Manti in Kazakhstan and across much of Central Asia is a type of meaty dumpling. Oftentimes the meat is lamb, but can also be chicken or horse meat. A vegetable component can also be worked into the meat besides the flavour base of onions, salt and pepper.
I thought this meaty filling would make a great burger. Upon studying the food of Kazakhstan deeper, I wanted to see what else in their cuisine would lend itself to compliment a burger. The bright, spicy and fresh spicy vegetable stew, Sabzi Piez, is like a salsa that decided to have a load of carrots tag along! It’s the perfect accompaniment to a lamb Manti.
For the Manti Burger:
200g/8oz ground lamb
1/2 cup finely shredded carrot
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp salt
For the Sabzi Piez (Spicy Vegetable Stew):
1 Tbsp oil
1 Tbsp butter
1 medium onion, peeled and sliced into rings
1 red chilli, stemmed, and chopped
1 medium fresh tomato (or 6-8 cherry tomatoes), chopped
1-1/4 cups julienned carrots, blanched for 3-4 minutes, drained
2 Tbsp vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, finely chopped
2 crusty rolls, to serve
For the Manti Burger, squeeze out as much moisture from the shredded carrots as possible, then work them together with the ground lamb, chopped onions and black pepper. Once the mixture is tightly bound together, divide into two portions and form into oblong patties.
Preheat a cast iron pan over medium high heat. Add 2 tsp oil to the pan. When the oil smoulders but does not quite smoke, sprinkle the lamb patties with salt on both sides and place in the pan. Griddle for 4-5 minutes per side, or until deeply golden and cooked through. Set aside and keep warm while you prepare the Sabzi Piez.
For the Sabzi Piez, add the oil and butter to a medium pan over medium high heat. When the butter has melted and started to bubble, add the onions and chilli. Sauté for 5-7 minutes until softened and lightly golden. Add the tomato and blanched carrots and sauté for a further 4-5 minutes. Add the vinegar and salt and sauté for another minute or two until uniformly combined. Take off the heat and stir in the fresh cilantro.
To serve, divide heaping spoonfuls of Sabzi Piez on the bottom of each split crusty roll. Top with a griddled Manti Burger and the tops of the rolls. Serves 2.