Steamed Nepalese momos

Steamed Nepalese momos

Anjum's Indian Vegetarian Feast
Emma Lee

I first ate a momo when a Nepalese lady was helping me at home with my first baby six years ago. She did lots of chopping, then 10 minutes later had made her momos. I am dumpling-obsessed, so have dreamt of homemade momos ever since. They were brought to India by Tibetan and Nepalese people and, every time I go to Kolkata, I am tempted by the momo street vendors and restaurants catering solely to dumpling lovers. Making them is not as hard as it might seem, although your first momo will probably look quite different to your last! The chutney served with this is really spicy; below is my version, but feel free to experiment.


Quantity Ingredient

For the dumplings

Quantity Ingredient
50g plain flour, plus more to dust
vegetable oil

For the filling

Quantity Ingredient
1/2 onion, finely chopped
90g cabbage, finely grated, excess water squeezed out
1/2 small carrot, finely grated, excess water squeezed out
small handful frozen peas, defrosted
3 tablespoons red pepper, finely chopped
3 fine green beans, finely sliced
9g root ginger, finely chopped, (peeled weight)
2 garlic cloves, peeled and grated
1 1/2 teaspoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
good grinding black pepper


  1. Mix the flour with 2 tablespoons of water and make a dough. Give it a good knead so it is smooth and soft, adding 1 teaspoon more water if needed. Halve the dough and roll each half into a long rope. Pinch off equal tiny portions, aiming to get seven or eight from each rope. Roll each into a smooth ball and cover with a damp tea towel.
  2. Mix all the ingredients for the filling, taste and adjust the seasoning.
  3. Place a steamer filled with water on the heat and oil the steamer basket. Taking one ball of dough at a time, use a little flour to roll out into a very thin 6–7.5 cm round. Place a generous teaspoonful of filling in the centre. Take the momo in your left hand (if right handed) and use your thumb and forefinger to enclose the filling by gathering the edges of the dough and pleating them together (or you can pleat them to look like rosebuds). Either way, make sure the filling stays well away from the edges. Place on the oiled rack, seam side up.
  4. Once they are all done, place in the steamer, close the lid and steam for 12–14 minutes, or until the dough is no longer sticky, then serve.

Chilli, ginger and tomato chutney

  • Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a small saucepan. add 3 peeled garlic cloves, 18 g of root ginger, peeled weight, and 2–3 green chillies, all roughly chopped, and sauté until the garlic begins to colour. Add 2 large tomatoes, roughly chopped, and salt, cover and cook down until the moisture has evaporated and the tomatoes are darkening. Add some boiled water and blend together (it doesn’t have to be too fine). Add 1 teaspoon of finely chopped ginger and 1 tablespoon of chopped coriander leaves. Taste, adjust the seasoning and add more finely diced green chilli, if you like. It should be loose but not watery, quite hot and gingery and slightly salty, as the dumplings are quite simple.
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