Manti Meatballs

By • August 11, 2010 • 4 Comments

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Author Notes: We love the mantu (which are quite similar to Turkish manti) at our local Afghan restaurant. I first came across of the idea of deconstructed or mock manti from Melissa Clark in the New York Times a couple of years ago. So, armed with this meatball challenge, I attempted to capture the flavors of the mantu we love, right in a meatball. When served with orecchiette, the manti-balls nest nicely into the curves of the pasta, providing the complete dumpling flavor. In the alternative, these can be served with just the yogurt sauce as an accompaniment. healthierkitchen

Serves 4 - 6


  • 1 pound ground grass fed lamb
  • 2 large cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 fat shallot, finely minced
  • 3 tablespoons bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons mint, chopped finely and divided (2 tablespoons for the meatballs and the third for garnish)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground sumac, and a pinch more for garnish
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Yogurt Sauce and Aleppo Infused Oil

  • 1 cup Greek yogurt (2% and even fat free is fine)
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 large clove garlic, finely minced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper.
  2. Place all of the meatball ingredients in a bowl and combine gently with a fork or your hands. Form the lamb mixture into tiny meatballs, no more than an inch in diameter, and place onto the parchment lined pan. You should have 50 - 60 balls.
  3. Bake the meatballs for 25 - 30 minutes or until nicely browned and cooked through.
  4. In a small bowl, mix the yogurt with the remaining 1 clove minced garlic. Add the milk and mix to thin to a thick sauce consistency. Arrange the yogurt sauce over platter or low-sided bowl. Top with remaining 1 tablespoon of chopped mint and pinch of sumac as garnish.
  5. In a small saucepan, mix 3 tablespoons olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon Aleppo pepper, and warm gently over low heat.
  6. Once meatballs have finished cooking, remove them gently, one by one and arrange on the garnished garlic sauce. Drizzle with the Aleppo infused oil.
  7. Enjoy with flatbread or over orecchiette pasta. If serving over pasta, place the cooked pasta in a large bowl and then layer on the yogurt, garnishes, meatballs and Aleppo oil in that order.
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Comments (4) Questions (0)


over 2 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

This is delicious, love mant, on my must try list also! I use to frequent an Afghan restaurant in the East Village that served the little meatballs with a spicy eggplant tomato sauce topped with yogurt and mint sauce it is so delicious.


over 4 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

How interesting! Definitely on the "must try" list. ;o)


over 4 years ago healthierkitchen

I haven't tried it with beef only because my family loves it this way, but I bet it would work. You might increase the mint a tiny bit as you'll lose a little of the stronger lamb flavor, but if you use grass fed, it shouldn't be too different. Would love to hear how it comes out if you do try.


over 4 years ago lapadia

Will this work with beef too?