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Saturday, November 7, 2009

"Around The World in 30 Weekends"-Weekend 6= Nepal

Dish Name: Vegetable MOMO's with Sesame-Tomato Achar(Sauce)/ Nepali Vegetable stuffed dumplings

Last night I was thinking.....where to 'go' for my weekend culinary travel..which country to visit for "Around the world in 30 weekends" segment that I am doing for this blog? And , I suddenly realised....I have never had 'Nepali' food before! Nepal being so close to India....I still haven't explored the cuisine of that country.How strange! Immediately I started exloring 'Nepal recipes" and found this interesting recipe for MOMO.
Now...these MOMO's are nothing but flour dumplings stuffed with vegetables/meat/shrimp/paneer. Their shape is somewhat similar to Indian 'Modak' which we offer to 'Ganesh'...but instead of being sweet,they are spicy.Being made of 'all purpose flour' they are easier to handle than the classic Rice flour Modaks.When I tasted these, my feeling was....they are a classic fusion of Chinese and Indian cooking.MOMOs have vegetable stuffing similar to chinese spring rolls/dumpling..... but had Indian spices for flavoring.Also, MOMO's are usually served with some kind of sauce....tomato achar/ tamarind sauce/ soy sauce.I decided to give the 'Tomato Achar' a try. The combination of Vegetable MOMO's with the tangy and spicy tomato achar was delicious! What I wasn't expecting was....my little 'E' would like these...but he just LOVED these! He kept asking for more MOMO's and with the sauce!  That was the best part of making these! As far as 'M' is concerned, he has a 'special' connection with Nepal....his favorite actress ( back when he was in college) was..'Manisha Koirala' who comes from the Royal family of Nepal. So he was excited to try this delicacy from his fav 'Manisha's' land and also helped me with photographing the MOMO's.
The recipe I found on the internet was from Creative Nepali Cooking with Tulsi Regmi. I have modified the recipe a little to suite my cooking and taste. But you can look at the original recipes on the above link.
For MOMO Dough-
1 cup All pupose flour
1tbsp oil
Knead all together and make into dough.Keep covered for 30 mins.

For MOMO Filling-
1/4 cup Carrots Julienned (thinly cut into strips)
1/4 cup cabbage thinly cut
1/4cup capsicum thinly cut
1/4cup onion thinly chopped
1/4cup Paneer crumbled
1tbsp cilantro cut
1/2tsp Ginger Garlic paste
1/4tsp Turmeric
1/8tsp Fenugreek seeds
1/4tsp Chili powder
1/4tsp Curry powder
1tsp water-flour mixture
Heat oil,add fenugreek, let it splutter.Add turmeric,ginger garlic paste and all the veggies,paneer and spices.Saute for 3-4 mins.Do not over cook the veggies.Add the water flour mixture,stir for 2- 3 mins.Let the filling cool.

 For Sesame-Tomato Achar-
1/3 cup Sesame seeds
1tsp mustard seeds
1tsp cumin seeds
1/4 cup crushed tomato
1/2tsp ginger garlic paste
1tbsp cilantro chopped
1tsp lime juice
1/4tsp lime zest
1/2tsp chili powder
1/2tsp sugar
1/4tsp Asafoetida
Roast the mustard,cumin and sesame seeds together untill they splutter and turn golden.Don't let them burn. Powder them in a blender.
Heat oil, add ginger garlic paste, asafoetida, tomato puree and fry for 3-4 mins.Turn off the heat.Add remaining spices and cilantro.Blend together along with sesame powder,lime juice,zest,salt etc and make into smooth paste. Serve along with steamed MOMO.

Assembly of MOMO:
1) Knead the dough again before rolling out.Roll out the dough into thin chapati.With a cookie cutter cut out poori like circles.Keep covered till ready to fill.
2) Take 1 circle, pleate the edges with fingers,by pressing the edges vertically at regular intervals.Stuff with 1 spoonfull of vegetable filling and close the MOMO by twisting the pleates all together...Like modak.....but with less or no  'peak' on top.
3) Oil some plates/vessels for steaming the MOMO
4) Steam in a steamer/pressure cooker without whistle for 10 -12 mins.
5) Serve hot with Sesame-tomato achar.


  1. These sound so interesting. I have never had momos. Will try them out!

  2. These are Nepalese...Last year in Vienna, I had the Nepalese food for the first time and I was stunned- it was so so so delicious! So....I got to know these too. Lovely. Kitchenbutterfly.com