Thursday, August 29, 2013

Vegetarian Momo/Dim sum | A step-by-step guide to folding Momo

Vegetarian momo easily tops the list of my favorite finger foods. It is light, flavor-packed and never boring! The serving portion that I get from a momo stall is too small for the price I pay for,so I taught myself to make it at home. The filling for the momo can be varied. I have used many variations by adding crumbled paneer, radishes, carrots, onions, soy granules, etc. One can also used minced meat. So whatever you feel can do justice to the momos can be added in :) 
In this recipe, I have used cabbages, carrots and radishes. It is sautéed for few minutes until the liquid is all dried up. But I learnt recently that, when the fillings are used uncooked, then you end with more juicy momos. Also working with minced meat as filling is lot easier than with vegetables. Sautéed vegetables binds well as  cooking softens them.

Preparation time: 1 hour 20 mintues
Cooking time : 15 minutes
Makes : 25-30 Momos


For the momo wrappers
2 Cups of plain flour/Maida
A big pinch of salt
2 tsp of oil
Water for kneading

For the filling
1/2 of one big head of cabbage, grated
1 raddish, grated
2 medium sized carrot, grated
1 small inch piece of ginger, grated
1/2 tbsp of oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

1. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour , salt and oil. Mix thoroughly. Add water little by little and knead the dough to a smooth ball.
TIP: Knead the dough continously for 5-7 minutes. This helps to stretch the gluten in the flour and you get smooth wrappers. This step is very important as the final outcome lies in the quality of the wrapper. The wrapper should feel smooth and elastic.
Cover and let the dough rest for a while.

2. In a pan, heat oil and add the grated vegetables and ginger. Add salt and pepper. Cook the liquid from the vegetable have gone dry.
TIP: For juicer momos, you can avoid sautéing the filling. Just mix together all the grated vegetables with the oil and seasoning and use as such.

3. Divide the dough into two equal portions. Roll each portion between the palms to make a even log. Using a knife, cut 15 equal portions from each log of dough. 

4. Dust the dough ball in some dry flour/maida and roll it into a thin disc (about the size of your palm) Make sure the edges of the disc are thinner compared to the middle.
TIP: Use a moist cloth to cover the dough while working. Make sure the discs are also kept covered to prevent from drying(you could use a old magazine) If the rolled discs are stacked one over the other, ensure it is dusted with dry flour/maida to prevent from sticking to each other.

5. Take one of the discs, and spoon in the filling mixture in the middle portion. Ensure you leave quarter inch gap from the mixture to the edges for sealing the wrapper. Gather the two sides of the disc and pinch in the middle. Pinch the end of right side of the momo as shown in pic 1 of the collage below. You can see a rabbit ear shape sticking out, press down to the seam as shown in pic 2 of the collage. Now repeat the same on the left side of the momo.  The finished one will look like a half moon. 

6. In a steamer/Idli cooker, pour required water and let it come to a boil. Grease the steaming plate with some oil and arrange the momos. Place it inside the steamer and cook for about 15 minutes. There you have it..steaming hot momos!

You can complement this mellow momos with this fiery Tibetan chutney.

Tibetan Hot Chutney 

10 dried red chillies (if using the low heat variety, else 5 will do)
1 tomato, chopped
2 cloves of garlic
1 inch piece of ginger
1 tbsp vinegar/ lime juice
A pinch of sugar
salt to taste

1. Soak the red chillies in some water for an hour.
2. Strain the water and puree the soaked chillies with tomatoes, garlic, ginger, salt and vinegar.
3. Add a tbsp of water to aid blending. Check for salt and you are done.

 You see, the pleats that was painstakingly created while sealing the momo is all worth it--when you dunk one into the chutney, the pleats beautifully collects the saucey goodness!