RECIPE | MASALA MOMOS

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Try out these delicious dumplings, Nepali-style by LA-based stylista and stay-at-home mom Pia, who loves creating recipes with love

Few of us think of dumplings when we think of Indian food. The truth is that there is so much more to Indian cuisine than chicken tikka masala, curry or Daal, which are the few dishes that have been commercialized and popularized in the West.

Known as the most popular lunch or street food in India’s Nepal region, Momos are somewhat similar to Chinese dumplings or Japanese Gyoza and have become a familiar sight in restaurants in other parts of India.

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When I recently had a craving for them, I sought the help of my father-in-law’s cook for many years. Bahadur, a native of Nepal, rushed to my help and proudly gave me a quick and easy demo on how to make the most delicious Momos…I was baffled by how simple they were to make.

YOU WILL NEED
2 pounds of ground chicken breast or thigh
1 full white onion, diced finely
1 bunch of scallions, finely chopped
1 tablespoon of grated ginger
½ tablespoon of grated garlic
½ tablespoon of white pepper
¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
1 tablespoon of garam masala
Salt to taste
3 tablespoons oil (preferably Olive oil)
1 cup finely chopped cilantro

FOR THE DOUGH/WRAPPERS
2 cups plain flour
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup water
Olive oil, to grease
40g butter

Add all the ingredients listed above in a big bowl and mix it thoroughly. Cover with plastic wrap and Let it sit in the refrigerator for 10 – 15 minutes.
Place the flour and salt in a bowl. Make a well in the centre. Pour in the water. Use a wooden spoon in a cutting motion to mix until almost combined, adding extra water if necessary. Use your hands to bring the dough together in the bowl. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes or until smooth. Place in the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 20 minutes to rest.

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Take a dough ball and roll between palm into a circular shape. Put a tbsp. of filling in the middle and bring all edges together to the center, while making pleats. Twist and pinch pleats to tightly seal the dumpling.
Boil water in a steamer and oil steamer rack. Once the water comes to a boil, arrange dumplings while leaving some space in between each of them so they don’t stick to each other.
Steam the Momo for at least 15 minutes and not more than 20 minutes. Alternatively, you can place uncooked dumplings directly in slightly salted boiling water and cook until done, approximately 10 minutes.
Serve with classic Nepali Achar.

(A journalist by training, Pia spent many years in either newsrooms in London and Toronto, or promoting fashion and lifestyle brands in the Middle East. Now based in LA with her husband, toddler son and newborn daughter, much of her time is spent doing what she’s most passionate about -cooking with love, but also cooking healthy. She will be sharing recipes from her blog Masala Chef with IFM readers.)



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