Armenia

Armenia is a mountainous country on the border of Asia and Europe. It is bordered by Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Iran. There seem to be a lot of similarities between Turkish food and Armenian food; dolmas and filo pastry.

The meal I chose was more similar to one that I really wanted to make when I did Afghanistan; Manti (although the Afghan version is called Mantu). Manti are dumplings; they can be filled with beef or lamb (I chose lamb) and are seasoned with onion and parsley. I thought they might be bland due to the lack of spices but they were really nice. I cheated and used dumpling wrappers from the Asian Cook Store rather than making my own pastry. I also used a really nifty little gadget I got from the same site to make the dumplings nice and regular; it saved a lot of mess too. Once prepared, the manti are lined up on a greased tray and baked for 30 minutes in the oven until they are brown.

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We ate the manti in a traditional Armenian soup which was pretty much just tasty chicken stock. We made up the stock using roasted chicken wings, vegetables and seasoning.

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The soup was topped with a dollop of sour cream and sprinkled with sumac (a dried berry from the sumac bush)

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