Posts Tagged With: dips

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

Categories: Entree, Sauces | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Express Mexican Platter

mexican_header

We are back after celebrating the colorful festival of Holi and gorging on equally colorful food menu that we have been sharing with you! Don’t we just love  these festivals, they push us out of our mundane routine while bringing around so much euphoria and enthusiasm.  This time the celebrations were elongated by the long Easter weekend that followed.. Believe me, I have been thinking of sharing this blog post since the Good Friday but lazy mornings followed by eventful evenings have been keeping me away from doing so!  Anyway, finally we are here and to compensate for our absence , we are excited to introduce a whole new dimension to our widespread blog menu – The Tex- Mex Express! The inclination to try Mexican cuisine came when our close friends and fellow bloggers- Neha and Mridul shared with us the recipe to the Guacamole Dip on their blog. While their blog post was enough to plant the idea of trying Mexican cuisine in my head, the recent visit to two interesting Mexican restaurants in Singapore – Cha Cha Cha and Viva Mexico just pushed me further into  trying the extended Tex-Mex platter at home!

Tex-Mex is often used to describe a localized version of Mexican cuisine ( and even uses ingredients that are not generally used in traditional Mexican preparation). So, today, we will share with you the recipe for “quick” Tex-Mex platter using simple, easy to find ingredients!  The items on platter require minimum cooking and use of very little oil…. Hope this makes this post all the more exciting for you! 🙂

So, this is what our platter looks like:

Mex Platter

We tried three famous dips that generally accompany the Mexican mains :
1. Guacamole ( that uses Avocado as the main ingredient)
2. Chunky Salsa ( Fresh dip made of tomato chunks!)
3. Sour Cream 
 
Apart from this we tried the vegetable Quesadillas and baked Nacho Chips!
 
The Dips:
 

1. Guacamole

Guacamole is made by mashing ripe avocados and adding few condiments that make it more interesting. Avocados become smooth and creamy when mashed and are often used to replace butter in vegan preparations!. They have very mild yet unique taste, and therefore care should be taken that condiments added do not overpower its distinct flavor.

Guacamole

Directions:

– Take ripe Avocados (one with dark firm shell but they should yield to pressure when pressed hard), deseed them, scoop out the avocado pulp into a bowl and mash it using a fork. Note- Keep the seed aside and do not throw it away, 😕 we will shortly* tell you why.

– For one Avocado, add 3 tbsp spring onions/ red onions,  1 tbsp minced jalapenos, loads of chopped coriander, half a  lime and kosher salt to taste.  You may use green pepper sauce/tobasco if you do not find jalapenos, also the kosher salt may be replaced by rock salt.

– Some people add tomatoes to the Guacamole, but we are not too happy about the idea, the water from the tomatoes doesn’t quite mix that well with rich, creamy avocado texture! You may chose to top the Guacamole with fresh tomatoes just before serving instead.. its  completely your choice! 🙂

Mix everything well and fold in all the ingredients.  [ Handy Tip-  The Guacamole tends to oxidize and turn brown within sometime. To prevent this, ensure that you scrape off the greenest portion next to the peel, add lime juice right in the beginning and insert the avocado *seed in the guacamole until you are ready to serve it. It is said that the avocado seed prevents the guacamole from turning brown]Guacamole

2. Chunky Salsa

Salsa is Spanish term for “Sauce” and is also a famous Mexican dip. Tomatoes are the main ingredients for Mexican salsa preparation. Nowdays, the prepacked salsa jars are easily available at almost all general stores with variations in the amount of spice/heat. While the prepacked salsa have a thick paste consistency, what we tried was a lot chunkier.. almost like a Salsa Salad!

Salsa Dip

For our Chunky Salsa we need:

Medium Firm Tomatoes – 2
Small Onion-1
Capsicum – 1/3 rd
Jalapenos/Green Chilies- to taste 
Coriander Leaves – one small bunch
Fresh Mint Leaves- handful
Oregano- 1 tsp
Minced Garlic – 1 clove
Big Lime – 1  
Cumin Powder- 1/2 tsp
Salt – to taste
Sugar- if required
 

Directions:

Chop all the ingredients, you don’t have to cut them too fine or the Chunk of our Chunky Salsa would get lost 😉

It is advised to de-seed the jalapenos and green chilies before you mince them , we do not prefer the seeds for two reasons –  they would make it difficult for us to control the heat of the salsa and since they are  thick-difficult-to-chew, they  do not really do justice to this otherwise fresh tender salsa!

Toss all the ingredients well in a large bowl , you may adjust the flavors especially of salt, lime and heat as per your taste. Sometimes, the tomatoes are too sour which we do not really prefer, we add some sugar to balance the sourness of the tomatoes in such case. It’s completely up to you to how you want your salsa – with sugar or without!

Cover the bowl with a cling wrap, and let it refrigerate for at least 30-40 mins.. why? A. Because you would love this dip chilled! B. The salt and lime together make all the ingredients to release their flavors and come together for this lip smacking concoction! The freshness of mint, coriander and oregano gives kick to the palette in every bite! This fresh, raw salsa can be a great accompaniment to endless dishes.. Try it today!

3. Sour Cream

Sour cream is a cream that has been naturally soured by lactic-acid bacteria. It tastes just like it sounds, creamy yet sour. It’s both delicious and fattening at the same time. Sour Cream makes a great accompaniment to fried potato snacks like wedges, Rosti, baked hash etc.  It even goes wonderfully well with Mexican preparations like tortilla chips, enchiladas, burritos. Sour Cream should ideally be added to any preparation after it has been cooked, so sour cream retains its natural creamy texture!

Directions:

Mix half cup of hung plain yogurt (drain all water by hanging in cheesecloth) with half cup of heavy cream [ ideally it should be 3 tablespoons of yogurt for a cup of cream, but I find half-half a little more healthy ;), you may use any proportion according to your preference].  I am sometimes tempted to use it as it is, right after it has been mixed but ideally, you should let it stand (out in the heat) in a glass container for at least 6-8 hours and then refrigerate.  The bacteria from the curd would sour the cream and the fermentation process would make it heavy. Check the appearance. We are looking for white cream and a creamy, smooth consistency with a characteristic tangy smell.

I learnt this half-half process to make sour cream at home from my sister. This method is not just quick and delicious but also less fattening than the sour cream prepared by other means. Make it in advance and store it in a clean container ( for upto 2-3  days) in fridge for quick use.

Baked Nachos

Baked Nachos

Baked Nachos are as fat-free and  simple as they sound. To make these healthy and express Chips at home, just get any ready-made tortilla wraps. You can use the flavored wraps for a little twist in your chips.

I used the Spinach Tortilla wraps to make  these chips more “healthy”.

Directions:

Cut the Tortilla wraps into desired shapes.

Grease the baking tray with little olive oil and spread the tortilla chips on them properly.

Sprinkle little cumin, cayenne pepper and red chili powder and let them bake till they are golden brown. Caution –  In some cases, it’s better to sprinkle the spices after baking to prevent them from turning brown.  You may take a call accordingly.

Just like that you baked yourself these express and healthy Nacho chips that will go deliciously well with the dips mentioned above!

Express Quesadillas

Quesadillas

Quesadillas, as a dish originated in Mexico. The name is derived from combination of  tortilla and the Spanish word for cheese queso. It is made by folding tortillas after   filling  them with any kind of stuffing and cheese.

Directions:

I used the spinach tortillas again for this recipe ( one pack had 8, and I intelligently used all of ’em).

You can really experiment with what filling you wish to make. I used shredded mozzarella cheese along with vegetable filling (made from tomatoes, spinach,capsicum and onions and seasoned with cumin powder, chili powder and tobasco!) I cooked the filling on a hot skillet with very little olive oil to remove the rawness of the ingredients.

Once the filling is ready, sprinkle little olive oil on a flat non stick griddle, put cheese and filling mixture on one-half of the tortilla wrap, fold it and cook on a slow flame from both sides. The cheese would melt and bind the filling inside the wraps well , making it easier for us to gorge on these crisp, cheesy quesadillas! Cut the quesadillas to make them easier to hold. Serve hot and the cheese shall melt right in your mouth! 😀

Quesadillas

If not the entire, I really hope , we at-least got you are tempted to try few of the express tex-mex preparations we shared with you today. Do let us know how did they come out , share back with us through comments below, our Facebook page or even on our mail 156hungerlane@gmail.com

Recently, we have been really looking forward to something exciting that might just happen for Hungerlane ! We can’t wait to share it with you and shall do it you as soon as we receive a confirmation. 🙂

Till then, keep cooking , sharing and of course, gorging on that good-looking delicious food!

Cheers!

Rashi

 
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