Mantu recipe – Afghan cuisine

Beautiful little dumplings that are perfect starters or great party food – they’re easy to make and fun for children too. Basil grew up with these in Pakistan and devised his recipe using the readily available wonton wrappers. They are served with yoghurt and parsley, although you can also add a dollop of dhal.
Ingredients

60 ml (¼ cup) vegetable oil or clarified butter (ghee)
500 g lean minced lamb
4 onions, finely chopped
2 tsp finely chopped garlic
½ tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp chilli powder
½ tsp salt
40 Shanghai (square white) wonton wrappers
natural yoghurt, to serve
dhal, to serve (optional)
chopped flat-leaf parsley, to serve
Cook’s notes
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.

Instructions

Heat the oil or ghee in a wok or frying pan and add the lamb. Fry over low heat until lightly browned, stirring to separate the meat. Add the onion and stir-fry until it is translucent. Add the garlic, spices and salt and stir-fry for another 3 minutes or until fragrant. Transfer to a bowl to cool.

Place a heaped teaspoon of lamb filling in the middle of a wonton wrapper. Brush the edges with a little water and draw two opposite corners together to meet in the middle. Draw in the other two corners and seal the edges. You should have a square pouch. Repeat with the remaining wrappers and filling.

Place the mantu in a steamer, making sure they don’t touch, and steam for 10 minutes. Top each mantu with a spoonful of yoghurt, dhal (if using) and a sprinkling of parsley.