Back in 2019 I posted about a PhillyMag.com article on the ascendance of manti dumplings in Philadelphia. Manti are small dumplings found in Turkish, Armenian, Uzbek, and other Middle Eastern and central Asian cuisines. Wikipedia has an extensive discussion on the many forms of manti, their origins and possible links to Korean mandu, Chinese mantou, and Japanese manjū. I recently hit Paprica Modern Mediterranean Grill, one of the restaurants featured in the PhillyMag article.
Paprica serves lamb and spinach manti and I tried the spinach variety. Even though I am fully vaccinated, with the delta variant spreading quickly I am wary of indoor dining. So I got the manti to go and happily they stood up to a little extra steaming in their container on my trip home. The spinach filling had a discernable spinach, health giving, flavor and had a good texture, and wasn’t just mush inside the wrapper. The manti came doused with a mild, too timid, chili sauce and with a side of yogurt sauce. The yogurt sauce was an excellent accompaniment drizzled on top the of the manti, it had a light consistency and a mild sourness that I liked, but it fully quenched the heat of the chili sauce. I think a spicier chili sauce would have played well with the yogurt. Paprica serves a large portion of manti that covered dinner and a left-overs lunch the next day, so they are a bargain. Re-heating the manti in a micro-wave works well.
Paprica is on Samson Street between 8th and 9th in Center City Philadelphia.