These Nepalese lamb dumplings can be fried or steamed, and are served with a dipping sauce or broth. Common fillings include chicken, lamb and vegetable, and it’s the addition of ground coriander, cumin and turmeric which really sets them apart from other dumplings. Momo were brought to Nepal by the Tibetans. They are also popular in Bhutan and northern parts of India.
- 200 g (1⅓ cups) plain flour, plus extra, to dust
- 2 tbsp ghee (clarified butter) (see Note)
- sliced red chillies and spring onions, and tomato achar (see Note), to serve
- 225 g minced lamb
- ½ onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 red bird’s-eye chilli, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp coriander leaves, finely chopped
- 1 cm piece ginger, finely grated
- ½ tsp ground turmeric
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
- 5 Szechuan peppercorns (see Note), crushed
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Drink Monteith’s Summer Ale ($16, sixpack).
Resting time 30 minutes
To make momo wrappers, combine flour and ¼ tsp salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre, add ghee and 125 ml hot water and mix until mixture forms a dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes or until smooth. Place dough in a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 30 minutes to rest.
Meanwhile, to make the lamb filling, combine all ingredients in a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed.
Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface until 2 mm thick. Using an 8 cm round cutter, cut the dough into 25 rounds. Place a teaspoonful of lamb filling in the centre of each round and brush edges with a little water. Bring up the edge from three points of each round and press the edges together to form a pyramid-shaped dumpling. Repeat with the remaining rounds of dough.
Line a large steamer basket with a cartouche and set over a large saucepan of simmering water. Steam momo, in batches of 5, for 8 minutes or until tender and cooked through. Scatter with chillies and spring onions, and serve immediately with tomato achar.
• Ghee is from supermarkets. You can substitute 40 g butter, at room temperature, for the ghee.
• Tomato achar, available from Indian and Asian food shops, is a spicy tomato pickle.
• Szechuan peppercorns, known as timur in Nepal, are available from selected greengrocers and delis, and Asian food shops.
As seen in Feast magazine, Mar 2012, Issue 7.
Photography by Anton Smart.