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  • Writer's pictureSibel

Turkish Pumpkin & Spinach Dumplings (Bal kabaklı ve ıspanaklı Sini Mantısı)

A colourful twist on the traditional Turkish Sini Mantisi, these little boat-shaped dumplings are made with a spinach pasta dough and are filled with a spicy pumpkin puree. Serve these dumplings with chili oil and garlicky yoghurt for a hearty and nutritious meal.


Bal kabaklı ve ıspanaklı Sini Mantısı

These dumplings are traditionally filled with mincemeat or green lentils, but I wanted to try a different flavour combination so I coloured the pasta dough with fresh spinach puree and filled the dumplings with creamy pumpkin puree. The colours created a beautiful contrast and the flavour of these dumplings turned out just as delicious as I'd hoped. 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!


Bal kabaklı ve ıspanaklı Sini Mantısı


What is 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



Bal kabaklı ve ıspanaklı Sini Mantısı

Alternative Filling Suggestions


When it comes to dumplings, you can get as creative as you want with the filling. These dumplings are filled with spiced pumpkin puree, but you can use other fillings such as butternut squash, lentils,kidney beans or black beans. These dumplings can also be filled with pureed potatoes or other root vegetables such as parsnips.


What to Serve with 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.

Bal kabaklı ve ıspanaklı Sini Mantısı

Pumpkin & Spinach 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.

  • Spinach: You'll need around 100g of fresh or frozen spinach

  • 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:


  • Pumpkin: I’d recommend you use small, sugar pumpkins as they have a more dense and creamy flesh. You can also used canned pumpkin puree. Alternatively, you can use butternut squash.

  • 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.

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

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

  • Cornstarch: You'll need 1 tbsp cornstrach to thicken the filling.


For the broth:

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

  • 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.

Bal kabaklı ve ıspanaklı Sini Mantısı

How to make Pumpkin & Spinach Sini Mantisi


STEP 1:

Steam the spinach and blend to create a spinach puree. To make the dough, tip the flour onto a clean surface, then create a little well in the centre of the flour. Spoon the spinach puree into the well and gradually pour in the olive oil and water while using a dough cutter or your hands to work the liquids into the flour. If the dough is still too sticky, you can go ahead and work some more flour into it. 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 cut the pumpkin into small chunks. Steam the pumpkin chunks until they're soft, and then blend to create a creamy pumpkin puree. 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 pumpkin puree, chilli flakes, vegetable bouillon, cornstarch, 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 round shape, 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 pumpkin 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 broth by adding 625ml hot water, 2 tbsp olive oil and 1 tsp vegetable bouillon, and stirring until well combined.


STEP 6:

Remove the dumplings from the oven and pour the broth over the baked dumplings, making sure to cover every dumpling. Cover the dish with some kitchen foil and place back in 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 Pumpkin & Spinach 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.


Bal kabaklı ve ıspanaklı 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.


Bal kabaklı ve ıspanaklı Sini Mantısı


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