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Mantu (Afghan Dumpling)

Mantu is a popular spiced Afghan dumpling. Stuffed with ground meat and spices, steamed to perfection then topped with garlic yogurt and lentils. It is a definite crowd pleaser and great to have on hand as an appetizer.

Here's my take on a favorite that many love and devour in minutes. And a few of my shortcuts, like wonton wrappers for those needing to feed a crowd or those with a hectic schedule.

You want to start with assembling the dumplings. All you need are some small wonton wrappers and I use my Keema (Beef) Samosa filling.

You want to add a teaspoon into the center of your wonton wrapper and brush water along the edges. Then just pinch one corner over to the next, diagonally to make a triangle shape.

Now pinch in the side corners to the middle and pinch the side seams to seal.

You will be left with square pouches.

**At this point you can freeze them until solid then store for up to 2 months in a resealable bag. Just pull out and steam as needed without defrosting.

If making right away then set assembled dumplings aside and let's move onto the lentils.

For the lentils, you want to presoak 1 cup of split bengal gram lentils for a couple hours then boil, drain and set aside.

For the lentil masala you will need:

3 to 4 tbsp Oil

1/2 Red Onion (chopped)

1 tbsp Ginger (chopped)

1 tbsp Tomato Paste

1/2 tsp Turmeric

1/4 tsp Red Chili Powder (or to taste)

Salt (to taste)

1/2 cup Water

Heat oil in a pan and fry chopped onion until light golden brown. Now add in the rest of the ingredients along with your boiled, drained lentils.

Give it all a good mix, put heat on low, cover and steam for all the flavors to marry for 10 to 15 mins.

While the lentils are finishing off whisk together your Yogurt Sauce:

1 cup Yogurt

2 Garlic Cloves (mashed)

Salt/Pepper (to taste)

Whisk all the ingredients and set aside.

Now let's get back to the dumplings. You need a steamer to be able to steam your mantu. I just spray or brush a little oil on top of my steamer and place my dumplings in batches to steam. You want to cover and steam for 5 to 7 minutes. If you are using frozen then just add a few minutes to let it fully heat through.

You will know your dumplings are ready when the wonton wrappers turn shiny and slightly transparent.

Now just add half the garlic yogurt to your serving platter and place your steamed dumplings ontop.

Top with the other half of your garlic yogurt, your spiced lentils, some chopped cilantro/ mint and enjoy!

My favorite way to serve it? Alongside my Kabuli Pulao.

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