Tag Archives: Nepali food

Momo (Nepali Dumplings) Recipe

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.

IMG_1296

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.

IMG_1294

IMG_1295

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.

IMG_1289

IMG_1288

When it’s as thin as desired, get a round shape cutter and cut out as many as you can.

IMG_1292

Repeat the same process to make as many wrappers as required.

Shaping Momos

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.

IMG_1285

IMG_1286

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.

IMG_1290

IMG_1287

The hard part is over. Now this is a easy.

Steaming Momos

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.

IMG_1300

Place this container on top of the boiling pot and cover with lid. Steam it for 10-12 minutes on a medium heat.

IMG_1301</a

IMG_1291

Serve hot with a jhol achar or tomato achar.

IMG_1298

Please do try it. It’s best served hot on cold winter days. Happy Cooking.

Jhol Momo Soup Recipe

Jhol momo is very famous and much loved steamed Nepali dumplings served with jhol achar (soup). It is an easy find in any restaurants and street hawkers in Kathmandu. The jhol achar is in house specialty of momos that you get in Kathmandu.

As I was born and raised in Kathmandu, I grew up eating momos for khaja (afternoon tea) almost everyday. These momos came swimming in a liquid (tomato soup) laced with powdered soya or sesame. This is perfect accompaniment for momos as this soup enhances the meatiness of the dumplings and also gives it a nice kick of chilli and tanginess. Depending on the kind of eateries, the taste and consistency varies. It was not always the healthy choice if you buy it from local eatery as they normally use lot of fat in the mince meat, but it sure was very tasty.

Every now and then I crave for this authentic taste of jhol momos. I make momos at all the time, be it for dinner, or for family get together, momos always gets a nod. I’ve been trying to recreate this jhol momos for a while now. I’ve tried few combinations of spice and consistency, it’s been a hit and a miss. But the recipe of the jhol (soup), I’m about to share comes very close to the authentic taste. When I tasted it, it took me straight back to those steaming stalls of Kathmandu street.

I will be posting recipe for momos very soon. Here’s my take on the jhol achar for momos

Ingredients

5 medium tomatoes (grilled or roasted)
Half onion finely chopped
4 cloves
2 green cardamom
1 black cardamom
1 cinnamon stick
4 bay leaves
1 tablespoon of garlic and ginger paste
Chillies as per your taste
2 tablespoon of oil
Salt as per taste
3 tablespoon of sesame (roast sesame with 2 dry chillies and 3-4 szehuwan peppercorns and grounded into a powder)
1 litre of chicken stock (or soup made from bone)

In a pot, heat oil and fry onion until soft and has slight colour. Add cardamom, cloves, cinnamon stick, bay leaves and let it infuse with sautéed onion for a minute.

2015/01/img_0765.jpg

Add garlic/ginger paste, turmeric powder, salt and chilli powder. Fry it for a minute or two, till oil seperates.

2015/01/img_0767.jpg

2015/01/img_0769.jpg

Add roasted tomatoes and cook until for 5-7 minutes by covering the pot.

2015/01/img_0771.jpg

When tomatoes are soft and mushy, add chicken stock and bring it to the boil. Turn the heat to low and let it simmer on a gentle heat for 10 minutes ensuring the liquid doesn’t reduce.

2015/01/img_0773.jpg

2015/01/img_0775.jpg

After 10 minutes turn off the heat. Let it cool.

When the soup is cool, take bay leaves, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom out of the soup. Pour the soup in a blender and add sesame. Blitz it until it’s creamy and fine.

2015/01/img_0777.jpg

2015/01/img_0779.jpg

Serve it with steaming hot momos. Enjoy.

2015/01/img_0781.jpg

2015/01/img_0783-0.jpg

Black Eyed Pea Soup

Black Eyed Pea is one of the most nutritious and potent beans with high content of calcium, and also iron and protein. This soup is a good comfort food for cold winter days.

I made this soup for my hubby as he’s been down with cold and flu for past few days. He doesn’t get sick very often but this cold and flu really knocked him down. I wanted to make him feel better so I made all these dishes to help him bounce back to health.

I’m big on home made remedial concoctions to heal and cure ailments as I grew up using these remedies.

For this black eyed soup, I used lot of carom/thyme seeds (jwano) as these are believed to be good cure for cold and flu. My mother used to make this concoction of carom/thyme seeds with lots of ginger, salt and turmeric to relieve us whenever we had cold and flu.

The black eyed soup is very delicious, yet nourishing too.

If you are feeling under the weather or just need something to nourish yourself, please try this recipe.

Ingredients

350 grams of Black eyed peas (soak it overnight or if not soaked, required to cook longer)
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
100 grams of bacon
3 tablespoon of carom/thyme seeds
2-3 bay leaves
1 large tomato cut into cubes
1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
2 teaspoons of cumin powder
Fresh Garlic and Ginger paste (4-5 garlic cloves and thumb sized piece of ginger. Pound it in mortar pestle to make a paste)
1 litre of chicken stock (or water)
Salt as per taste
2 tablespoons of oil

In a pot, heat oil and pop carom/thyme seeds. Add chopped onion and sauté for 2-3 minutes until it softens. Add bacon and sauté it until golden brown.

2015/01/img_0356.jpg

Add salt, cumin powder, turmeric powder, bay leaves and garlic ginger paste.

2015/01/img_0357.jpg

Cook for spices for 1 minutes and add tomatoes. Mix well and cook tomatoes until soft.

2015/01/img_0360.jpg

Add black eyed peas and liquid into the pot. Stir it and cover it with lid. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until black eyed peas are soft and mushy but still holds its shape.

2015/01/img_0362.jpg

Serve hot soup with a rustic bread or on its own with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt.

2015/01/img_0353.jpg

Red Hot Chicken Curry

It’s been a while since my last post. I’ve been busy with festivities (Dashain and Tihar), family and work being priorities during this time.

I’m back and hoping to share more of my culinary experiences.

I made this lovely, spicy, hot and rich curry few weeks ago. It’s a one pot wonder with spuds, mushroom and chicken. It is one of those comfort food for me. The rich, hot and thick gravy makes me warm and gives me foodcoma as I can’t resist 2nd and 3rd helpings with steam rice.

Here’s a recipe for you to warm up your cold nights .

Ingredients

1.5 kilos of whole chicken cut into pieces (with bones, skin and all)
2 medium sized onion finely sliced
2 large tomatoes cut into cubes
1 tablespoon of tomato paste
4-5 small sized whole potatoes
4-5 brown mushroom cut into quarters
5 cloves of garlic
A knob of ginger (thumb sized piece)
5 red chillies
1 quill of cinnamon
3-4 black cloves
3-4 cloves
1 tablespoon of Chilli powder
1 tablespoon of cumin powder
1 tablespoon of coriander powder
1 tablespoon of garam masala
500 ml of chicken stock (or water)
Salt to taste
4-5 tablespoons of oil
Fresh coriander for garnish

Method:
Divide chicken pieces into 2-3 batches. Heat oil in the pan and add first batch of chicken pieces to seal and sear it. Fry it for 4-5 minutes turning it once. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Repeat the same process for other batches and set aside.

IMG_8925.JPG

In the same pan, add sliced onion and fry it until golden brown.

IMG_8926.JPG

Add whole spices and fry it for few minutes. Then add all other spices, salt, fresh chillies and garlic ginger paste. Mix it well and fry it for few minutes in a gentle heat.

IMG_8927-1.JPG

Add tomato and tomato paste and cook it for 3-5 minutes until tomato disintegrates and become thick and mushy.

IMG_8928.JPG

Add chicken pieces, potatoes and mushroom. Stir well to mix with spices and tomato. Cook for 4-5 minutes.

Add 500 ml of chicken stock or plain water and cover the pan with lid.

IMG_8929.JPG

Cook it for 20-25 minutes on low heat until chicken is tender and gravy is thick.

IMG_8930.JPG

Garnish with coriander and serve with steam rice or rotis. It’s a comfort food best enjoyed on cold days.

IMG_8990.JPG

Lai Kawaf (Daikon Radish with Goat curry)

This is one of classic and authentic curry dish that my mother used to make. It’s my all time absolute favourite curry dish. It’s a comfort food that goes very well with bowl of steam rice.

Normally we make it this curry with buffalo meat. Buffalo meat is the staple of newari cuisine. I love buffalo meat. It’s hard to get buff here so I substituted with goat meat.

I went to market last Saturday. I bought goat leg on skin. I love meat on bone and with skin. It is the best way to cook meat as it keeps meat moist, juicy and gives lots of texture. The slow cooked or braised meat on skin and bone is so good. The skin gets gelatinous and sticky and the marrow in the bone gives natural oilyness. I know here people don’t like their meat on bone and/or skin but you should try it, it’s just delicious. In Nepal, we chomp down every part of animal even offals. I have to admit that I love offal dish called Vutan. It’s definitely an acquired taste but if done right (like cleaning and poaching and frying) it’s so tasty. You can find these authentic dishes at local nepali restaurants.

I have to admit I love grocery shopping. It will sound crazy to you but when I see and buy all these great produce, I get excited with all these great ideas in my head of what I’m going to cook out of these produce. I go gaga for fresh herbs, green vegetables and I absolutely love tomato.

So when I bought this goat leg, I thought I will make a beautiful curry. Since it’s freezing here in Australia, this curry will warm your body and soul. The radish and potato soaks up the meatiness of goat and takes it to new height.

Here’s the recipe. Use pressure cooker to reduce cook time in half. If not, use thick based pot to slow cook for an hour.

Radish can be substituted with turnips or zucchini if you are not big fan of cooked radish.

Ingredients ( Serves 8)

1 kilo of meat (goat leg cut into chunky curry sized pieces)
1 onion
2 medium sized potatoes (cut into cubes)
1 regular sized daikon Radish (cut into cubes)
1 stick of cinnamon
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon of garlic paste
1 tablespoon of ginger paste
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2 tablespoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon of chilli powder
1 teaspoon garam masala (I used BMC meat masala that mom sent from Nepal)
2 tablespoon of oil
Handful of chopped fresh coriander
Salt to taste

Put the cooker on heat and add oil. When oil is hot, sauté onion until golden brown. Add goat meat and fry to seal and brown the meat. Add potatoes and the spices, except for garam masala. Let the spice cook for few minutes. Add 500 ml of water or stock and cook it for 30 minutes until meat is tender. Add daikon radish and garam masala and cook it for another 10 minutes. It’s cooked when meat’s falling off the bone and the skin is sticky and gelatinous.

Garnish with coriander and serve hot with steamed rice.

20140626-154501-56701682.jpg

20140626-154537-56737506.jpg

20140626-154619-56779307.jpg

20140626-154703-56823064.jpg

20140626-154732-56852378.jpg

20140626-154757-56877298.jpg

Pickled Daikon Radish (Mula ko Achar)

It’s that time of the year here in Southern Hemisphere part of the world. The mornings and nights are chillier and it’s raining a lot. The winter is at our doorstep. This time of the year reminds me of hot and fragrant nepali tea (Chiya), foggy kathmandu mornings and glorious sun in the afternoon. Me and my mom used to get busy around the kitchen making preserved pickles with daikon radish, tomato, chillies, cauliflower, cucumber and many more. I love to make these as they are great accompaniment with rice, curries and lentils (bhat, daal ra tarkari).

The afternoon sun is ideal to dry these vegetables and the pickles after they are bottled. The cold mornings and nights helps to preserve it perfectly.

Now I’m here in a different part of the world and I still love to make these pickles in my kitchen. It’s part of my upbringing, my culture and heritage. And the taste that always remains favourite regardless of geographic boundaries.

It used to be hard to get these ingredients at supermarkets before due to us being a minority. As these ingredients are not Aussie cuisine staples, it was hard to find it 14 years ago. It’s a completely different story now. Due to major boom in migrations, it can be found easily on supermarket shelves to cater for these group. Also you can find lots of authentic grocery stores (Nepali) popped up in every burb where you can get your hands on these ingredients quite easily.

I’m sharing one of an authentic pickled radish recipe which is loved by most nepali. And it’s one of my favourite too.

Ingredients

2 medium size white daikon radish
1 clove of garlic ( cut in half)
10-15 whole fresh green chillies
1 cup of grinded mustard seed
Salt as per taste
1 tablespoon chilli powder
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 cup of vegetable or mustard oil

Cut radish into 1 inch batons. If possible dry radish in the sun for a day or two. (If fresh radish is used, it will results in juices coming out of it and makes the pickles liquidy). Also oven can be used to dry and dehydrate.

When radish is dry, put it in a bowl with other ingredients. Add ground mustard, chillies, salt, turmeric powder and oil. Mix well.

Fill the mixture in a jar or two making sure it’s packed tightly. Seal the lid with a clear wrap and tighten the lid to ensure it’s air-tight. Leave it somewhere in warm and sunny area. The pickle will be ready in 5-7 days.

20140504-163008.jpg

20140504-163055.jpg

20140504-163105.jpg

20140504-163115.jpg

20140504-163127.jpg

Chula (Mince meat curry)

This is my all time favourite mince curry that can be prepared in hurry. I love curry called chula as it’s so tasty with rice and easy to make. It used to be my favourite dish when I was a kid. Whenever my mom had to impress me or pamper me, she would bring buffalo mince meat and make this beautiful curry. It never failed to please me after eating a thaal (plate) full of rice and chula.
In Kathmandu, buffalo is the main meat that people consume on daily basis. I’m an avid buff meat lover. You can make so many dishes of buff meat. However I’m here now so I can’t get my hands on buffalo meat easily.
I make this chula curry with chicken mince. I’ve tried with lamb but it turns out really fatty. I’m not much of pork lover so chicken is ideal for this recipe I’m about to share.
It takes 15 mins to prepare this dish. I do this curry when I’m too lazy to cook other protein as I can’t be bothered cutting it or I’m in hurry.

Here is the recipe:

Vegetable oil
5-8 fenugreek seeds
1 large onion
2 bay leaves
1 stick of cinnamon
500 gms chicken mince
1 tablespoon (tbspn) of garlic paste
1 tbspn of ginger paste
1 teaspoon (tspn) cumin powder
1 tspn coriander powder
1/2 tspn chilli powder
1/2 tspn turmeric powder
1 tspn garam masala
Salt as per taste
1/4 of green peas
1 med size tomato
1/2 cup of water or chicken stock
1/4 cup of chopped coriander to garnish

Marinade chicken mince with half of garlic and ginger paste and a tspn of oil. Leave it on the side for 5-10 mins. It will tenderize the meat and retain the moisture.

In a pan, heat 2 tbspn of vegetable oil. When the oil is hot, crack fenugreek seeds and cook it until it turns black. Add onion and fry until golden brown. Throw in cinnamon stick and bay leaves to infuse the onion. Add all the other spices and cook until it leaves the oil. Add chicken mix and mix well. Ensure the mince is mixed well so it doesn’t have any lumps. Cook it for 2-3 mins to make sure it’s not over cooked. Add 1/2 cup of water or chicken stock, tomato and peas and cook it for another 3 mins. Turn off the heat, garnish with coriander. Serve with steamed rice.

20140422-080630.jpg

20140422-080642.jpg

20140422-080656.jpg

20140422-080707.jpg