Waiter, there’s something in my… Dumpling


A couple of evenings ago, B announced that he had bought a TV. A TV? But, but, we have a TV! Yes, but this one is much bigger, he says. How much bigger, I ask. He tells me. Wah. Why do we need such a large TV? What are you compensating for? Small eyes?, I counter, with narrowed eyes.

You see, I drool at the sight of large plasma screens, as much as anyone else, but the thought of owning one of them frightens me a little. Being so big, it doubles as a room feature and screams, “I have no life! TV IS my life”.

It’s like when you’re at a party and you’re talking to a new acquaintance, asking them what television programs they like. You hope they’ll bring up your current favourites, like Heroes, Entourage, The Chaser and it turns out the conversation killer is so against the culture of the box that he doesn’t even own a TV. Oh, well,… we’ve recently bought a 48inch flatscreen plasma TV behemoth of a thing, now let’s change the subject!

Also, I’m one of those nonsensical people who stay attached to old things. I can buy a new toothbrush and still be using the old one to the point where the bristles aren’t brushing anymore – more like stroking the teeth gently. Might as well have been brushing my teeth with my finger, the way people do when they forget to pack a toothbrush. I love our old TV. It has been completely faithful and problem free. It’s just really hard..to..let….go. Old things are comforting. As comforting as a big bowl of hot dumplings in winter.

(see, I can segue as well as Anna Coren!)

Johanna of The Passionate Cook has chosen Dumplings as the latest WTSIM theme. Golden syrup dumplings, yeasted fritters, gnocchi, pierogi, takoyaki, samosas, gow gees, I love them all!

I saw a recipe for a yogurt soup with dumplings in a recent issue of Gourmet Traveller magazine and was intrigued enough to want to attempt it. For one thing, I’d never had yogurt soup before, let alone hot yogurt soup. Also this was my first time hearing of these dumplings called mante – which are, according to the recipe, “traditional Armenian pasta parcels filled with spiced meat and usually served with a yogurt sauce”.


A few things I did have to change when I made this. For the life of me, I couldn’t find any plain pistachios when I went grocery shopping that day, so I substituted with toasted almonds instead, which still tasted good in my opinion. Also, I found the quantity of yogurt soup was perfect for serving, but not quite so for simmering the raw dumplings, so I ended up cooking them in water.

Overall, a very tasty and heart-warming way to start a meal.

Now, is there anyone out there who’s interested in a second-hand Phillips TV?

Hot Yogurt Soup with Chicken and Pistachio Mante :
(recipe by Joseph Abboud from Rumi)

750ml natural yogurt
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon cornflour
1 tablespoon cooked short grain rice
1/2 teaspoon dried mint
Extra-virgin olive oil, to serve
Lebanese bread, to serve

Mante :

100g minced chicken
20g coarsely chopped pistachios
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
18 8cm-diameter round wonton wrappers

For mante, combine all ingredients except wonton wrappers in a bowl and season to taste with sea salt. Place a heaped teaspoon of filling in the centre of each wonton wrapper, brush edges with water, fold wrapper in half and join ends together, pressing to seal.

Whisk together yogurt, egg yolk, cornflour, rice and mint in a bowl, pour into a large saucepan and bring to a simmer (do not let it boil) over medium heat. Add mante and cook for 3 minutes, or until mante float to surface. Ladle soup into bowls, drizzle with olive oil and serve with Lebanese bread.



  1. johanna said,

    July 2, 2007 @ 9:06 pm

    what an unusual recipe! i have never even heard of yoghurt soup (but then, maybe it didn’t stick, seeing that i don’t do lactose very much).. but the mante sound divine! thanks so much for contributing to WTSIM… dumpling!

  2. cathy x. said,

    July 3, 2007 @ 1:43 am

    estoy muy bien ¡gracias señorita! los churros aqui son los mejores. even Andy cant beat the churros you can get from the seediest looking bars around here mwuahaha! estoy aprendiendo un poco español despacio pero todavio no se suficiente palabras para hablar correctamente, (aunque yo puedo admitar que yo se muchas palabrotas) asi que adivino tengo que quedarse a hablando en spanglish. ¡te echo mucho de menos! voy a hablar contigo pronto! take care! xx

  3. Y said,

    July 3, 2007 @ 6:58 pm

    Cathy 🙂

    Debo decir, tu Espanol soy fabuloso, si no conseguiste ninguna escritura de la ayuda que se divide en párrafos. Voy a visitar España el año próximo. Quizá puedes darme un cierto consejo del recorrido por esa etapa. xx

  4. Y said,

    July 3, 2007 @ 6:59 pm

    Hi Johanna! If you’re lactose intolerant, you might still be able to try the soup. My boyfriend has similar problems with most milk products but seems to be relatively ok with regards to yogurt.

  5. B said,

    July 4, 2007 @ 5:21 pm

    Perhaps I bought us a bigger TV to compensate for my inability to digest lactose. That’s perfectly understandable isn’t it? Oh, and it’s a 46 inch LCD, not a 48 inch plasma, but you were close enough. 🙂

  6. Pille said,

    July 5, 2007 @ 9:58 pm

    My Turkish flatmate back in Scotland made yogurt soup fairly regularly, and mantõ-dumplings are easily obtainable here in Estonia. I’ve never had these two things together, however!!
    Very interesting!

  7. Y said,

    July 8, 2007 @ 8:55 pm

    Thanks Pille. Yogurt soup is still a novelty for me, but I love yogurt so much that I can see it becoming an occasional feature in this household 🙂

  8. cathy x. said,

    July 9, 2007 @ 10:34 pm

    bueno, hay un cerveceria que tiene los mejores tapas y esta siempre muy abarrotado casi todos los dias. se llama EL TIGRE y se queda en la calle de infantas solo dos calles de gran via, entre los metros de gran via y chueca. no tenia ayuda de alguien cuando escribe el ultimo meseje. no estaba perfecto pero estaba bastante bien. hay muchas chicas estan en mi clase esta semana que no me gusta. grrr! a proposito, el sabado pasado fuimos a pamplona a ver la fiesta de San Fermin. hacia una chica que estuvo corriendo enfrente los torros y quiso parar porque ella estaba muy borracha. la policia la ha dicho que ha tenido que continuar a correr asi que estuvo corriendo y vomitando a lo mismo tiempo. haaha que buena.

  9. Y said,

    July 9, 2007 @ 10:55 pm

    Hmm.. Cathy, que funcionaba su mensaje a través de un traductor hizo ningún sentido cualesquiera, pero de alguna manera, seguía siendo muy muy divertido…:)

  10. cathy x. said,

    July 17, 2007 @ 9:06 am

    haha lo siento, la he dicho que solo puedo hablar español muy, muy mal. este fin de semana, iremos a ver flamenco ..quizás en dos lugares en el central de madrid pero no sé exactamente donde ahora mismo. espero que mis amigas se van a hacer muchas fotos así que puedo enviar a tú más tarde. ¡un besito! \o/

  11. Ani said,

    May 10, 2008 @ 11:54 am

    You know, the way my mom makes it is by toasting the mante in the oven with a little bit of olive oil before adding the yogurt sauce. This makes the mante crunchy!!! Also, she does not put pistachios. Finally the yogurt sauce that she makes is just heated yogurt, garlic, salt and red pepper flakes.

  12. Y said,

    May 10, 2008 @ 11:58 am

    Hi Ani! Thanks for the tip! I like the idea of crunchy mante 🙂 Next time I try making them, I’ll do yogurt sauce like you suggested also. I’m sure it really doesn’t need the egg yolk and all the other stuff.

  13. Anna @ Morsels & Musings said,

    August 1, 2010 @ 3:30 pm

    i just made this and had the same problem with the lack of liquid for simmering.
    i did adjust the recipes a little as well.

    i thought it tasted nice and homely, but somehow the idea of it was better than the outcome.

    ani’s idea sounds pretty good too.

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