Munti with tomato broth

I was inspired to make these last summer from a couple different things. Lamb munti, a Turkish dumpling, I learned how to make these from reading Prune by Gabrielle Hamilton.

For the broth, I was inspired by a restaurant in Cerritos, California, called Omar’s Halal Chinese, where they do these hand pulled noodles with a smoky tomato broth and shaved lamb. Naturally, that kind of broth works with lamb and noodle-types of dough, so it naturally made sense to meld the broth with munti.

Now the one garnish that I did not bother listing was the salad. It gets a bit unusual, I shall warn you now. It is a celery and lychee salad, inspired by a pork and lychee salad I had at Rose’s Luxury in Washington, D.C., where I was interning summer of 2016. The salad was smoky, meaty, salty, and the sweet, juicy lychees offset that wonderfully. Because of that, I now know that lychees can pair well with smoky foods in the savory department. Lychees do have a garlicky aftertaste and that compliments lamb really well. So don’t knock if before you try it.

For the munti filling:
12 oz ground lamb
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon paprika
1 egg

Literally just combine the ingredients together.

For the munti wrappers:
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour + more for rolling
2 eggs
a pinch of salt

Create a well with your flour and beat the eggs with salt. Combine together and form into a dough. Roll out on a floured surface until it is as thin as a fingernail. Cut into 1 inch by 1 inch squares.

For the munti:
Place 1 teaspoon of filling in the center of each square. Brush the edges with water and then close the dough, pulling the corners towards the center, and then pressing the seams shut. Bake the munti at 400 degrees F for 10 minutes, and then finish in the broth.

For the broth:
3 large tomatoes
1 bell pepper
1/4 cup diced onion
1/4 cup diced celery
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika

First, roast the bell pepper over an open flame until the skin is completely blackened. Once the bell pepper is cooled, remove the skin, then dice finely, seeds and all.

Give the tomatoes a rough chop. In a pot, lined with onion, sweat out the onions, celery, salt, and paprika together with the pepper until the onion turns translucent. Add in the tomatoes, and enough water to fill the pot halfway, and simmer for about 45 minutes. Strain out the solids and keep warm; you will be cooking the munti in this broth for an additional 2 minutes.

For the salad:
1/3 cup chopped fresh lychees; pits removed
2 stalks celery
2 radishes; sliced thin
celery leaves
2 tablespoons olive oil
a pinch of salt

Finely slice up the celery. Toss the ingredients together.

Put the munti and broth into a bowl, and then garnish with the salad in the very center.

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