Wish you all a blissful 2010.
To ring in the new year, here's a popular Nepali snack, that's probably been the staple diet every college goer in Delhi University (or good old DU!), particularly in the North Campus.
For a long, long time, I was afraid to try momos, as getting that pretty crimped ghujiya like pattern looks like painstaking work. However, I discovered, it's just as good without the pattern, in the taste department, if not in looks, so like me, if that's been holding you back, give it a go!
The dough :
2 cups plain flour
Water to bind the dough
A few drops of oil (optional)
Knead the flour to smooth but not sticky dough, and keep aside. You may smear a little oil on the dough to keep it from drying, else cover it with a damp cloth. I tried the dough both ways, with and without oil, but didn't find much difference, so I prefer the oil free version.
As much as I avoid using maida(refined flour), I cannot imagine atta (wholewheat) momos, but if any of you, health conscious friends were to try it, do let me know the results.
The filling :
Finely minced carrots, cabbage, onion, paneer, ginger, garlic
6 grains, each of methi seeds & Sichuan pepper(timmur in Nepali) (these are optional, but they lend the dish that distinct nepali flavour), a pinch each of turmeric & red chilli powder, salt to taste.
Heat a tsp of mustard oil and add methi & timmur, if using, ensuring that they don’t burn. If you’re concerned about biting into them, you can remove them at this stage, they would have imparted their flavour to the oil.
Add the ginger, garlic ,veggies, paneer and haldi & chilli. Fry for a minute. Then add salt, mix well and leave to cool. If there is any water, drain well before using. The filling should be dry, and this is why we add salt in the end.
Take a ball of dough and roll out thinly. Stamp out rounds using a steel glass or katori, or cookie cutter.
Flatten and elongate the edges a bit as you put in some filling so that the middle portion of the wrapper remains somewhat thicker than the edges until you get around a 2.5 inch circle. Keep them covered with a bowl, till you get the others done, unless you have the help of your friends, kids, or other half , in which case it becomes a smooth assembly line operation.
For stuffing them, place the circle on the palm of your left hand (or on the right hand for the lefties), put a small heap of the filling in the center, fold it over, bring the edges together and crimp them making sure that the filling is enclosed. It doesn’t need to be perfect so seal in whichever pattern is manageable, as long as it gets completely sealed. Also try that edges don’t become too thick, or else they’ll be chewy when cooked. Steam for around 10 to 12 minutes, till they get done. Serve with Tomato Achar.
2 medium tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic
3 dried red chillies
Salt to taste
Though it’s called achar, it’s more like a salsa. Roast the tomatoes in an oven, or a griddle until charred. Optionally, you can roast the garlic & chillies too, if you don’t care for the taste of raw garlic. Peel the tomatoes, and then pound everything together till you get an almost smooth sauce, of course you could use a blender too. Enjoy it with momos.
If making all those momos has drained out and you want to keep the dipping sauce simple, try this Spicy Soy-Based Dipping Sauce , courtsey tulsi regmi, which I haven't yet tried myself. She also has lots of momo recipes at this link.
Sherpa momo achar
2 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon mustard oil
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, finely chopped
1 teaspoon fresh garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon ground timur (Szechwan pepper)
In a small mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients. Serve with steamed momos.
Oh, and before I forget, you could also fry them, or better still, kothe them, which as far as I gathered, means pan fry them. Either way, it's a treat you won't regret.
P.S : Here is a plate of gorgeous momos, made by my dear friend Swati, who's left food blogging now. Miss you, Swati