‘Mantu’: Low in Calories, Yet a Nutritious Appetizer

Fri Dec 22 2023
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ISLAMABAD: ‘Mantu’ is one of the most beloved Afghan dishes, frequently featured in gatherings and ceremonies and prominently offered in Afghan restaurants in Pakistan.

It has a flavorful, seasoned beef filling beautifully mixed in a tomato-yogurt sauce mixture. Also known as “Mantu” or “Mantoo,” this meal is a nutritious appetizer that is low in calories and satisfies the palette with its rich flavors.

Cooking Mantu involves four straightforward steps. Initially, we prepare the flavorful filling and tomato sauce, wrap the ravioli, and steam them. Lastly, we create the yogurt sauce to complement the dish.


Minced beef, onion-2 medium-sized, ginger garlic paste-1 teaspoon, red chili powder-1 teaspoon, coriander powder-2 teaspoons, salt-1 ½ tablespoon, turmeric powder-1 teaspoon, yogurt-¾ cup, dried mint-1 tablespoon, garlic-2 cloves, tomato paste-1 tablespoon, cumin-¼ teaspoon, wonton wrappers-30 and chicken bouillon-1 cube.



  • Finely chop two medium-sized onions and sauté them in four tablespoons of oil over low heat until soft.
  • Add 300 grams of minced beef to the onions and mix thoroughly.
  • Incorporate 1 teaspoon each of ginger garlic paste, red chili, coriander, 1 tablespoon of salt, and 1 teaspoon of turmeric into the meat, ensuring a well-blended mixture.
  • Pour a cup of water, cover the pan, and allow it to cook for approximately 30 minutes. The Mantu filling is now ready.

Tomato Sauce:

  • Soak yellow split peas for 30 minutes.
  • Combine the split peas in a saucepan with 1 ½ cups of water.
  • Heat the split peas, adding 1/8 teaspoon red chili, ½ teaspoon salt, tomato paste, one teaspoon coriander, ¼ teaspoon cumin, and one cube of chicken bouillon.
  • Simmer the mixture for about 45 minutes on low heat, ensuring it reaches a balanced consistency, neither too thick nor too watery.

Wrapping the Afghan Ravioli

  • Place one tablespoon of the prepared filling in the center of a wrapper.
  • Moisten the corner of the wrapper with water using your finger.
  • Fold the opposite corners over each other and press, then fold and press the remaining corners, sealing the edges securely.
  • Repeat this process until all dumplings are wrapped.


  • Boil water in a pot and set up a steamer basket on top without allowing the water to touch it.
  • Arrange the Afghan ravioli in the steamer, cover it, and steam it for approximately 30 minutes until the Mantu ravioli are tender and soft.

Yogurt Sauce:

  • Pour ¾ cup yogurt into a bowl.
  • Add ¼ cup of water.
  • Add ½ teaspoon salt, one tablespoon dried mint, and two grounded garlic cloves to the yogurt.
  • Mix them well. Our sauce for Mantu is ready!

How to serve?

To serve Mantu, start by preparing a platter. Begin by drizzling 3-4 tablespoons of yogurt sauce onto the platter. Arrange the Mantu ravioli in the yogurt sauce. Next, generously pour the tomato sauce over the ravioli. Finally, crown the dish with another layer of yogurt sauce over the tomato sauce. Your delightful Mantu is now ready to be enjoyed!

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