Saturday, February 22, 2014

Veggie Momos (Dumplings)

Ah! Momos. The first time I ate momos was ages ago, in Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh. Dharamshala is my husband's home town. Coincidentally, my sister lives in Dharamshala and happens to be my husband's grandmother's neighbor. My cousin, Ritesh (whose home is also in Dharamshala), introduced me to it while I was there on vacation once. I've been in love ever since. During those days, there were no momo vendors in Delhi or Dhaka (where I used to live at that time). Now, there are momo vendors all over Delhi and Gurgaon. 

If you didn't know, momo is a type of dumpling native to Nepal. It is also native to the bordering regions of Tibet, Bhutan, Sikkim, Darjeeling district and Northeast India. Dharamshala is the centre of the Tibetan exile world in India and I'm guessing it's the Tibetans who brought the momos to Dharamshala. 

There are some Tibetan restaurants in Utah, but they're like in Salt Lake City or farther. Well, I figured out a quick and easy way to make it at home and it tastes great!


For momo filling
1/2 cabbage
2 carrots
1 green onion
a bunch of cilantro
salt to taste
1 tsp soy sauce

For momo wrapper
This is what I used 

Now if you don't have access to the won ton wrappers, you can make a regular dough with flour and water and knead it really thin. The problem with this step is, it is hard to roll it out really thin. If you don't roll the dough thin enough, the momo tastes doughy and hard around the edges and it's just no fun. Unless you're a pro at rolling, I would suggest getting ready-made won ton wrappers or spring roll wrappers (whatever is available). It is also way faster.

Also, look at youtube videos on how to roll the dough. It is apparently supposed to be thick in the middle and thin around the edges. Youtube videos will also explain how to wrap the momo. 

For Chutney
9-10 dried red chilies
4-5 cloves of garlic
1/2 tsp of roasted cumin powder
Juice of half a lime
Salt to taste


1. Take all the vegetables and chop them up really tiny in a food processor.

2. Add salt and soy sauce and mix it well. I had chili soy sauce so I used that, but regular soy sauce will work.

3. Now take a wonton wrapper and spread a little water on the edges (for sealing). Take a spoon of the veggies and put it in the middle.
I originally had square shaped won ton wrappers and I bothered cutting them into round shapes. Eventually, I realized that it works just fine with square shaped wrappers, too.
4. If you're not sure exactly how to seal the wrapper, take a look at some youtube videos. Just type "How to wrap a momo" in the search bar and you'll get all sorts of videos. 

I'm no pro, so these don't look perfect, but they will cook and taste perfect in the end. Make sure that when you scoop a spoon of veggies on the wrapper, you squeeze out all of the water. Cabbage, carrots, cilantro with soy sauce - they let out a lot of juices. If you try to put a scoop of really watery veggies, the water will keep oozing out when you try to seal the momo and it just gets tedious after a while to seal it properly. So just grab a spoonful of veggies in your hand and squeeze out all the juices. Then place them on the wrapper and seal. 

If you have a larger wrapper, put more veggies. Eventually, you'll figure out how much you can stuff into a wrapper.

5. Now grab a veggie steamer, spray it with oil (to keep the momos from sticking), put all the momos in it and put it in a vessel that has enough water in it to make steam. Heat up the water and cover the vessel with a lid. In a few minutes, it'll begin steaming.

 You may use any other steamer. Some people use idli stands. Whatever works for you.

Make sure you spray the steamer with oil and leave a gap between each momo. Momos tend to stick to the bottom and to each other. 

6. Once it begins steaming, the momo wrappers will start turning translucent. It should take about 15 minutes or so for them to be completely cooked. 

7. When they all look translucent, they are done cooking and ready to eat. While they cook, prepare the chutney. For the chutney, take dried red chilies, soak them in hot water and microwave it for two minutes. They say you should leave the chilies in the water and soak for 30 minutes, but waiting is not my thing. I just microwave it. The whole idea is to get the chilies to be soft enough to grind into a paste. Microwaving does the same thing as leaving it in warm water for half an hour.

8. Slice the garlic.

9. Roast some cumin and grind it. Make sure not the burn the cumin while roasting it. It should just be a dark brown color. If it turns black, you've roasted too long. 

10. Now add the red chillies and grind.

11. Now add 2-3 tablespoons of water and garlic.

12. Now add a teaspoon of salt (or more depending on your taste) and the juice of half a lime. Grind everything together. Chutney is ready.

13. During this time, the momos should be ready, too.

Ready to chow!

Give it a try :)


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