Thursday, 26 August 2010


Momos are little crescent shaped pieces of heaven. Those little delights that I have been eating since I first hit northern India and Nepal back in the late 90’s. Yes I am that old.

They are made of very simple flour and water dough, not too dissimilar to making raviolis really. The dough is rolled as thin as possible, but not to thin that it will split in the cooking process. The filling is spooned into the centre then they are either made into the more traditional half moon shape or a more round dumpling type shape. They are then steamed over a soup or a stock base, which is served along side the momos in small bowls. A very hearty and delicious snack. It’s never a meal for me, just a starter or a snack.

They are really popular in Nepal and anywhere that Nepalese or even Tibetans hang out. But they can be found all over the Himalayas from Ladakh in the west to Bhutan and Arunachal Pradesh in the west.
Pork filling is really popular, but anything can be put inside. I’ve even tasted momos with a vegetable samosa filling. Controversial I know.

They are normally made as a crescent shape but in Bhutan they make them more as a dumpling, in the Chinese style of dumplings. The ones in Bhutan were not the best in the world as the dough was slightly too thick, and sometimes not cooked properly. Potbelly stickers.
The best ones I had on this trip was at a house in Kathmandu. The lady of the house made the most delicious ones I have tasted in an age. The filling was pork, but subtly spiced and with a touch of coriander to give them that freshness. Lovely.
To make momos, you need to fashion the dough into small circular flat pieces. The filling is then enclosed either in a round pocket or in a half moon shape or crescent. The dumplings are then steamed over a soup or stock, this is in turn served with the dumplings, as well as a chilli sauce or even soy sauce if you like.

They can also be steamed and part fried, or even deep fried, not my favorite way of eating momos but some like the crispy coating.
They are very similar in a way to the Chinese Jiaozi. But it is really in Nepal that they are shown to their highest grade.
I’ve never found a decent momo in London, although I always meet someone who knows someone whose friend ate some as good as in Nepal. An urban myth if you ask me.

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