Russian Friday – Vegetarian Manty

My 1.5 year old daughter had a check-up appointment with her pediatrician last week.  Man, this girl can wail! And that’s just while the nurses are taking her measurements! It makes sense if mommy starts crying like that when she sees her weight, but her!? My children are a complete mystery to me!

So, to avoid any further unpleasant encounters with the scale, this dinner is relatively light.

Russians have a few different kinds of dumplings.  There are the small ones with ground meat, called pelmeni.  There are vareniki – they are a little larger than pelmeni, and the choices of stuffing are unlimited.  Finally, there are the huge ones, called manty.  Manty’s stuffing is often meat, but it’s chunkier than what’s used for smaller dumplings, and unlike pelmeni and vareniki – that are often boiled or friend – manty are steamed. 

Of course, my version of this dish is vegetarian.  I was craving a sweet and savory combination. So, the main ingredient is baked winter squash.  I added walnuts and mushrooms for the chunkier texture.  Mmmmmm! Gooooood!

Print this recipe



  • 2 ¼ cups flour
  • ½ cup water
  • 3 egg whites
  • ½ tsp salt


  • 1 winter squash, cut in half, seeds removed, cleaned
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cups of favorite mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1 cup of walnuts, finely chopped
  • ½ bunch of cilantro, finely chopped plus some for garnish
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Prepare the filling: preheat the oven to 400⁰F/200⁰C. Place the squash into a baking dish, cut side down.  Fill the dish with about 1 inch of water.  Bake for 40-60 minutes until the squash is done.

Meanwhile, preheat the frying pan and sauté onions until golden. Add mushrooms, and sauté until they shrink in size and most of the liquid evaporates.

Slightly crush walnuts in a mortar.

Once the squash is done, scrape the soft part from the skin and mash it.  Add remaining filling ingredients.

Prepare the dough: in a large bowl, mix all ingredients together.  Once incorporated, dump the dough on a floured surface and knead with your hands.

Make the dumplings: roll the dough into a 1 mm-thick sheet and cut out 2×4 inch rectangles. Place about 2 tbs of filling on each piece of dough.

Fold the dough in half, pinching the shorter ends of the rectangle together.

Pinch the side flaps together, sealing the openings from both sides.  Now, press the sides together, “hugging” the dumpling from each side.

Make ahead: at this point the dumplings could be frozen.  Place manty on a floured cutting board, and put them in a freezer.  After about 30 minutes remove the cutting board, and place manty into a zip-lock bag.

To cook: Boil water in the steamer pot.  Spray the steamer pan with olive oil and place dumplings on it.  Steam for about 10-15 minutes covered, until the dough is completely cooked.

Serve with butter and sour cream.  Garnish with cilantro.


  1. Sara says:

    Yum. I’ve heard of manti in Turkish cuisine, but they are apparently impossibly tiny–funny how the Russian version is the big type of dumpling. I think I’ll go for the Russian version as it sounds much less labor intensive, the squash reminds me of the Italian winter squash ravioli a bit. ;-) Glad you survived the pediatrician in the end!

  2. orples says:

    Thanks for this entry, and the freezing method … these little gems look like they would be the perfect meal to cook ahead of time, for later. Or perhaps, to double the recipe on. What are your defrost, reheat suggestions for optimal results, may I ask?

  3. Kwokmun says:

    I’ve made Armenian manti and they are much much smaller than yours. Isn’t it amazing so many cultures have manti in their culinary repetoire?

  4. Brandi says:

    Love it. I grew up in Western Canada, eating borscht, vereniki, birock, etc. This looks delish and will try it in the near future. I love Russian cuisine. Life is no good without cabbage rolls!

  5. christinajane says:

    Incredible!! This is such a me recipe.. handmade, vegetarian, full of flavour. I’m really enjoying learning about Russian food from you. I love that you make the dumpling dough – it looks so easy! I really will make this as soon as we can get our hands on squash. It seems that it’s not readily available up at these northern grocery stores!

  6. oldswimmer says:

    Anastasia, thanks for your lovely site. And sharing your beautiful kid story about swimming lessons! I am lusting over your yeasty chocolate bread recipe, but am embarking on a paleo/primal type diet and have to forego bread becaust it is carbohydrate. This is the hardest thing for me, an avid baker of yeast breads.

    But I loved your recipe, and will have to like that it was perfect for your lovely little guy to eat! Thanks. And thanks for reading my Bone Soup post in my blog. :) Susan AKA MeJane and oldswimmer.

  7. Savee Teale says:

    I love your “Russian Friday” theme! This recipe looks great too, I am half-Russian, so you can imagine my excitement. Unfortunately, my father’s best “dish” is oatmeal.

    Keep up the vegetarian Russian recipes, please! Happy Friday : )

  8. Lola says:

    Thanks for visiting my blog! These are just lovely and look delicious…I am adding them to my “must try” list!

  9. bremachine says:

    Those look delicious! And, I LOVE that you have a picture drinking a coconut. I am sipping on one right now and I was just thinking about how much I can’t live without them. Also, thank you for liking my post! I am fairly new to this, and I’m glad you stopped by :]

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