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  • Writer's pictureCulinary Cam

Afghani Dumplings: Aushak and Mantu #EattheWorld

Updated: Feb 10

For our February 2024 tabletop adventure, the Eat the World crew is headed to Afghanistan! Read more about the Eat the World project, being spearheaded by Evelyne of CulturEatz; here's her challenge.



I had initially planned to do a bunch more research about the cuisine of Afghanistan. But my day exploded yesterday. So, I will suffice it to say that the cuisine, like the country, is influenced greatly by

Persian, Central Asian and Indian cuisines due to Afghanistan's close proximity and cultural ties.


Here's what the group is sharing...



Aushak


Meat Sauce

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 medium organic white onion, peeled and chopped

  • 1/2 pound ground beef

  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and pressed

  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander

  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste

  • salt, to taste

  • pepper, to taste


Yogurt Sauce

  • 1 cup whole milk plain yogurt

  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, peeled and pressed

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


Dumplings

  • 3 bunches organic green onions, whites discarded, green tops finely chopped

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

  • 1 teaspoon red pepper chile flakes

  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and pressed

  • 1 package wonton or gyoza wrappers

  • fresh herbs for garnish (I used mint)



Meat Sauce

Heat oil in a skillet. Stir in the onions and cook until softened and translucent, approximately 5 minutes. Add the beef, garlic, coriander, and ginger. Cook until the meat is thoroughly cooked and browned. Pour in the water and simmer until it's reduced by half. Fold in the tomato paste and season to taste with salt and pepper.


Yogurt Sauce

Whisk all the ingredients together. Refrigerate until ready to use.



Dumplings

Combine the green onion tops, salt, pepper, red pepper chile flakes, and garlic in a bowl. Toss to mix.

Place a wonton wrapper on a flat surface and moisten the edges with water. Spoon 1 t of the green onion mixture into the center and fold the wrapper in half to make a moon shape. Press the edges together. Repeat until you have used all of your filling.


To cook, bring water to a boil. Gently drop the dumplings into the pot and cook for 5 minutes. Drain.

To serve, spoon meat sauce onto a individual serving plate or bowl. Top with dumplings. Add a dollop of yogurt sauce and garnish with fresh herbs. I used mint.


Mantu


Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground pork (you can used ground beef or other meat as you wish)

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped, approximately 1 cup

  • 1 cup finely chopped cabbage

  • 1 cup diced zucchini

  • 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce

  • 1 Tablespoon sesame oil

  • 2-inch knob ginger, peeled and grated

  • 1 egg

  • 1 Tablespoon chives, chopped

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1 package wrappers, approximately 50 wrappers



Procedure

Place all ingredients, except wrappers, in a large mixing bowl. Mix with hands until well-combined.

Place about 1 Tablespoon of filling in the center of a dumpling wrapper.

Dip your finger in water and moisten the perimeter of half of the wrapper. Fold the wrapper in half, pressing to seal and then crimp the edges. Repeat until the filling is gone.

You can steam, boil, fry, or sauté the dumplings as you wish. I pan-fried them a little bit of oil until the bottom was browned. Then I added in water and steamed until the dumplings were cooked.



That's a wrap for my Afghanistan offering for this month's #EattheWorld. I can't wait to see where Evelyne has us going next month.

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