My (Second) Manti Experiment

I enjoy a steaming bowl of well-made Manti in chicken broth
topped with plain yogurt.

If you’re not familiar with Manti, they are tiny squares of
dough stuffed with a small ball of seasoned ground meat that are shaped into ‘boats’.
Traditionally the Manti is baked, then served in broth.

My first attempt at making Manti using wonton wrappers as
the dough wasn’t exactly a success – and I admit it. I said I’d make it again –
from scratch, but never did.

Market Basket table at St. David Armenian Church

My church has a ‘Market Basket’ table in the
fellowship hall most Sundays after services selling lavash, choreg, soujuk, and so much more.
It’s almost like having our own Armenian grocery store on the premises.

From time to time, the Market Basket also sells the Ohanyan
brand of commercially prepared frozen Manti. I was excited to try it, as the
thought of making it from scratch without anyone to help seemed tiring.

My friend, Linda Aginian and I both bought packages. She made
hers first, following the package instructions which read: “Bring 4 cups of water
to a rolling boil in a large saucepan. Add salt or 2 cubes of bouillon. Add Manti,
stirring occasionally. Boil 10-15 minutes. Pour your choice of sauce over
cooked Manti. Serve hot.”

The following Sunday, I asked Linda how the Manti came out,
and she claimed it was just awful! She followed the instructions but the Manti turned
into a bowl of mush. She said the directions treat the Manti as though they
were ravioli, but, of course we know they’re not.

Linda said she’d never buy it again.

I asked her not to be hasty in her decision; I’d experiment
with it to see if it could be made into what we know Manti to be.

Here are the steps to my Manti Experiment:

Defrost the frozen Manti in the refrigerator overnight.
Defrosted Manti ready to bake
Butter a glass pie pan. Arrange the defrosted Manti tightly
in the pan. Add a few pats of butter on top of the arranged Manti.
Baked Manti
Bake in a preheated 375°F oven for 20-25 minutes, or until
the Manti is golden brown.

While the Manti bakes, heat 2 cups (or more) of chicken
broth in a saucepan, enhanced with a tablespoon of ‘Better than Bouillon’ (or
bouillon cubes) for extra flavor.
Manti ready to eat
Place broth into individual serving bowls, add the amount
of Manti you like. Serve it with a dollop of plain 
(or garlic) yogurt and sprinkle with ground
sumac, if desired.

The Evaluation:
I have to admit, it wasn’t perfect, but for a frozen
product baked and served the way Manti should be, it wasn’t half bad.

I shared these steps with Linda, who agreed to give the Ohanyan
Manti another chance.

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  1. Ara February 3, 2017 at 2:43 pm

    My biggest problem with this brand, aside from the fact that it also uses the commercial equivalent on wonton skins, is that the filling is very low quality. That's the main reason I stopped buying it.

    But the other reason your friend Linda had a problem is that this style of manti is actually meant to be boiled like tortellini. Kayseri manti, or bokhcha (bundle) manti as my grandmother called it, is a variant of manti, presumably from the city of Kayseri (Kesarya), which is prepared boiled in tomato sauce, sprinkled with died mint and red pepper. If you prepare it like actual tortellini, you won't go far wrong.

    1. Robyn Kalajian February 3, 2017 at 8:16 pm

      There was too little filling in each to detect the quality. Thanks for your explanation regarding the rest!

  2. Ara February 3, 2017 at 2:49 pm

    If you don't want to make manti from scratch, or can't, this place in Pasadena is highly recommended. Beg then to ship it to you wherever you are, or make the trip to (usually) sunny California.

    1. Robyn Kalajian February 3, 2017 at 8:18 pm

      Thanks, I'll check them out!

  3. Unknown February 3, 2017 at 2:49 pm

    Brought a smile to my face as I have such fond memories of "pinching" after my mom rolled out the dough! I've made them with wonton wrappers and thought they were good. Nothing like homemade. We used to sneak a few out of the bags before they went to the freezer! Thanks for the post.

    1. Robyn Kalajian February 3, 2017 at 8:13 pm

      This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Robyn Kalajian February 3, 2017 at 8:17 pm

      Hi Pam, I'm always happy to learn I've put a smile on someone's face!

  4. Anonymous February 7, 2017 at 4:26 pm

    Robin I too had to buy the product twice. Tried making it both ways and found baking the manti first was the way to go. Let's not forget the yogurt and garlic with it.

  5. Katie February 20, 2021 at 4:52 pm

    So glad I found your site! I bought this product from a local Armenian grocery/deli that I love. Every time I shop, I like to get a new (to me) product for us to try. I can’t take my kids on global trips, but I can help them appreciate other cultures through being open to trying new foods with them 🙂 Anyway, I was going to follow the package directions, having no actual idea how this dish is supposed to be. You’ve saved us! Found you while I was looking for information about the yogurt topping. Grateful!! Maybe next time I’ll try from scratch using the recipe you posted on 12/13/19! Thanks again!

    1. Robyn Kalajian February 27, 2021 at 3:53 pm

      Thanks for your kind comment, and so happy you found us, Katie!


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