My Mother's Manti Pot

Relationship: Child of im/migrant
Uzbeki manti - Source: Adobe (Licensed)
Uzbeki manti - Source: Adobe (Licensed)

 My mother makes manti at every family event, a traditionally Turkish dish that melted into the diverse culture of Uzbekistan. Manti are the centerpiece of the table and the representation of proud labor, love and respect, involving an intensive 4 hours of making several dozen individually formed large dumplings stuffed with lamb, beef or pumpkin. My mother immigrated to America from Uzbekistan in the 1990s, and as a symbol of her loving, hard working character, she brought over her 70 year old manti pot passed down to her by her grandmother, who taught her the secrets of the dish. She apprenticed in her kitchen the few times a year where the women of her family gathered to work on this dish together, community being integral to their Muslim culture. Manti would be served as a symbol of respect for guests - the smaller, the more respect they represented - and the community behind it made it even more special. To this day, thousands of miles away, she serves this dish with immense pride. She feels her community with her every time and blesses us with the secret ingredients of love and a predictable amount of salt – a lot if last time was too little, less if last time sour cream had to balance out the flavor. She considers every detail, and every time I bite into this mouthwatering dish, I know it pays off. There is a passion instilled in the dishes of my culture passed down from generation to generation and I hope to keep the tradition going as a first generation American. 

Place(s): Uzbekistan

– Max Kurant

Relationship:  Child of im/migrant Child of im/migrant