In northern India, momos are a popular street food. These are also known as Dim Sum and are basically flour-based dumplings with a tasty stuffing. Learn how to make these famous Tibetan easy vegetable momos recipes from scratch with two folding techniques. The recipe is vegan.
About this recipe
- What are the Momos? As mentioned above, momos are dumplings made with flour and a salty stuffing. This stuffing can be made with vegetables, seafood, chicken or paneer (cottage cheese).
- Cooking Method: Momos can be steamed, baked or fried. We prefer steamed momos to fried ones. This recipe is for making steamed momos.
- Savory Stuffing: This momo recipe has a mixed vegetable stuffing. My favorite vegetables to add are a mixture of cabbage, carrots, green beans, bell pepper and onions.
Sometimes I also add button mushrooms for a meaty texture and they give out a nice umami flavor as well.
- Dough: The dumplings dough is made with all-purpose flour. But you can also make the dough with whole wheat flour.
- Taste: In this recipe, the savory vegetarian topping has a balanced taste and is slightly spicy, so it goes very well with any spicy and tangy sauce.
- Time intensive: making momos or dim sum takes enough time. So when you have enough time to spare, do them. If you have a helping hand, the time will be reduced. But if you do everything on your own, it will take around 1.5-2 hours, depending on your working speed and what gadgets you have in your kitchen.
- Shaping: Shaping momos comes through practice and I shape them decently. In the step-by-step guide below, I’ve shared two ways to shape momos. Choose the formatting method that works best for you.
We love to cook hot momos with a spicy sauce. I make these on the days we crave Southeast Asian food.
I had one of the best restaurant dim sum in mainland China decades ago. This time around, I had no idea dim sum would become a popular street food in North India.
A few years ago when we were living in Gurgaon I was amazed to see dim sum as a street snack in many places.
When we lived in Goa, there was a restaurant a few miles from our house that specialized only in momos with different types of stuffing. Owner’s wife was Tibetan and she and her staff were making the dumplings
The sauce they served with the momos was spicy, tangy, and so good. I also had these steamed dumplings with a very spicy sauce in Dharamsala, India.
The momos are not spicy but the sauce that is served along with it is spicy.
You can even serve them with schezwan sauce or sriracha sauce or hoisin sauce or red chili garlic sauce.
Also Read: Puri For Pani Puri Or Golgappa Or Puchka
How to make momos or dim sum
To make it easier to understand, I have divided this article into 4 main parts.
- Step 1 – Make the dough
- Step 2 – Make a vegetarian stuffing
- Step 3 – Shape the momos
- Step 4 – Steaming the veg momos
Let’s start with step 1 – Make the dough
1. Take 1 cup of all-purpose flour, ¼ teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of oil in a bowl. Mix well with a spoon.
2. Add 2-3 tablespoons of water in portions and start kneading until you get a stiff dough. Do not soften the dough as it becomes difficult to shape the balls. If necessary, you can add 1 to 2 tablespoons more water.
3. Cover the dough with a damp towel or tea towel. Let the dough rest for 30 minutes.
Step 2 – Make a vegetarian stuffing
4. Finely chop the vegetables. You will need 1.5 to 1.75 cups of finely chopped vegetables. You can also use a food processor to finely chop vegetables like cabbage, carrots, green beans.
Vegetables like bell pepper (green pepper), button mushrooms and spring onions (green onions) can be chopped with a knife.
5. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed frying pan or wok. Add ½ teaspoon of finely chopped garlic. Sauté for 2 to 3 seconds over medium-low heat.
6. Add the spring onion whites (2 small spring onions finely chopped). Stir and sauté for 10 to 15 seconds over medium-low heat.
7. Add all the finely chopped vegetables.
8. Increase the flame and sauté the vegetables over medium to high heat. If you didn’t use a heavy-bottomed saucepan, sauté the vegetables over low to medium heat. Sauté or sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Then add 1 teaspoon of soy sauce, ½ teaspoon of black pepper and salt to taste.
9. Continue to sauté over medium to high heat for 2-3 more minutes. Turn off the heat and add 1 to 2 tablespoons of young green onions. Mix well. Check the taste and if needed, add more salt, pepper or soy sauce.
10. The vegetable stuffing is ready. Let the stuffing cool completely.
Step 3 – Shape the momos, 1st method
11. Divide the dough into two parts.
12. Make a log 7 to 8 inches from each room. cut the log into equal slices.
13. Form each piece of dough into a ball and keep them covered with a damp towel.
14. Take each ball of dough and onto a lightly dusted board. Roll each ball of dough into a thin circle about 3 to 4 inches in diameter.
15. The edges should be thin and the center should be thick.
16. Around the circumference, apply water with fingertips or a small pastry brush. This is an optional step.
17. Place 2-3 teaspoons of the vegetable stuffing in the center.
18. Lift one side of the brim and begin to pucker.
19. Start pleating the momos.
20. Join all the folds in the center.
21. A pleated and shaped dim sum.
Step 3 – Shape the momos, 2nd method
22. Another simple technique for shaping momos – joining the edges
23. It is a simple method. The momo looks like a gujiya or karanji. You can stop here or proceed with the next step.
24. Bring the two ends together and join.
25. Prepare all the momos this way and keep them covered under a damp towel until you are ready to steam them.
Step 4 – Steaming the veg momos
26. Grease a steaming pan with a little oil.
27. Arrange them in the pot, keeping a space between them.
28. Steam them in an electric stove or a steamer pan. You can also use an idli pot or pressure cooker for steaming. Add 2 cups of water to the pot or saucepan while steaming.
29. Cover and steam for 5 to 6 minutes until the outer dough becomes transparent. Do not overcook as the outer dough becomes dense and chewy. Steaming time may vary depending on the thickness of the momos cover.
The dough should not feel sticky when you touch the momo. This means that they are finished and the momos will look transparent.
30. Serve the veg momos hot with momos chutney or red pepper-garlic chutney, spicy schezwan sauce or tomato sauce. They even go best with a spicy sauce and should be eaten hot.
- Dough: The dough should be firm and tight. Stop adding water and soften the dough. A softer dough will not be easy to shape.
- Stuffing: For the stuffing, you can use your favorite vegetables. You can also make a stuffing with only button mushrooms or a mixture of fresh mushrooms. Another variation would be to use mash or porridge of potatoes and paneer (Indian cottage cheese.
- Spices, Herbs and Seasonings: In the stuffing I prefer a little umami, so I like to add soy sauce. But you can experience different flavors here. Say – Indian ground spices and herbs, Mexican seasoning, miso, or whatever flavor profile you like.
- Steaming: While steaming, keep some space between the meatballs. The momos expand after steaming and you don’t want them sticking to each other. Steaming can be done in an instant pot, electric stove, saucepan, or even an Idli steamer.
- Checking doneness: After the momos are steamed, when you touch the dough, it should not be sticky. The momos will also look transparent.
- Gluten Free: You can make gluten free dim sum using millet flour or rice flour. Their shaping can be tricky. Add enough boiling water, ½ teaspoon of oil, ¼ teaspoon of salt to 1 cup of millet or rice flour. Mix with a spoon. Cover and let the dough warm up, then knead to obtain a smooth dough.