This is the most popular dish in Nepal. Might I dare to say, it’s a national food of Nepal. Nepali dumplings are unique in its own way. It’s more spicier with juicy filling of ground buffalo meat. It’s served with a spicy tomato achar (sauce). There are few types of tomato achar that is served with momos. In my last post, I shared a recipe of a jhol achar, which is most common in Kathmandu. Or you can make a simple tomato achar (Golveda ko achar) that I’ve posted few months earlier in my blog.
It’s also served with a side dish of chicken soup broth made with chicken bones.
You can rarely find a Nepalese who doesn’t like momos. As one of my Instagram friend said (quote) ‘it’s stamped in our DNA and I cannot agree more.’ (Do check my Instagram @mrsgrg2014 to explore Food gallery and videos).
We eat momos almost every week, be it family gathering or just a snack or dinner. It’s easier to make if you use premade store bought wrappers or skin. It can be found in Asian grocery stores.
However, I prefer home made wrappers. It’s bit time consuming and need a bit more labour but the end result is worth the time and effort.
If you are trying you hands on making momos for the very first time, I suggest use premade wonton skin. As there are lot of elements required to make momos, you just don’t want to be too overwhelmed. However, if you choose to make your own wrappers, make it a family affair and get everyone involved.
Here’s my recipe for Momos. I made this for my family gathering. This recipe yields about 120 momos with homemade wrapper. Please reduce the quantity of spices and other ingredients in half or quarter to suit your need. Also you can tone it the spicier as per your liking.
If you end up with too many momos, don’t worry. You can always freeze them, it lasts for a month. When cooking frozen momos, don’t defrost it. Put it straight in the steamer on top of boiling water and steam for 15 minutes. You can enjoy steaming hot momos in no time.
Ingredients (Yields 120 medium sized momos)
For Wrappers or Skin
1 and half kilos of plain white flour
1 litre of Water (adjust water quantity as required)
Sift flour into a big bowl. Make a well in the centre and add water. You can use fork or fingertips to slowly mix flour with water. When it all comes together, get your hands into it. Mix and until it all comes together and knead it into a smooth dough.
Tips: If dough is not coming together and very flaky, add more water little bit at a time, until it knead into a ball. If the dough is too watery of soft, add bit more flour to make it a soft but firm dough. When dough is ready, it should leave the side of your bowl and hands too.
Cover the bowl with a wet towel or a cling wrap and set aside. This helps to soften the dough and making it flexible and elastic to work with. Leave it for at least half an hour or more. Do not let the dough dry out, or it will be hard to work with.
For Meat Filling
2 kilos of chicken mince (use beef or pork or buffalo meat as per your preference)
1 bunch of chives finely chopped (or you can substitute with few sprigs of spring onion or scallion)
1/2 of medium sized onion finely chopped
1/2 cup of chopped coriander (cilantro)
2 tablespoons of ginger paste
2 tablespoons of garlic paste
1 tablespoon of shallot paste (optional)
2 tablespoons of cumin powder
1 tablespoons of coriander powder
1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder
1 tablespoon of garam masala powder
Chilli powder as per your taste
Salt as per your taste
200 ml of Water
1/2 cup of mustard oil (or vegetable oil)
Put meat in a large bowl, add all the ingredients, spices, water and oil and mix well with mince meat. Set aside.
Note: You can add finely chopped cabbage to the mix to make it more juicier if you are using lean chicken mince.
Making Momo Wrapper
Take a handful of dough and roll it into a ball. Dust the flat and dry (clean) kitchen bench with flour. Place the ball on the surface and flatten it with a rolling pin. Roll it out quite thinly.
When it’s as thin as desired, get a round shape cutter and cut out as many as you can.
Repeat the same process to make as many wrappers as required.
Here comes a tricky bit. There are few shapes you can make.
For round shape momos: place a spoonful of mince mix in the centre of the wrapper. Hold the wrapper on your left hand . Pinch one side of the wrapper for first crease with your right thumb and index finger. Then just pinch and stick second crease with your index finger. Continue pinching around the circle little by little, keeping your thumb in place, and continuing along the edge of the circle with your index finger. When you come a full circle, stick the end together to seal the momo.
Oh how I wish I could load the video. So much easier to show a demo. However, I’ve seen a video floating around showing how to shape dumplings. If this is your first time making momos, please do check out the video. Here’s the photo of wrapped momos.
The hard part is over. Now this is a easy.
In a momo steamer, boil water on the bottom pot. Grease the top container (one with small holes) with oil. Place the momos until the container is full ensuring momos are not touching each other.
Place this container on top of the boiling pot and cover with lid. Steam it for 10-12 minutes on a medium heat.
Serve hot with a jhol achar or tomato achar.
Please do try it. It’s best served hot on cold winter days. Happy Cooking.