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Kayseri Mantısı – Relishing A Famous Turkish Food In The Heart Of Ankara

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In a few weeks, we’ll have been writing this blog for four years…and it’s taken until now to write about a Turkish national favourite dish: Mantı.

How’s that happened?

That’s how life works out sometimes. And also, while we were in Ankara in May, we ate one of the best servings of mantı we’ve ever had, so now seems like as good a time as any to write about it.

We’ve never made our own mantı – it’s a painstaking process for untrained non-nimble fingers, and when you’ve got a good yufkacı just down the road from your house who is always going to do a much better job than we ever will, well let’s just trust the experts.

‘Mantı nights’ have been discussed amongst friends where the idea is we all get together to make our own…that’s yet to happen.

Turkish Food - Making Mantı
Mantı Assembly Line

You can see why we leave it to the experts. Kayseri Mantısı is Turkey’s famous mantı, and when we spotted a ‘mantı evi’ (an eatery that specialises in making and serving mantı) while wandering around the Kızılay area of Ankara, that was evening meal sorted.

We’d already had a special, and huge, ciğer şiş earlier in the day, but when we’re travelling around, we get this insatiable urge to sample as many eateries and foods as possible.

There always seems to be a little more room somewhere for more food if the urge takes us.

In Eskişehir, we’d eaten çiğ börek, köfte and piyaz, more köfte, kokoreç…and more börek…and now we were about to eat mantı. Time to move the belts down a notch!

How To Make Mantı
These ladies certainşy know ow to make mantı

These photos are not from the mantı evi we ate at.

The one we chose was just a bit further along the road but this one had its production line on display to entice customers…and was very convenient for passers-by like us with cameras.

The mantı dough is rolled out into a huge, thin sheet. The sheets are then scored vertically and horizontally to make (roughly) 2 cm squares.

And then, as you can see above, tiny pieces of minced meat filling are placed in the centre of each square. Each square is then pinched together, edge to edge, to form a little, sealed parcel.

A section of a plate of mantı - small dumplings covered in yoghurt and oil and crisscrossed with dried mint sprinkles.
Mantı and turşu – we’re happy

The mantı is then boiled and served as above, topped with yoghurt and chilli-infused olive oil. A sprinkling of mint and sumac garnished our serving in Ankara.

And we were happy: Mantı can go from yum to glum so easily if it’s over boiled, under boiled, if there’s too much yoghurt topping or if there’s too much oil.

It must be personal preference but this serving suited us just fine. Well, it did right after we’d done this…

Turkish Food - Mantı
What’s food without pul biber?

A good dousing of chilli flakes finished it off nicely, for us.

A day will come where we get together with friends to do a mantı-production-night. It’s no job for a solitary, inexperienced person because the dough will dry out and crack before all the parcels are made. But until then, the mantı evis of Turkey and our neighbours do a perfectly good job of keeping us going.

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Friday 24th of March 2023

Isn't it topped with brown butter spiced with paprika?

Pul biber and mint sprinkled as well.

You can also make this dish so easily at home - just deconstruct it. It's a fan fave in my home.

Use any pasta, i like to use bow tie- boil, and top with spiced ground beef (brown, spice with Paprika, salt pepper, oil biber whatever you like), garlic yogurt and brown butter sauce on top. Can use brown lentils instead of meat or a mixture of both it's so damn good and quick. Addictive!

Turkey's For Life

Tuesday 28th of March 2023

@Sera, We added our own pul biber. :) Yeah, we do mantı at home but we buy the mantı from our local yufkacı. We'll make some day. :)

suzanne rolland

Thursday 11th of April 2019

Where in 2019 can we eat the best Manti in Fethiye? I adore them with the yogourt sauce.

Turkey's For Life

Monday 6th of May 2019

Hi Suzanne, sorry only just seen this comment - we've had some technical issues. :) You can get mantı in Paspatur at the small 'mutfak' place round the corner from Yengen. There's also a mantı evi at the rear of the state hospital. It's been around a while so must be decent. :)

Turkey's For Life

Tuesday 5th of November 2013

@ Stephanie: Wow, that's a coincidence isn't it. Someone else on Twitter said a similar thing. Think this place must be very popular! :)


Tuesday 5th of November 2013

That's the exact place that we would eat during our lunch breaks between teaching English classes. I love that place!

Turkey's For Life

Tuesday 29th of October 2013

@ April: Wish we could! :)

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