Momos are dumplings filled with a choice of spiced minced meat or vegetables and then steamed or fried as per choice – a delicious healthy snack..!
I have had a very long week after Valentines. No, I have not been nursing my Valentines Day hangover, but my loved laptop decided to crash last week and I had to send it to the doctors. Now, all bloggers will agree with me that being stranded on a no internet world is a nightmare. I felt like I had lost touch with so many of my friends and a part of my life had come to a grinding halt. I was forever trying to use my hubby’s I-Phone to access my site, but that was just taking so long and was very frustrating. I just wanted my laptop back. That made me realize how dependent I had become on this little space of mine, my dear readers and my friends, my fellow bloggers. Yesterday, when I got my laptop back, hale and hearty, I had no idea whether to laugh or cry. And I started crying..! Imagine the look on my hubby’s face to see his wife streaming tears of joy for her laptop..! I am so Duh..!!
Now that I am back, I have a lovely recipe for you. Momos are originally the most sought after street food from Tibet or Nepal. It has its roots in China. It later became popular in other areas like Bhutan, Sikkim and other Himalayan states. Each region has their own variations of it. Some add tomatoes to the filling, while some use beef mince. Some states do not add soy sauce and some add oyster sauce. Variations are in plenty.
The momo is similar to the dim-sums, won tons or the Chinese dumplings. These momos are either steamed (the healthy version) or deep fried in oil. The deep fried ones are called kothey momos. Momos are usually served with a dipping sauce normally consisting of tomatoes as the base ingredient. The sauce is a very important part of eating momos as they build up the taste and gives it an added body. Always eat the momos hot, they do not taste that great cold. The perfect way to eat momos is to dunk it in spicy sauce and put it in your mouth whole, so that the first bite will be an explosion of flavors. I have adapted this recipe as the basis on my momos. Try it and let me know..!
STEAMED CHICKEN / VEGETABLE MOMOS
For the wrapper
- 2 cup Maida /Refined flour
- Salt to taste
- 1 cup Water, use enough to knead the dough
Combine the flour and salt in a bowl. Add enough water to make a stiff dough. Knead till you have a smooth dough. Cover with a damp cloth or keep aside in a covered container for half an hour. It is important to keep the dough covered as the exposed surface of the dough will harden on prolonged contact with air.
For the filling
- 400 gm Minced chicken ( Substitute with paneer, mushrooms, cabbage, carrots, capsicums for vegetarian )
- 2 small Onions
- 2 Green chilies
- 1 small piece Ginger
- 3 cloves Garlic
- Handful of Coriander leaves
- 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
- 1 tsp Soy sauce
- Salt to taste
For the meat filling – Use a food processor to finely chop the onions, green chilies, ginger and garlic. Add the minced chicken to a bowl. Add teh chopped ingredinets along with the pepper and soy sauce. Add salt to taste.
In case of vegetarian filling, add the mushrooms, carrots,cabbage, capsicum to the processor and chop. Add the crumbled paneer to the same and combine well with your hand. Add the soy sauce, pepper powder and salt. Test the seasoning.
Keep covered in the refrigerator for an hour, so that all the flavors can come together.
Assemble the Momos
It is now time to make the momo wrappers. Clean up your work station. Divide the dough into small portion and roll out the dough into small thin circles. The circles should not be so thin that we see through it, but not too thick either. Use your judgement. Alternatively you can roll out the dough into a large rectangle and then use a small tumbler or cookie cutter to cut out circles. This is faster and less work.
Take a momo wrapper and keep it in the palm of your left hand. Place a tablespoon of filling in the center of the wrapper. With your right hand, begin to pinch the edge of the dough together. Fold the edge together and make small pleats along the way. Pinch the pleats together so as to seal the momo completely. Repeat the process to finish the rest of the ingredients.
You can also make crescent shaped momos by placing the filling on one half of the wrapper circle. Fold the other half of the circle over the filling and seal the edges by pressing down with a fork, or pinching the edges together.
Prepare your steamer beforehand. The water in the steamer should be at a rolling boil when we add the momos to it. The steaming plate should be greased with oil to prevent the momo from sticking to it. Steam momos in hot steam for 10 minutes or until cooked thoroughly.
UPDATED – Line the steamer with cabbage leaves. Place the momos on the cabbage leaves and steam. They will not stick to the plate.
Serve hot with spicy tomato sauce or Thukpa (a mildly flavored Sikkimese clear noodle soup).
The dipping sauce that is used for momos is basically tomatoes, chili, a bit of garlic and salt ground together. However I like some twists in my sauce. The following recipe is for a spicy sweet and sour tomatoe chutney. Reduce the sugar if you want less sweet, increase the vinegar if you want more zang and increase the chilies for more heat. You can use red chili powder as a substitute for the chilies too.
SPICY SWEET N SOUR TOMATO CHUTNEY
Adapted from BBC Good food
- 2 Red onions , finely sliced
- 4 Tomato , chopped
- 3 Garlic cloves , sliced
- 6 Red chillies , chopped (add more for more spice)
- 2 cm piece Ginger , peeled and chopped
- 1/2 cup Brown sugar
- 1/3 cup Red wine vinegar
- 5 Cardamom seeds, powdered
- 2 Tbsp Oil
Take the oil in a pan and heat it up. Saute the onions till translucent. Add the ginger, garlic and the chilies to the pan and saute till the raw smell is gone. Add the tomatoes to the pan and cook till mushy. Switch off the flame and add the remaining ingredients. Add salt to taste. Once it has cooled down add the vinegar, blend it all in a blender till it becomes a smooth paste. This chutney can be stored in a glass jar for over a month. It is an ideal dipping sauce for many starters and can also be used as a spread for sandwiches. It gives that extra zing to the meal. If you are making this sauce as a dip, you can add a little hot water while cooking to make it of dipping consistency. In order to store it as a chutney, cook it for 5 minutes after blending , so that the moisture is gone and it becomes slightly thick and shiny.
I hope you guys enjoyed this lovely starter to the meal. This is a very healthy starter that can be had on a diet. When steamed this contains zero oil. Experiment with the wrappers by using wheat flour. Try different fillings as per taste. These momos can be made ahead. Store them in a container by arranging them in layers with parchment paper in between to prevent it for sticking together. Steam / fry when needed and serve with the chutney. Remember to serve it fresh and hot, straight off the stove..! Enjoy.!!
This entry is off to my event Valentines Special.