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Momo (Nepalese Dumplings)

momo Nepalese dumplings on plate with dipping sauce
This food brings everyone together while you make it and eat it. You can make this food for any occasion, and in any season, with very little effort.

Savoury snack or starter
Country or culture of origin: Asia
Special diets: Nut free, Fish and shellfish free
Difficulty: Intermediate cooks
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes

From the family of Jaiveer S.

Dough for wrappers
4 cups plain flour, plus some extra for dusting the work surface
1 Tbsp oil
salt to taste
water as required
NOTE: Pre-made wrappers can be bought from a major supermarket.

500g chicken mince
1 cup red onion, finely chopped
1/2 shallot, finely chopped
fresh coriander (cilantro), finely chopped
1 Tbsp fresh garlic paste
1 Tbsp fresh ginger paste
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp curry powder or momo masala
red chilli to taste
salt to taste
3 Tbsp cooking oil
NOTE: Momo masala can be found in Nepalese stores or the “International” section of major supermarkets.

1. In a large bowl combine flour, oil, salt and water.
2. Mix well and knead for 8-10 minutes until the dough becomes consistent in texture.
3. Cover and let stand for at least 30 minutes.
4. Knead the dough again before making wrappers.

1. In a large bowl combine all filling ingredients.
2. Mix well and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper.
3. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes to allow all ingredients to impart their unique flavours. This also improves the consistency of the filling.

1. Give the dough a final knead.
2. Dust the work surface with a little plain flour.
3. Prepare 2.5cm dough balls, rolling between palms to make a spherical shape.
4. On the board, gently flatten the ball with your palm to about a 5cm circle.
5. Make a few semi-flattened circles and cover with a bowl to prevent from drying.
6. Use a rolling pin to roll out each flattened circle into a 10cm diameter wrapper.

HINT: For a well-executed momo, it is essential that the middle portion of the wrapper be slightly thicker than the edges to ensure the structural integrity of dumplings during packing and steaming. Hold the edges of the semi-flattened dough with one hand and with the other hand begin rolling the edges of the dough out, swirling a bit at a time.

7. Cover the wrappers with a bowl to prevent from drying.
8. For packing, hold a wrapper on one palm, put one tablespoon of filling mixture in the centre of the wrapper.
9. Use the other hand to bring all edges of the wrapper together, forming pleats. Pinch and twist the pleats to ensure complete closure of the stuffed dumpling. This holds the key to good tasting, juicy dumplings.
10. Heat up a steamer and oil the steamer rack well to prevent dumplings from sticking.
11. Arrange uncooked dumplings in the steamer, close the lid, and steam for about 15 minutes, until the dumplings are cooked through.
12. Take dumplings off the steamer and serve immediately.
Optional: Slightly sauté cooked dumplings in butter before serving.

Serving suggestion: Serve with tomato achar, tomato sauce, or other condiment.