Yufka Mantısı

Yufka Mantısı


Please, if you do one thing in the kitchen over the next few
days or weeks, just make this. Yufka Mantısı translates as “pastry mantı
(homemade pasta-like dumplings), and it’s a bit of a showstopper to look at,
but even more so in flavour.

Using beautiful handmade Turkish yufka (a thin Turkish
pastry, perfect for savoury börek, which I didn’t make but you can buy here),
the sheets of pastry are stuffed full of a spiced chicken kofte mixture, rolled,
cut, lined up, brushed with butter, baked, drizzled with a buttery, tomatoey
chicken stock mixture, baked a little more, then served with garlic yoghurt and
a pul biber (Turkish chilli flakes), dried mint and red-pepper paste
butter similar to the elements of a traditional mantı. It’s also a little like my
favourite beyti kebab, but with a mixture of textures; as the sheets of
filo crisp up around the edges and on the top of the yufka, there is an inevitable crunch to
the exterior of the pastry that contrasts with the softer and unctuous centre, reminiscent
of beautiful homemade mantı.

This is one for the family and one
to (eventually) impress your guests with, but you could also cook (for a little less time) the
rolls of köfte-stuffed yufka in smaller güvec style dishes
and cool and freeze (not adding the yoghurt and melted butter), then defrost,
reheat until heated through and crispy on the outside, and serve as above but
as individual portions.


*I only use ¾ tsp salt in the filling mixture as I find that the
sweet red pepper paste can be a little salty, as well as the addition of the

*I make this with chicken, but you could, of course, use beef or
lamb mince, just make sure that it’s nice and fatty otherwise the mixture could
dry out whilst cooking. Also, I urge you to try it with the chicken first, as
it’s just divine and provides a deliciously alternative flavour to the
combination we usually associate with börek or mantı.


*make it veggie by using cooked butternut squash, spinach and feta in the filling with all the remaining ingredients minus the meat and yoghurt in the filling mixture below. 

For the filling:

1 large onion, peeled and roughly chopped
30g flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
500g chicken thigh fillets, skinless and boneless, cut into
bitesize chunks
4 large cloves garlic, finely grated
1 tsp dried mint
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp paprika
½ tsp pul biber
¾ tsp ground black pepper
¾ tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp thick natural yoghurt
1 tbsp sweet Turkish red pepper paste (tatlı biber salçası)


3 large sheets of large round yufka (they are usually
around 75-80cm in diameter)
30g butter, melted, for brushing with


For the stock
1 tbsp olive oil
Knob of butter
1 tbsp sweet Turkish red pepper paste
½ chicken stock cube
300ml boiling hot water


For the Garlic Yoghurt
150g natural yoghurt (it doesn’t have to be thick set as it will
be poured over)
1 tsp finely grated garlic
Pinch of salt to taste


For the Chilli Butter
2 tbsp olive oil
50g butter
1 tsp pul biber
1 tsp sweet Turkish red pepper paste
½ tsp dried mint


· Firstly, dissolve the stock cube in the 300ml
of boiling water and leave to one side.

· Blitz the onions in the food processor, and
drain in a sieve so that any excess water drips out and then add the finely chopped
onion to a large bowl. Blitz the parsley in the food processor and add to the
bowl. Blitz the chicken in the food processor until it’s texture is almost that
of minced meat. Add to the bowl with the rest of the filling ingredients and
mix everything together well with clean hands. Leave to one side and wash hands

· Preheat oven to 180C fan / 200C conventional.

· Fold the large yufka sheets in half and cut
across so that you are left with 6 semi-circles. Take 1 sheet and cover the rest
with tea-towels to prevent them from drying out.

*For the
next part of the method, you can choose to use a large-nozzled piping bag, or
your hands, but the latter can get a little messy, so have a bowl of warm water
near by and keep washing your hands, especially if using chicken. Stay safe.

· Lay 1/5 of the chicken mixture all along the
straight edge of one of the semi-circle sheets of yufka. You can watch
my method here. Tuck in the sides, then roll all the way down until you have one
long pastry filled sausage. Repeat with the remaining 4/5 of mixture and 4
sheets of pastry (*You can freeze the final semi-circle of pastry)

· Line all the pastry rolls together horizontally
and cut through all 5 rolls at roughly 6cm intervals.

     Now, choose
a dish that will fit all of the borek pieces in nice and snugly. I use an oval
casserole dish, 26cm x 19cm. Line it with an oversized piece of greaseproof parchment
paper that hangs over the edges of the dish, as you will use the paper to lift
the mantı out of the dish once cooked. Brush the parchment paper with
olive oil, then line up all the borek pieces in horizontally.

· Melt the 30g of butter and brush the tops of
the pastry with it. Place the dish on the bottom rack of the oven for 30-35
mins until the tops of the pastry are lightly golden.

· While the börek are in the oven,
prepare the other elements of the dish.


For the Garlic Yoghurt

· In a small bowl, mix together the grated
garlic and yoghurt, and a pinch of salt to taste, and pop in the fridge.


For the stock

· Place a frying pan on a medium heat and add
the oil and butter. Once the butter has melted, stir in the red pepper paste,
then add the pre-prepared stock from earlier. Turn up the heat so that the
mixture starts to bubble vigorously, then turn down a little and allow it to
reduce and thicken by about a ¼.

· Once the börek has been in the oven for
30-35 mins, carefully take out the dish and pour the stock mixture all over the
tops of the crispy pastry. Pop back in the oven, this time on the middle rack
for another 15-20 minutes.

· When the tops of the börek have crisped up
again but are now a nice juicy red colour, take the dish out of the oven and leave
somewhere safe. Get a flat serving dish ready for you to lift the börek
out onto.

For the Chilli Butter

· Once you have taken the börek out of the
oven, prepare the chilli butter. You can use the same frying pan that you used
for the stock (give it a little wash / wipe down first). Add the oil and butter
to the pan and stir in the red pepper paste. Add the butter, and once melted
and frothy, stir in the pul biber and mint, then take off the heat.

· Carefully lift the börek out of the dish
with the parchment paper (the small pieces of börek will have conjoined
in the dish whilst cooking snugly, and with the addition of the stock, to
create one large börek) and onto the serving dish, gently
sliding it off of the paper. Liberally drizzle the garlic yoghurt on top of the
yufka mantısı, followed by the chilli
butter, and finish of with a sprinkling of summak, pul bibber and finely
chopped flat leaf parsley.  

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