Chicken Dumplings (Momos) – Kung Fu Panda/Newari and Tibetan Style

Do you know what we do every year when the entire family is together? We make dumplings! Or as we like to call them. . . Momos. It has been a family tradition for almost 14 years now, passed on to us by the Basanta Family back in Nepal. Bless them for teaching us how to stuff, fold and eat dumplings.

I thought it was time I shared the recipe with you. There are a lot of ingredients to this dish but don’t let that worry you. Once you assemble the ingredients, rest of it is piece of cake. Here’s what you’ll need: 

Generously Serves 4: 

For the Filling:

500 gm of minced boneless chicken
flavorless cooking oil 4-6 tbsp
250 gm onions, finely chopped
3 green chilies, de-seeded and finally chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3-inch piece of ginger, finely chopped
1 tsp ground dried coriander
1 tbsp freshly chopped green coriander
soy sauce 1 tsp
turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
salt to taste
red chili powder, according to taste 
black pepper, ground, 1/2 tsp
ground cumin seeds, 1/2 tsp

For the Dumpling Dough:

500 gm of plain white flour
water to knead

Steamer, to steam the dumplings

For the Spicy Tomato Sauce:

250 gm of fresh tomatoes, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 green chilies, de-seeded and finely chopped
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
cumin seeds, 1/4 tsp
1/4 inch of ginger, finely chopped
mustard seeds, 1/4 tsp
salt to taste
1/8 tsp of turmeric powder
red chili powder, to taste
ground coriander, 1/4 tsp
sesame seeds, 2 tbsp
white vinegar, 1 tsp

flavorless cooking oil, 2 tbsp

I suggest you start with the dough. Mix the flour with enough water to give a thick consistency and knead for 5-7 minutes. Set aside.

Next, put all the ingredients for the filling in a food processor and pulse till well combined. Set aside.

For the tomato sauce, saute the cumin seeds and mustard seeds in the oil till aromatic. Throw in the onion, garlic and ginger. Saute till soft and add the chopped tomatoes. Cook, stirring, for a few minutes. Add in the rest of the ingredients (except the sesame seeds) and cook over medium heat, bringing it to a boil. Once boiling, lower the heat and allow to simmer for 10 mins. Meanwhile, in a dry pan, roast the sesame seeds till light brown. These sesame seeds add the dense flavor to the sauce. Grind the sesame seeds and add to the tomato sauce. Finally, blend the tomato sauce to a smooth consistency. It is ready! Taste it, the sauce will be punching with flavors.

Right, now, put the steamer on heat while you fold your dumplings. Roll balls of dough to a thin pastry and cut out 4 inch circles. Stuff each circle with a tsp of filling. You want to leave enough space for steam to circulate. For the Kung Fu Panda or Newari style fold, follow these instructions (click to enlarge):

It may seem complicated at first but you’ll get the hang of it. For the oval and rather simpler dumpling fold, follow these steps:

This is how the Tibetans fold their dumplings. Oil proof the steamer tray before you put in the dumplings. Steam them for 15 mins or until they have changed color. Serve with warm tomato sauce.

The only rule with dumplings: EAT THEM HOT!

Just stuff them into your mouth as soon as they are out of the steamer. You’ll love the explosion of flavor and aromatic juices in your mouth. You’re welcome.

Once you have tried these, you will be like Po – won’t miss an opportunity to stuff yourself with dumplings.

Let em know what you think in the comments below. Thank you for reading.

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