Vegetable Momo: Steamed Dumplings!

Momo_CoverOkay, we agree.. that was one long break that we took! But you have to believe us when we say… our recipe was ready but the weather was not setting the mood for us to pen the blog post down! The scorching heat of Singapore and then the Sumatra haze deterred us from sharing this delectable Momo dumplings recipe that taste doubly sumptuous during monsoon and winter seasons! But now that the Rain Gods have been kind ( in fact it been raining with hail in few parts of Singapore! ), we are ready to finally bring for you the not-to-miss recipe for this season, shared with us all the way from London, by fellow foodie and very dear Ms. Priya Jain. 

PriyaMomo is a type of dumpling native to Nepal but has a Tibetan influence. It is very similar to dim-sums for its simple and subtle taste but the spicy chutney that traditionally accompanies this Nepalese delight , is what sets it apart! Personally speaking, even the thought of Momo dumplings is enough to bring out the flavors on our palette and best reminisces of Delhi Winters. Be it the favorite momo wale bhaiya at the SDA market, or the van at the Tansen Road, momo  dumpling will easily be our favorite Delhi street food after the famous North-Indian chaat!

But, if you are stuck in a place where you do not get traditional momo dumplings or do not get the vegetarian version or both ( like in my case!).. don’t fret no more! Ms. Priya Jain has shared with us this quick and simple recipe that she learnt from her mother-in -law. She tried it to make delicate and beautifully crafted steamed vegetable momo dumplings. She even gave us simple tips and tricks to make them at home without using the traditional momo basket/steamer.

So here’s what she shared:

Momo wrappers:

The dough for the wrappers is made using simple ingredients:

1 cup Plain Flour

1 tsp Oil

Water to knead into “firm” dough. ( Please note it the dough should not be too soft)

Cover the dough and put aside  until you prepare the filling.

Vegetable Momo

The Filling:

Since we are making vegetarian dumplings here, we are using nutritious vegetables and meat substitutes.  Those who wish to try non-veg version can replace the  ingredients of the filling as per their liking. There is no hard and fast rule for the filling-  you can be inventive and surprise your guests!

Here’s what we used, Ingredients:
Grated vegetables like carrot , cabbage, onions
Nutrela small granules (soya nuggets – substitute for chicken) – soaked in warm water, drained and tightly squeezed
Grated cottage cheese (optional)
Oil – 1 tsp
Salt and Garam Masala- To taste
Directions:
Take oil  and sauté all the vegetables for 5-7 mins . Add some garam masala and salt to taste.
Next, add paneer and soya nuggets then sauté it  further for 5 min
Transfer the mixture in a plate an let it cool.
Tasty Tip!
For spicy , schezuan version of momo dumplings:  You may sauté the vegetable mixture ( as above)  in soya sauce , chili sauce and vinegar. Make sure you adjust your salt and spice accordingly.

Momo

Assembling the Momo dumplings:

Now comes the most creative part of the whole make-at-home-momo experience i.e. assembling them!

Here’s a step by step process for the same:

1. Give the resting dough a final knead  and make small spherical dough balls.

2. Dust the work surface with dry flour and roll out the balls into small circles ( around 3 inches ) using  a rolling pin. ( Press the circular edge gently using fingers,this ensures that the middle of the wrapper is slightly thicker than the edges, so when shaped , the  momo dumplings come out evenly in thickness and texture)

3. Take the circular wrapper, put one spoon of filling in the center and hold all edges together towards the center covering the filling, making the pleats and twist the pleats to ensure that the filling is sealed in.

4.  Till you steam the dumplings, please ensure that the resting dough, rolled momo wrappers or shaped momo dumpling are resting on floured surface covered with a bowl. ( This is to make sure they do not stick to the surface or each other, and don’t become too dry)

Momo

Dips and Sauces:

Since basic Momo dumplings have a bland taste ( and we still love them a lot!), the dip accompanying it adds the required zing!   The quintessential momo dip is the red sauce with loads of chili and garlic like a schezuan paste. But, recently we have seen momo stalls even serving creamy mayonnaise along with momos for those who don’t want to go on the spicy route.

Ms. Priya has been very kind to share with us two interesting dips that go along with her steamed momo recipe! – Red & Green. She shared the basic ingredients and recommends us to adjust the quantity and  flavors as per our taste.

1. The Red Chutney  Momo Dip

Ingredients: Dry Red Chilis, Tomatoes, Garlic, some oil and salt to taste.
Directions: Take oil in a pan over medium heat. Put Red Chili and Garlic and saute them till they start releasing the flavors and fragrance. Now, add roughly chopped  tomatoes and salt. Let it simmer till the tomatoes start leaving oil on the sides.
Cool the mixture and grind it into thick paste and the chutney is done.
 2. The Green Chutney
Ingredients:  Green chilis, Ginger , Garlic, Mint Leaves, Coriander Leaves , Lemon, Raw Mango,  Cumin (jeera) powder and salt to taste.
Directions: Add everything except the lemon in a mixer and grind into a paste. Squeeze lemon on the top and serve fresh.
Both of these chutneys have fresh aroma but unique tastes that make them a great accompaniment to the otherwise bland  momo dumplings!

 

Steaming the dumplings:

The last step before you get to enjoy these delicious vegetable delight is- Steaming them!

Traditionally momo dumplings are steamed in the momo baskets but due to their small size , they have been replaced by large stacked aluminium steamers for commercial purposes!

The idea is to steam the dumplings  in a  double boiler arrangement. Take  large and deep pan and fill it with water up-till about 2 inches from the base and let the water boil.  The other container/plate on which dumplings need to be arranged should have holes/slits for the steam to reach the momo.  This pan is then made to rest over the boiling water in a way that it doesn’t come in contact with the water (using a stand/ring). The entire double boiler arrangement should  ideally be covered  to ensure  that the steam gets trapped  inside to cook the momo dumplings well.

Ms. Priya used her interesting traditional bamboo basket and put it inside the big container for steaming. She also gave us few easily available steamer substitutes:

For main container –  Idli Steamer  ( generally available in Indian Kitchens), Pressure cooker without the whistle, Rice cooker or any deep pan with heavy lid that loosely traps the steam can be used.

To replace momo stand – Any flat plate with small holes ( generally used in the kitchen to cover food), flat based Sieve or Channi ( it has holes and basic round ones can fit into most of the containers) should work well.

Directions: Irrespective of what you use, the basic steps ( as depicted in the pic below) shall remain the same.  Prepare momo plate well by greasing it with oil so the dumplings do not stick to the surface. Arrange the dumplings at a little distance from each other. Cover and let it Steam for about 10-15 mins. Enjoy  the momo dumplings hot and steaming with delicious chutneys!

Momo

 

Hope this gives you a good idea about how to make this delectable delights in your kitchen.  The process might sound a li’l long drawn but when you do these steps parallely it can really be made in a jiffy( prepare chutney in advance,  let the filling cook alongside while you knead the dough, put water to boil in the steamer when you are shaping the dumplings). Believe us,  in the end, they are really worth it!

So, it is time you  give those deep fried pakodas, a break; on the next drizzly day enjoy these delicate steamed momo dumplings that would tantalize your taste buds and comfort your soul!

Momo

We again thank Ms. Priya and her MIL  for sharing such an interesting recipe and wonderful pictures with us. We look forward to such entries where not only the guests and their recipes but also the pictures help us in weaving the stories! 

Enjoy the monsoon season and keep sharing!

Cheers,

Team 156Hungerlane

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