What’s Momo? Thank god at least you’re curious to ask about it. Momos are bite-sized crazily filled dumpling foods mostly popular in northern Asian countries. Momos food is a staple in Kathmandu, and you can find them all over the streets of Nepal – on menus in tea houses & restaurants with various types of veg, meat, or chicken stuffing. We even tried the Momo recipe during our visit to the Tibetan community at McLeod Ganj. It’s not as easy to make Momo as they appear, and you need great skill and practice for it. Our blog will give you a sneak peek into the world of ‘Momo food and its origin’, some popular Momos dish, and how to make a delicious Momo dumpling.
About Momo Food
They say, ‘Momo is to Nepal what Pizza is to Italy, and this mouth-watering food delicacy is available in every nook and corner of Kathmandu and other parts of Nepal. In fact, Momo is like Mount Everest – one of the greatest identities of Nepal. Its popularity has grown other the years; all thanks to Nepalese community who live overseas and spread the recipe of this wonderful food dish to the global audience. Just like Momos, delicious dumplings are also being served in neighbouring countries such as – in Japan, it’s known as ‘Gyoza, in Mongolia – Buuz, in China – Baozi, Jiaozi or Mantou.
There are varied reasons for Momo’s gaining fame in the world. To start with, it’s a modest and fairly cheap dish. The cost of momos food can be a mere ₹10 to ₹100. A plate of delicious Momos can be quick snack busters yet healthy food.
Secondly, Momos add original taste to suit the Nepalese ‘Sense of Taste’. Thirdly. Momos have been on the Nepalese menu list for quite a long time and it has become a part of their eating culture. Last and not least, it’s easy availability. You can eat momos in any bistro, street, or corner. To cook Momos you need regular things such as wheat flour, vegetable oil, diced onion, garlic, sesame, green chilies, tomatoes, meat or cabbage, mustard powder, ginger juice, and oh yes! Blend of Nepalese regular flavours to add the taste.
Isn’t it amazing? Let’s go back into the history and find the origin of ‘Momos’
The word ‘Momo’ is originated from the Tibetan term ‘Mog Mog’ -thus MoMo. The dish spread along the caravan routes of northern and central Asia; thereby hitting the Indian subcontinent and the mountainous regions of North India. Since its’ close to Newari – one of Nepal’s oldest languages – ‘mome’ which means cooking by steaming; probably they brought the dish to Nepal.
Although it’s not clear how momo invaded our nation; however, it seems it got popular with the rise of Tibetans in India. Also, Momo food is amazingly famous in Nepal, so hypothetical it was the ‘Newar shippers of Kathamandu who brought the recipe from Tibet during their exchanges. But, the dish has spread across every corner of India, veg momos have appeared to suit the flavour of veggie lovers in the northern part of India. But momos stay a general meat dish – instead of yak meat, chicken is used to stuff in Momos.
Today, Momo has become the mainstream food in the Eastern parts of India; West Bengal, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, and Assam and all have their own recipe to cook. Even Ladakh and Dharmashala; which are homes to a number of Tibetan people have cravings for momos. Momos are offered with hot and red nippy sauce and clear meat soup in cold regions.
Due to India’s love for fusion food and skill for adjusting delectable stuff, you will even get fish Momo in many restaurants. For Punjabi, they can relish paneer or tandoori Momo. For chocolate lovers, there are Chocolate Momos. For gujjus, who knows they might come up with gathyi-papdi stuff momo, it might soon be a reality. Just a joke!
Phir Bhi Dil Hai Momostani
From Delhi to Bengaluru and Kolkatta to the city of dreams ‘Mumbai’, Momos have invaded every bistro, café, and street corner. Such is the love for this lip-smacking snack, often served with fiery hot chutneys and sauces, that people are now coming up with their own exciting flavours and versions of Momos. From Tandoori Momos to Chocolate Momos, Pan-Fried Schewzan Momos to Mozerella Cheese Momos, you’ll find a variety of momos on the streets and nearby restaurants. If you are a true momo lover, here are some popular momos you’ll fall in love with: Steamed Momo, Kothey Momo, Chilly Momo, Fried & Steam-Fried Momo, Jhol Momo, Open Momo, Tandoori Momo, Green Momo, Phaphar Momo, Cheese/paneer Momos, Fish Momo, Dhapu Momo, and more.
How To Make A Delicious Momos Food?
A perfect momo has a shell that’s delicate yet good enough to hold the juices. When making momos there are 3 things to keep in mind – the dough, the filling, and the steaming. And yes, making the momo skin and shaping the momo also needs constant practice. Momos come in various shapes, and cooking styles and of course, everyone has their own version of delicious fillings.
Let’s share with you the recipe to cook basic steam Momos at home:
The Dough: 4 cups flour and 1 to 1 1/2 cup water (Approximate). Put the flour in a large bowl, and create a well in the center. Slowly put the water, and start mixing it with the flour – use sufficient water for the dough to hold. Then knead until it is firm but supple.
The Filling – 1 lb Minced Beef, 2 /3 Celery stalks (chopped) *, 1 small onion (chopped), 2 stalks, spring onion (chopped), Small bunch of cilantro (chopped), 1 Tablespoon Oil, 2 Tablespoon Soya, Sauce, ¼ cup water, Salt & Black pepper to taste and A little dash of Erma (Szechuan pepper) if you have it.
In a large bowl, add the meat, chopped veggies, and the rest of the ingredients and mix it thoroughly. The best is to use your hands & dig into the bowl and gently mix it all up really well. Add some water, and the celery and greens make juicy momo food.
Making Of Momo Dumplings
- Divide the dough into four parts.
- Take one portion of the dough, and roll it out thin and flat as big as you can. Neither too thin nor thick. Then, using an approximately 3″ – 31/2” round cookie cutter (or suitable sized cup or glass turned upside down), cut out the momo skins.
- Take one piece of flattened dough, add a spoonful of your mixture, and shape your momos. Start from one end and close the skin together from side to side. Try not to overlap the skin too much so that you don’t end up with a thick layer of folded dough on the top. This part takes some practice. Unfortunately, I don’t have the skills to post a video tutorial but there are
- Oil your steamer tray, and line up the momo in the tray close enough but not touching. Add water to the steamer bottom and after it boils, stack up the steamer trays on it.
The Steaming – Over steaming can ruin your momos – all the juices will vanish. Steaming momos will take around 12-15 minutes based on size, the strength of the flame, and where you stay – altitude counts – such as water boiling point is low at sea level than at high elevations and thus you need more cooking time
Lit the lid and check the steam – if it’s dry. Congratulations! Your steam Momos are ready!
On A Concluding Note –
Momos have a rich cultural heritage and you’ll find yummilicious Momos food across India with its own fusion style and taste. Just Google Momos near me and you’ll find hundreds of momos restaurants & Momo food joints where you can order mouth-watering momo dumplings at pocket-friendly prices. Thanks for your love and interest in Momo dumplings.