These handmade veggie dumplings are the perfect way to enjoy any rainy day. Not to confuse momos with dumplings, Momos are stuffed dumplings which are essentially made of wheat flour while dim sums can be made with any kind of starch.
Dim sums can be made with anything ranging from rice starch, potato starch or wheat starch. Dim sums are of Chinese origin while momos are Tibetan.
In Newari, one of Nepal’s oldest languages, ‘mome’ means cooking by steaming. ‘Momo' is available in every restaurant, hotel and household of Katmandu and other parts of Nepal. The history of momo in Nepal dates back to as early as the fourteenth century. Momo was initially a Newari food in the Katmandu valley. It was later introduced to Tibet, China and as far away as Japan by a Nepalese princess who was married to a Tibetan king in the late fifteenth century.
Enough of history lesson for today. These veggie momos are very easy to make if you already have ready made wrappers. I usually buy dumpling wrappers in bulk from Asian store. You can still make the wrappers at home and I have provided the recipe here but its definitely time consuming but also worth the effort if you like everything made from scratch.
These dumplings are filled with cabbage, carrots, onions, ginger and garlic. When it comes to stuffing, fill it with any stuffing that you prefer. The dumpling dough
is an easy recipe, using just flour, salt, water, and a little oil. The oil makes the dough more supple and helps keep it from drying out.
2 cups all purpose flour, more as needed
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp oil
3/4 cup water
2 cups shredded green cabbage
1/2 cup shredded carrot
1 cup finely chopped onions, you can also use spring onions here
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp minced ginger
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp ground black pepper
2 tbsp corn starch
Make the dumpling dough: In a mixing bowl whisk together the flour and salt. Add the water and oil and mix the dough until it comes together. Knead the dough until you have a smooth dough. Put the dough back in the mixing bowl and cover with a damp towel. Let the dough rest for 30 minutes while you prepare the filling.
1. Mix all the veggies in a bowl, add salt and toss to combine. Let the mixture set for 10 minutes, then squeeze out extra water.
2. Dump out the water and add the vegetables back into the mixing bowl. Toss with the ginger, garlic, black pepper, soy sauce, corn starch and black pepper. Taste and add salt if needed.
3. When the dough has rested for a half an hour, divide it in half. Leave one half under the damp towel, and roll the second half out on a lightly floured counter until it is very thin, basically as thin as you can roll it. Lift the dough and rotate, flip and dust with more flour as you roll to keep it from sticking.
4. Cut the dough into 3 1/2 - 4 inch circles with a glass or bowl of the size of momos you want to make. Remove the scraps of dough and place it back under the damp towel.
5. Taking one piece of dough at a time, place it in the palm of your non-dominant hand. Put about 1 tablespoon of filling in the center of the dough, then fold and pinch the dough together to form a round momo. If you would like you can pinch the dough together at the end to seal the center. Watch the video for more details on how to shape the momos.
6. I have add here a video of a very easy way to fold these dumplings.
7. Place finished momos on a lightly oiled plate and repeat with the remaining dough, rolling out the other half when needed, and re-rolling the scraps until all dough and/or filling is used up.
8. Prepare a steamer pot, filling it with water and bringing it to a boil over medium-high heat. Place momos on a lightly greased steamer basket, leaving space between each dumpling. Steam for 5 minutes, or until the dough is not sticky to the touch and remove using tongs. Repeat with remaining dumplings.
9. Serve the dumplings warm with chutney. Leftover dumplings can be reheated by steaming them again. I prefer my dumplings with some chilli oil.
Use readymade dumpling wrappers available at any Asian store to make the process easier.
You can use any veggies for fillings. Make sure if they are watery veggies to add some salt and give the veggies some rest to remove all the water.
You can also sauté all the veggies and let it cool and then add as a filling. I prefer mine raw and let it cook when the dumplings are steaming.
Steam the dumplings for about 5 minutes, they are done cooking when they are not sticky to the touch. Be careful to not burn yourself while you are checking them! When done, pull them out (tongs make easy work of this) and serve immediately.
Momos can also be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for at least a day and steamed at a later time straight from the fridge. You can also successfully rewarm cooked momo by steaming them again for another 5 minutes. You can store them in a freezer for months though and steam them for 10 minutes.
In the stuffing I prefer some umami and so I love adding soy sauce. But you can experiment with different flavors here such as Indian ground spices and herbs, Mexican seasoning, Miso or any flavor profile you like.
After the momos are steamed, when you touch the dough it should not feel sticky. The momos will also look transparent.