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Author Notes: Tibetan dumplings known as momos are a popular food in Calcutta. Momos are usually stuffed with meat, so my mother concocted these for my vegetarian family.
These light dumplings are full of crunchy vegetables such as cabbage, carrot, scallions and green bell peppers which you can vary according to your taste. Their primary flavor comes from finely minced garlic and ginger. I love throwing in a few shiitake or crimini mushrooms into the mix as well. The beauty of these dumplings is that the filling does not have to be cooked and you can chop the vegetables while the dough is resting. However, the filled but uncooked dumplings don't store too well, as the raw salted vegetables tend to release moisture. Therefore, I recommend making these and eating them quickly, with a side of spicy ketchup.
In Calcutta style, I have made the wrappers individually with a rolling pin that's typically used for Indian chapattis. Once you get the hang of of rolling out the dough, it's a fairly quick and satisfying process. I like Andrea Nguyen's dumpling dough recipe that makes use of just-boiled water with flour, but you can just as easily use store bought wrappers. —CalcuttaChow
Makes 24 dumplings
Dumpling wrapper and preparing the dumplings
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup boiling water, set aside for a minute or so
- Pinch of salt
- Sprinkle a generous pinch of salt into the flour. Create a well in the middle of the flour, and start by adding the just-boiled water slowly into the flour. Start rubbing the water into the dough and slowly form a smooth ball. Knead the dough vigorously with the heel of the your palm for a few minutes. The dough should feel smooth and pliable, and similar to a baby's skin. Put the dough into a ziplock bag and rest for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile prepare the filling (see below). Divide the dough into approximately 24 balls. Keep the balls covered, and also cover the prepared dumplings with a dry cloth as you finish stuffing them. Roll out dumpling balls into wrappers individually with a rolling pin. The shape should be roughly a 3 to 4 inch circle or oval and should be fairly thin. Stuff with filling and fold into a half moon shape and seal the edges by pinching together.
- Bring a steamer to boil. Line the steamer with cabbage leaves or oil well. Steam the dumplings for 6-7 minutes until translucent. Serve immediately and eat hot with spicy ketchup.
Filling - yields about 4 cups of filling
- 2 cups cabbage, finely chopped
- 1 cup carrot, finely chopped
- 2-3 scallions, trimmed and finely chopped
- 1/2 cup shiitake or crimini mushrooms, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup green bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1/2 tablespoon ginger, finely minced
- 1/2 tablespoon garlic, finely minced
- a generous sprinkle of sugar
- salt to taste
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- Toss all the filling ingredients together. If you want to store the filling, I recommend not adding the salt and sugar as these cause the raw vegetables to release moisture.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Dumplings