to make Mercimekli Sini Mantisi


STEP 1:

To make the dough, tip the flour onto a clean surface, then create a little well in the centre of the flour. Gradually pour in the olive oil and water while using a dough cutter or your hands to work the liquids into the flour. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes until it comes together. Divide the dough into two equal pieces, then wrap each piece of dough with cling film and place in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes.


STEP 2:

In the meantime, prepare the filling. Peel and finely chop the onion. Add the olive oil and chopped onions to a medium sized pan and sauté for about 5 minutes, or until they soften. Add the minced garlic and cook for 2 more minutes. Add the drained green lentils, paprika, chilli flakes, crumbled vegetable stock cube, salt and pepper to the pan, give everything a stir, and cook on a medium heat for about 5 more minutes. Set the filling aside and allow it to cool down for at least 1 hour.


STEP 3:

lightly dust a clean work surface with flour. Keep one piece of dough covered while using a rolling pin or oklava to roll out one of the dough pieces into a rough circle, rolling the dough out to around 1-2mm thickness. Cut the rolled-out dough into 1 ½ inch squares, making sure that they’re all the same size.


STEP 4:

Add ½ teaspoon of the lentil filling on top of each dough square. Seal the edges of the dumplings by folding both edges together and pressing down on the corners to create a little boat-shaped dumpling. Repeat this process until the remaining dough and filling is used.


STEP 5:

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Arrange the dumplings into a circular, well greased 36-38 cm (14-15 inch) baking tray, starting from the outside and working your way into the centre. Place the dumplings into the oven to bake for 15-20 minutes, or until lightly golden. In the meantime, prepare the tomato broth by adding 1 tbsp tomato puree, 625ml hot water, 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 vegetable stock cube, and stirring until well combined.




STEP 6:

Remove the dumplings from the oven and pour the tomato broth over the baked dumplings, making sure to cover every dumpling. Place back into the oven to bake for another 30-35 minutes, or until the dumplings have absorbed most of the broth. Remove the dumplings from the oven and let them cool down slightly for about 10 minutes.




STEP 7:

In the meantime, prepare the chilli sauce by melting the butter in a small saucepan. Add the paprika, chilli flakes and dried mint and cook for 1-2 minutes. To make the garlic yoghurt, combine the vegan Greek-style yogurt with the minced garlic. Serve the dumplings while hot with the garlic yogurt and chilli sauce drizzled on top.



How to store Mercimekli Sini Mantisi

Any leftover Manti can be stored in the fridge for 2 days. To reheat, pour 3-4 tablespoons of water over the dumplings and heat in the oven for 10-15 minutes. Manti is also great for preparing in advance as they freeze well and can keep in your freezer up to 5 months. There are two ways to freeze Manti dumplings.

  • The first way which is to half bake the Manti dumplings, allow them to cool, then line them up on baking sheets and pop them in the freezer until they are frozen. Then transfer them to freezer bags and place back into the freezer.

  • The second way is to line them up on baking sheets and pace them in the freezer until they are frozen, then transfer them to freezer bags and place them back into the freezer.


Mercimekli Sini Mantısı


Notes and Tips

  • To preserve the Manti dumplings for another time, store them in a container or freezer bag for up to 5 months.

  • This dish tastes best fresh so I’d recommend making it on the day you intend on serving it.

  • Store the leftover Manti in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 days. To reheat, simply microwave for a minute or heat for 10 minutes in the oven.

  • You can adjust this recipe to suit your taste by adding different herbs and spices – parsley also goes really well in this recipe.



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