Dumplings are a beloved dish enjoyed by people all around the world. Each culture seems to have its own unique take on these delightful morsels. Today, we’re diving into the world of Steamed Butternut Squash Manti Dumplings, which originate from Central Asia and are also cherished in Russian-speaking regions.
Manti are dumplings made of thin dough filled with your favorite filling. We’re making Steamed Butternut Squash Manti for squash season.
The heart of any dumpling lies in its dough, the soft envelope that cradles the filling. Making your own dough is much simpler than it might appear – it’s just a combination of water and flour. To add elasticity, toss in a bit of oil, and for extra flavor, a pinch of salt.
I prefer using hot water, not boiling, but nearly there. If you bring water to a boil, then measure it out, add oil and salt, you’ll find the temperature is just right.
Begin by adding a cup of all-purpose flour to the mixture and creating a paste. Then, continue adding more flour, stirring with a spoon. Once the mixture thickens, remove the dough from the bowl and transfer it to a floured, clean surface.
Your dough should be firm but not overly tight; it should still be workable. I’ve included the amount of flour I used in the recipe, but add it gradually just in case you require less.
The dough is ready when it no longer sticks to your hands or the work surface. Cover it and let it rest for approximately 20 minutes. I usually dust it with a bit of flour and cover it with the same bowl I used for making the dough.
Of course, if you have an Asian market nearby, you can opt for fresh dumpling wrappers, but at least try to make your own, okay?
Now, it’s time to focus on the filling. Peel and dice the butternut squash into small cubes. Grating it is also an option.
Manti loves onions. You’ll want roughly 2/3 of the onions, which can be fried beforehand or used raw. Chop the onions according to your preference – they can be sliced or finely diced. I personally like them finely chopped and fried in a bit of butter.
Manti can also be made with other veggies such as potatoes and cabbage, or meat and cabbage, meat and squash, or perhaps my personal favorite, butternut squash and potatoes. Delicious!
Rolling Out the Dough
Legend has it that a Mennonite girl wasn’t considered ready for marriage until she could roll out a perfectly round dough for dumplings, pasta, and more. I, too, learned this skill early in life, and I must say, it’s a valuable one to have. Once you grasp the basics, it’s quite simple.
Start with a clean, smooth, floured surface – I often use the table. Roll the dough in one direction, then turn it, dust it with flour, and roll it in another direction. Repeat until you have a nice square to work with.
My mom always had a pattern visible on her workspace, so when I was learning to roll dough, I had to look for that pattern. Once it became visible through the dough, I knew it was thin enough.
After achieving the desired thickness, give the dough one final turn to prevent it from sticking to the surface. Let it rest for a few minutes (Important), then cut it into approximately 4-inch (10 cm) squares.
Of course, you can choose to roll each individual piece of dough separately, which is often done. But I find it to be much more work than rolling out one large piece of dough at once. If you decide to roll them separately, this recipe yields about 35 dumplings.
Assembling the Dumplings
Place a generous spoonful of filling into each dough square and fold the four corners into the center. Since we’re going to steam them, they don’t have to be completely sealed. Next, take the two corners from each side and pinch them together. Voilà! You’ve just made a simple Manti dumpling.
Give the dumplings enough space on the tray to expand and not stick to each other.
Steaming the Dumplings
Dumplings are traditionally steamed, and Manti lovers often have a special steamer pot that’s also great for other steamed recipes and even blanching veggies.
If you have a steamer basket, that works too, and if you do not have any steamer, manti can be steamed on a stew as we do the steamed buns.
- For the dough
- 1 cup (240 ml) hot water
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 330 grams (2⅝ cups) all-purpose flour
- Pinch of salt
- The filling
- 600g (4 cups) cubed butternut squash Or 300 squash and 300 potatoes
- 200 g (one big) diced or sliced onion
- 40 g (2 -3 tablespoons) butter optional
- ½ tsp salt or to taste
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper or to taste
- ½ tsp paprika
- ½ tsp Cumin
- Please read the blog article for preparing the dough.
- Peel and cut the butternut squash into small cubes. Grating it is another option.
- Cube or slice the onions
- fry in butter if desired
- season with salt, pepper
- Mix well
- Place a generous spoonful of filling into each dough square and fold the four corners into the center.
- Take the two corners from each side and pinch them together
- Oil the steamer tray or basket so the dumplings do not stick
- Give each dumpling a bit of room to extend
- Bring the water in the steamer to a boil
- place the trays in place
- steam for 25 minutes
Serve Steamed Butternut Squash Dumplings
My favorite way is to enjoy the Steamed Butternut Squash Manti with sour cream. Since we eat plant-based, I use the coconut sour cream, yum.
Adding some of the hot pepper paste gives it a hot note, it’s an option for those who like it spicy and goes well with the butternut squash/potato version.
Now if you have never had Manti, and are willing to try it, please tell us how you like it.