Steamed Dumplings or Momo food is one of the best oriental cuisines, known by different names in different countries – each having its own luscious version of it. In India, it’s known as ‘Momo’, a snack-buster brought by the Tibetan or Nepali migrants, and one that every Indian has embraced wholeheartedly.
Although you can find momos in every nook and corner of the streets in cities across India, the more authentic versions are seen straight into the heart of the Himalayas – Sikkim, Darjeeling, Nepal, and Bhutan.
What Is Momo?
Momos basically consist of three main components – the dough, the filling, and the mouth-watering soup. We need to knead the refined wheat flour and water to form a soft but durable dough – why we say this because it all depends on the strength of the dough on how well it can hold the filling during steamy conditions. The filling consists of onions, garlic, salt, pepper, oil, and a choice of veg or non-veg ingredients such for meat lovers its – ground/ minced pork/ chicken/ beef, and for vegetable lovers – finely chopped/ grated assorted vegetables like cabbage, carrots, onions/ iskus (chayote squash) / churpi (local cheese), etc. India has its own version of momos in every state or city – such as paneer steamy momos or cheese momo wherein the filling consists of soft and fried paneer.
The Origin Of Momos
Experts speculate Momo Dumplings originated in Tibet. When the Chinese invaded the region back in 1959, the exiled Tibetans took refuge in different parts of India like Sikkim, Ladakh, Dharmashala, Kolkatta, and other metropolitan cities. Tibetans along with them brought their culinary tradition to India and Momo was one such dish amongst the other natives like Thukpa, Chexo, and Laping. But, Momos stood as a mesmerizing experience and gained popularity like wildfire across India. Simple! It’s Delicious, easy to cook, and pocket-friendly. Guess what? Now every state or city has its own unique version of Momo food.
How To Make Momos?
Momo making is a sublime art. It all begins with the ‘Moktu’, a traditional layered steamer base filled with bones, vegetables, spices, water and later boiled down to create a soup or broth which goes along with Momos. Next, you roll the dough into small and thin circles – like a CD and add the filling in the centre of it. The dough is then folded in various shapes and sizes to seal the filling inside and make it ready to steam. We then take a brush and apply cooking oil in the perforated layers of the Moktu mainly to prevent Momos from getting stuck once cooked. Lastly, the filled momos are neatly lined on the perforated layers of the moktu & steamed for about 10-12 minutes or till ready. Once you can smell the yummy fragrance of steamy momos –it’s all ready to relish!
Infact, Momo making is like a family eternal bonding exercise across communities mostly in Himalayan regions like Darjeeling, Guwahati, Sikkim, Nepal, Tibet, and Bhutan.
How Is Momo Served?
Momos are served fresh from the Moktu in a set of 6 to 8 pieces, with a hot bowl of soup or broth and spicy hot chutney made of fireball chilies, garlic, salt, and roasted ripe tomatoes. Momos are the appetizer or snack buster that is found everywhere right from a five-star hotel or street-style snack served with fiery sauces. They sell like hot cakes from bistros to street hawkers.
Variety Of Momos
Wonder if momos have just two sides – vegetarian or non-vegetarian? Then you’re surely mistaken. There are a lot of momo variants we will come across in streets, shopping malls, restaurants, airports, or food joints in various cities. Such as Ting-Momos are served in Sikkim, and they are simply made of basic bread dough given shape like Chinese Flower rolls and has no fillings. These momos are usually served with piroo alu dum (spicy potato curry) and the spicy dalle-tamater ko achaar.
Then you have Jhol-momos, commonly found in Nepal. This momo variant will have momos or dumplings dipped in a rich spicy sauce made of peanuts & dry red chillies – similar to Indonesian/Malaysian Satay sauce and served in a big bowl.
Also Read: Amazing Facts About Momos
Pan-fried Momos tossed in a Chinese Style sauce base with onions and green bell peppers are yet another lipsmacking momo dumpling enjoyed mainly in the northern part of India and the Himalayan regions.
Momos food comes in many varieties and different fillings. Spicy Chicken, Meat, Pork, Paneer Momo, Pan Fried, Green Veg Momo, Cheese Corn Momo, Mozerella Cheese, fried or steam momos, tandoori momos and even fish moms – India has found a home in this delicious Momo dumpling.
If you are a food lover, then we have shared various types of tasty momos that should be on your eat list when you travel across various parts, cities and states in India. Reach out to local experts or stay tuned to our blogs to get suggestions on the best momos in town.
Meanwhile, if you say in south-central Mumbai and trying to spot a momo near me, then order online from Q momo – the best and most authentic Himalayan momo taste gets served on your plate.
To learn more watch: The Perfect Veg Momos Recipe