Manti Recipe (Russian Meat Dumplings)


Manti is a type of dumpling that very popular in Russia. Manti are normally made with either seasoned lamb or ground beef wrapped in homemade dough. Manti are cooked in a steamer and then topped with either butter, sour cream, or onion (or garlic) sauce. Manti recipes varies from region to region. I learned my version from my aunt Vera. I was very excited when she offered to show me how make these delicious dumplings because aunt Vera prepares dishes the authentic way.  No short cuts here, we made everything from scratch. 

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Mom’s Cabbage Rolls Golubtsy Голубцы Recipe

Russian golubtsy also known in my family as Sarma (in Turkish) are simply cabbage rolls. They are popular in many European countries. It is believed that this dish was borrowed by Russians/Ukrainians from Turkey. Sarma means “wrapping” or “rolling” in Turkish.

I love when my nephew Jacob calls them “Goluptchiky”. Golubtsy, Goluptsi, Golupchiky, Sarma or Cabbage Rolls… no matter how you call them, they are very very delicious…. Minced meat (usually beef, pork, or chicken) rice, onions, and various spices, including salt, pepper and various spices are mixed together and then rolled into grape or cabbage leaves.

I absolutely love my mom’s golubtsy/sarma. She makes them combination rolled in grape and cabbage leaves (my favorite is with grape leaves) very flavorful, very moist and super tiny, bite size even. I am posting the recipe that my mom gave me and I attempted to make them just like hers. My dad got to try them and according to him they taste just like my moms! YES!!!

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Marinara – Tomato Vegetable Sauce Recipe

One of the great joys of summer is the homegrown tomatoes. Homegrown or locally-grown farm fresh tomatoes always seem to taste better than the commercial alternatives.  This is our traditional Turkish/Gagauz dish that my grandma used make. It’s called Tomato “Manja” with vegetables. Manja- means sauce or gravy. She used to make this sauce in large batches and can it; and during those cold winter days she would use this sauce for almost anything (Golubtsi- Russian Stuffed cabbage, rice dishes, potato, soups or just as a dip). 

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Easy Gozleme

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Gözleme is a savory traditional Turkish handmade and hand rolled pastry. Fresh pastry is rolled out, filled and sealed, then cooked. Gözleme varieties include: Feta Cheese, Egg, Minced Meat, Cheese, Potatoes or Mushroom. This version is little different from the traditional Gözleme recipe. Continue reading →

Mamaliga (Polenta) with Feta Cheese and Sour Cream

Mamaliga with cheese Main

Mamaliga is a national Romanian food, but you may find it with Turkish, Italian, Hungarian and other cuisines for sure, also known around as ‘polenta’.
This recipe comes from my Turkish roots. I remember sleeping over at grandma’s house, and those mornings waking up to find freshly made warm mamaliga on the table covered in sizzling butter and salty, tangy crumbled Feta (brinza) cheese… –ohhhh… just perfect! Continue reading →