Learning how to make momos at Hot Stimulating Cafe in Darjeeling was one of my favorite things that I did during my trip to India. I brought the recipe home so that I could share it with you. Some of the recipe was in loose measurements, some exact metric measurements. I halved the recipe, converted the measurements, and tested it in my own kitchen, and they turned out perfect. I am not going to lie, these are a lot of work, but oh, so worth it! I recommend grabbing a friend to help you if you can.
(Adapted from Hot Stimulating Cafe cooking class)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cups water, divided
3 cups cabbage, finely shredded
1/2 large red onion, finely diced
1 small carrot, grated
1 tbsp ginger, minced
2 small potatoes, peeled, boiled, and mashed (about 3/4 cup)
1-1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup light tasting oil
Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Drizzle 1/4 cup water over the dry ingredients and mix well by hand. Add another 1/4 cup of water and knead for several minutes. Add the last 1/4 cup of water, 1 tablespoon at a time (4 total) and knead well in between. If your dough it too dry add more water, or if it is too sticky knead in a little bit more flour. Knead well until you have a nice stiff dough--a bit stiffer than bread dough. It took me about 20 minutes to make the dough, but if you are an experienced dough maker, you will likely be able to accomplish this in half the time. Cover the dough and allow to sit for 30 minutes.
Now you are ready to roll out the dough, you will want to use a nice smooth surface such as a wooden cutting board or your kitchen counter. Have a small bowl of flour handy to toss each dough ball around in just before rolling. Using your dominant hand, position your flat palm firmly on the center of the rolling pin and grip the handle with the other hand on the handle to stabilize (see picture). Since the dough is so small you will not have much control over it if both of your hands on the handles. Using your main hand, push the rolling pin down on the dough ball to smash it and begin to roll it out in small motions, and rotating positioning as needed to make the dough as round as possible. Roll the dough fairly thin, the finished piece should be about 3" - 3-1/2" in diameter. I recommend working in batches since you won't be able to steam these all at once, so once you have about 20 pieces of dough rolled out move on to stuffing them. In the meantime put a damp cloth over your dough balls to keep them from drying out.
Time to stuff the momos! Place a flattened piece of dough in the palm of your hand and scoop a tablespoon of the veggie mixture into the center. Now, even though I was pretty impressed by how well I did folding the momos on my own at home, I am still not the best teacher. Since a certain Nepali guitar man isn't around, I found this video that shows the two main techniques.
The round style is typically used for meat momos and the half moon shape for veggie momos. They both are similar in technique, in that one side gets crimped before pinching it together to join it with the other half. The only difference is that your work in a circular motion vs. more of a straight line. Either way, you are only ever crimping one side of the dumpling. Make sense? (I warned you that I am not the best teacher!)
Thanks again to Vegan Backpacker for having me as their guest. I hope you enjoyed reading both posts about my cooking adventures in Darjeeling. Now get out of here and make some momos!
View of Darjeeling from our hotel room balcony.