Monday, October 16, 2017

Review of Roubi's Vegan Mante/Մանթը! [Yerevan]

Adding the hearts took an embarrassingly long amount of time.
I mentioned in this post that last year I finally attempted to make my all-time favourite dish, mante/mantı/մանթը*, 100% vegan. I cannot find the photo of it (it was blurry anyway), but it turned out incredibly delicious, and it was exactly how I remembered it growing up. Basically, a mante food coma was had by all.

While I still plan to re-make and post my recipe here, when I found out that Yerevan-based vegetarian/vegan chef Roubi Nalbandian not only made mushroom-based vegan lahmajoun (review here), but also mushroom-based vegan mante, I was excited to try hers since I really enjoyed the lahmajoun she prepared. However, I was traveling a lot in Armenia and ordering vegan mante remained in perpetual "to-do" purgatory.

On my last weekend in Armenia (aka the Areni Wine Festival), Roubi let me know that she sweetly prepared mante for me, as a gift. I picked it up from her a few hours after returning to Yerevan, and decided it would be my last meal in Armenia before going to Canadaland. It was hard not to snack on it:
Roubi made me the dumplings as well as the broth to cook it in!
After running around all day doing last-minute errands (aka buying all of the cognac and dried fruits), it was time to come home and eat what was awaiting me. I cooked the mante in the liquid, which seemed to be tomato paste, water, garlic and salt, and let the dumplings soak up that sweet, sweet broth, and just added dried mint, red pepper and sumac to the mix:
It smelled incredible already and I was getting flashbacks to the vegan mante I made, which gave me flashbacks of my mom's and nene's mante growing up. Because I have to over-do anything and everything, I added more mint just to make sure the photos looked weird (#winning):
To no one's surprise, it was absolutely delicious, just like Roubi's lahmajoun. The dumpling dough was particularly good, and was definitely much more accurate compared to my version (I suck at dough/bread/baking/life). The mushroom filling was cooked really well, although I think it could have used just a tad more spice to mimic the original a little more. Coupled with the broth, it was a such a great final meal in Yerevan, and I definitely did not miss the garlic-madzoun sauce in this case!

For those interested in trying Roubi's vegan masterpieces, you can contact her directly on Facebook right here!

*I know some people pronounce it manti/մանթի, but not I/most people I know. 

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