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Yaya's Manti Recipe by Maral Varolian

Queens, New York, US

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When I was a child my yaya was my world. I loved spending time with her and she was always in the kitchen. My fondest memory with her is making a special dish from our Armenian culture called Manti. It is a labor intensive dumpling soup from the Caucasus. The dish is a staple amongst Armenian families and all of my friend's yaya's make it. To make Manti you make the dough from scratch, roll it out thinly then cut it into squares. Once your squares are ready you stuff them with a meat mixture and then pinch them together. Then this is either boiled or baked in the oven before it is put in a bowl and topped with yogurt, and depending on where you are from either a red pepper or butter sauce. My yaya and I would bond over this recipe, my role only being pinching together the dumplings while she made the rest of the soup. I wanted to create a illustration that showed the steps for this dish, specifically focusing on the part that I would help her with.