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Monday, April 13, 2009

The Story of Momo

So maybe I forgot to tell you that I just took a short trip to India. Well, I did. And that is how this love affair with Momo started.

Who is Momo? Momo is a bite sized steamed dumpling filled with veggies or chicken and served with a spicy tomato chili sauce for dipping. Available on the street, Momo is cheap and satisfying. Maybe this is the reason I encountered Momo and can’t stop thinking about him/her/it. And I am sure that if you met Momo, you would feel the same way.

Where does Momo come from? Well, as I have come to learn, Momo is a traditional delicacy of Tibet and Nepal but has become a popular street food in Indian cities. The wrapper is made from just flour and water and it’s filled with either minced meat or veggies, flavored with onions, garlic, and sometimes even cilantro and cumin. It is steamed and served with chili sauce.

So as I mentioned, my trip to India was short. Far too short to appropriately relish in my new found relationship with Momo. So, upon my return to Dubai, I decided that I needed to take our relationship into my own hands if we would survive through this separation. I had to recreate Momo in my own home.

This is how our relationship survived the distance. I assure you, I will go back to India to visit Momo, but until then, we will have to make it work. I encourage all of you to make friends with Momo. Try this recipe and you might find yourself on the next flight to India...

Chicken Momos with Spicy Tomato Dipping Sauce 
Makes 36 Momos

For the Wrapper
500 gm Plain wheat flour
1 tbsp oil
1 cup approx Room Temperature Water
1 tsp salt

For the Filling
500 grams Chicken, minced (or any other minced meat you like)
2 Onions, diced finely
1 Inch ginger, minced
2 Green chilli, seeded and minced
4 Cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp Soya sauce
1 tsp Black Pepper
1 tsp Salt
1+1 tbsp Oil

Chop the green chillies, onions, garlic and ginger. Heat 1 tbsp of oil and fry onions, garlic, ginger and chilis until the onions are translucent. Add the chicken and cook until just cooked. Add soya sauce and black pepper to it and mix well, set aside.

Roll the dough into a log, and cut off slices of dough. Roll the dough out to make rounds abut 10 cm wide. Put 1 spoonful of the chicken filling in the middle. Pinch all edges in to the centre to make a small bun shape. Alternatively, fold over to form a crescent shape. Pinch edges together well to make sure the Momos are well sealed. (At this point, you can freeze the momos until you are ready to enjoy!)

Steam for about 15 minutes from fresh or 20-25 minutes from frozen.

Serve hot with Spicy Tomato Sauce.

Spicy Tomato Dipping Sauce
Makes about 2 cups of sauce

1 can whole tomatoes (14 ounces )
3- 4 green chillies
2 tsp dried red chili flakes
1 tsp rock salt

Mince the green chillies. Then place them in a mortar and grind with the rock salt until it is like a paste. Crush the tomatoes and add to mortar with chilis. Mix well and let sit for a few hours.

Combine flour, oil and salt in a bowl, mix well. Add enough water to make it a soft dough. Cover and set aside


  1. What a wonderful recipe! I first had momos at a Tibetan restaurant in Mpls and they are quite similar to the Chinese steamed bun (siao pao - I think that's how it's spelled). I had not idea that they are also quite popular in India. Thanks for sharing some great info!

  2. Momos!! I fell in love with them too when I was in Nepal. We will have to make some when you are over to visit!

  3. Momos are wonderful recipe.Ieat momos first time in tibetian restaurant from Gaya.very nice reciepe.

  4. Hey..come to Nepal and you'll get a taste of dozens of different varieties of Momo. You won't get Beef momo easily here as we are a Hindu country and beef slaughter is not allowed here but you can get other varieties easily at any restaurant here.

  5. Nice article thanks for sharing.......
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