As promised here’s the instructions to reproduce the meal that reminds Anna Badkhen of her fiends in Kabul. The list of ingredients is here.
First make the dough: Pour the flour into a large bowl and stir in the salt. Slowly add 3-4 cups warm water to the centre of the flour; add enough water to make the dough not stick to your fingers but also be pliant. Knead for 5 minutes, cover with cling film, and refrigerate for 30 mins.
For our author the special nature of mantwo is that it is served with three different sauces. While you’re waiting for your dough to come out of the fridge, make the split pea sauce first. Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to simmer for 45 minutes, or until the peas mash easily. (I’ve introduced a slight variation here by using a mix of split peas and red lentils)
While that’s cooking whip up the yoghurt sauce: Combine all the ingredients and refrigerate – (so that’ll be a good stir then rather than any sort of whipping)
Make the stuffing: Heat the oil in a large skillet. Cook the meat and onions over a low heat until all the meat is browned, stirring so that the meat doesn’t clump together. Drain the fat. (it’s the half beef/half lamb option hereabouts)
Stir in 1 cup water, the carrots, salt, cumin, black pepper, coriander, cilantro, and parsley and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the water evaporates.
If you’ve made your own dough (that’ll be the first step above), remove the dough from the fridge. Cut it in half, then halve each piece until you have 32 pieces. (at the Towers we’ve cut the recipe back to 3/4 – that’s a pound and a half of meat and pro-rata for everything else, so we may end up with a couple of dozen little rounds of dough, and twelve filled dumplings) Roll out each piece into thin rounds about 2.5 to 3 inches in diameter. Lay them out on a lightly floured surface.
Mound two large spoonfuls of the meat mixture in the centre of a dough circle. Dip a finger in water and trace it round the edge. Lay a second piece of dough on top and press round the edge to seal. Roll up the edge. Repeat until all the dough is gone. You should have some meat mixture left over. Steam the mantwo for 40 minutes.
In the meantime make the meat sauce: Combine the remaining meat mixture, 2 tablespoons water, the tomato paste, and cayenne pepper. Simmer for about ten minutes, or until the water has evaporated.
To serve, spread the yoghurt sauce on large serving plate. Put the mantwo on top. Pour the split pea sauce over the mantwo. Top with the meat sauce. Serve hot. Enjoy.
But it won’t come with the memories that are evoked round the Badkhen table. You know where to read of them.
And the verdict? Well clean plates all round says it all really. Rammed full of flavours, coming at you in waves through the various layers, and a big hit hereabouts. But cut the volume in half and you’ll have more than enough for the average family. It’s very filling.