Momos are God’s gift to humanity!
I’m a recent convert though. Last year when I went to Nepal, I wasn’t a fan of these weird stuffed doughs at all.
However, after spending some time in North India recently, they’ve grown on me. I don’t exactly know what changed, but I do know that I’m having the best momos I’ve ever tasted.
Below is the Steamed Vegetable Momo recipe that I learnt just yesterday from the owner of the guest-house where I am staying. She originates from Ladakh, in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, and I have got to tell you, she makes great, authentic and delicious momos!
The recipe yields about 18 to 20 Momos. The whole procedure of preparing and cooking can take up to two hours, but trust me, it’s worth it!
For the stuffing:
– ½ cup of finely chopped cabbage
– ½ cup of finely chopped carrots
– ½ cup of finely chopped spinach
– ½ cup of green peas
– 1 cup of yellow cheese (we used Yak cheese)
– 1 tablespoon butter (optional—not needed but butter can be added to give a good taste)
– 2 onions – finely chopped
– 1 tablespoon oil
– Salt as required
– Black pepper as required
– ½ tablespoon Garam Masala (optional—a mixture of ground spices used in Indian cuisine.)
For the dough or the momo skin:
– 2 cups of white flour
– 1 tablespoon salt (salt is used for boosting the flavor and making the dough stronger)
– Water for kneading the dough (as required)
To make the dough or the momo skin (should be done before the cooking of the stuffing so the dough gets to rest a little bit):
1- Mix the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl.
2- Add water in parts and start kneading.
3- Keep kneading till the dough becomes firm (the dough shouldn’t be sticky. If it is though, it means you put too much water. Add more flour in this case.)
4- Once done, cover the dough and let it rest.
To make the stuffing for the momos:
1- Finely chop all the vegetables and mix them together in one bowl.
2- Heat oil then add the onions. Sauté until they become light blonde in color.
3- Add the chopped vegetables and stir.
4- Add salt, black pepper and Garam Masala.
5- Continue to stir until the vegetables are cooked.
6- Once cooked, turn off the heat and add cheese and butter then stir well.
7- Check for taste and add salt and black pepper as required.
8- Stir well and let it sit until it becomes cold.
To make the shape of the momos:
1- Divide the dough into small balls.
2- Dust them in flour.
3- Take each small ball and roll it with a rolling pin into a thin circle of around three inches in diameter.
4- Place 2 tablespoons of vegetable stuffing in the center.
5- Join the edges together and pleat until they become half-moon shaped (the form should look like a Karanji—a traditional sweet made during the Diwali festival. If you don’t know how it looks, google it!)
6- Prepare all the momos this way and place them in a steamer pan covered with oil at the bottom to prevent the momos from sticking.
7- Keep space between each momo in the steamer pan.
8- Steam the momos for 5 to 8 minutes.
9- When the momos are ready to be served, they will give a shiny look and start to become transparent (they shouldn’t feel sticky. If they do, it means they’ve been steamed more than necessary.)
10- Place them in a dish and serve with them soya sauce, tomato-chilli sauce or chilli-garlic sauce.
Author: Elyane Youssef
Editor: Khara-Jade Warren
Image: Xiahe/ Wikimedia Commons