Mantiabour is an Armenian soup made with mante (Armenian tortellini), flavored with mint, and combined with yogurt to thicken. The mante can also be enjoyed separately if desired.
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When I was growing up, one of my absolute favorite meals was tortellini. When I would come home from third grade and my mom would have little tricolored tortellini sitting in a colander next to the stove, I knew I was in for a hell of a night. Throw some butter on those guys, sprinkle massive amounts of parmesan cheese, and plop an Italian sausage and syrup (yeah, don’t judge me) on my plate, and I’d have a dinner of champions.
As I got older, I always wanted to learn how to make tortellini. At Christmas time, my family makes homemade ravioli. Tortellini are the same concept, but, in my head, making one doesn’t really count as making the other. Despite my ravioli-making expertise, I’ve been in a tortellini-making deficit!
The Armenian Version of Tortellini: Mante
Luckily for me, Armenia can get down with some tortellini. Just don’t call it “pasta” or you’ll actually be asking for toothpaste! In the 13th century, Armenia formed an alliance with the Mongols, and the tradition of mante (Armenian tortellini) was born. The first recipe for mante was written in the 15th century and features dough filled with lamb, chickpeas, cinnamon and vinegar. I think I’d like to make this variation next!
These mante were an absolute JOY. I’ll tell you upfront, this recipe is not a quick meal—but it’s a meal that’s worth every second. It took about an hour to fill this hand-rolled dough with lamb, onions, and parsley. But by the end I had a cookie sheet lined with gorgeous, fresh mante ready to find a happy home in my belly.
The soup with mante is flavorful and brothy, and SO good! I could seriously eat a bowl every day. If you aren’t in the mood for soup, though, enjoying the mante by themselves (and some butter like in the good old days) is another phenomenal option. Whichever way you choose, this recipe is worth the investment.
If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #theforeignfork on Instagram. See you soon!
Armenian Mantiabour (Tortellini Soup Flavored with Mint)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 egg
- 7 oz ground lamb
- 1 onion, grated
- 3 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
- black pepper to season
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 cup drained yogurt
- 1 garlic clove
- 2 tsp dried mint
- Sift the flour and salt together. Form into a pile on the counter or a cutting board. Make a well in the middle of the flour.
- Crack the egg into a measuring cup. Whisk the egg, then add cold water to the cup to bring the total measurement up to ½ cup. Whisk again.
- Pour the egg mixture into the well of dough. Use a fork to slowly combine the flour into the egg, grabbing from the center and slowly working outwards.
- When the dough becomes too thick to mix with a fork, begin kneading with your hands. Knead until smooth, adding more water if necessary. Cover and rest for 30 minutes.
- Place the filling ingredients in a bowl and mix to combine well.
Assembling the Mante
- On a floured countertop or cutting board, roll out the dough as thinly as possible. Cut the dough into 1 ½ inch squares, stack the squares on top of each other, and cover with a cloth. This will keep the dough from drying out as you assemble the mante.
- Place filling in the center, then fold the dough over diagonally to make a triangle. Bring the two outside edges of the triangle together above the filling and pinch, making an Italian Tortellini shape.
- You may use a small amount of water to get the dough to stick to itself.
Making the Soup
- Bring 8 cups of water to a boil, and add the salt. Boil mante for 10 minutes (you may need to do this in two or three rounds).
- Remove the mante with a spoon and leave to rest in a colander.
- When all mante are cooked, bring chicken stock to a boil. Add mante and boil for 10 minutes.
- Add the yogurt and garlic and stir over heat for 2-3 minutes, taking care not to break the mante. Do not let the soup boil.
- Rub mint into a powder and stir into the soup. Serve immediately and enjoy!