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Friday
Mar092012

Into the Wild Feasts: Nepalese Momo

We’re kicking off a new feature today, inspired by the buzz around the office that the rapidly approaching Lonely Planet Street Food Festival has created. So every couple of weeks we’ll be looking at a tasty dish from around the world and telling you how you can make it at home. Today we journey to Nepal, a fascinating South Asian nation famed for its incredible Himalayan hiking and opportunities for adventure. It’s also home to our Project of the Week, the amazing Nepal Adventure Travel & Cultural Experience.

Image courtesy of MikeBehnken (well worth a look on Flickr)

Nepalese people are renowned for their welcoming attitude towards visitors. Nepalese cuisine is hugely varied considering the relatively small size of the country. Sitting between China (to the north) and India (to the south), the food is influenced by both of these neighbouring nations in both method and content. The national dish of Nepal, daal-bhaat-tarkaari, is a relatively simple and healthy combination of rice, daal (lentils) and curried vegetables.

However, we have chosen a slightly more extravagant, albeit it hugely popular, dish for you to try today. Momo are Nepali dumplings, also popular in Tibet and other surrounding countries, which can vary in content including both vegetarian and meat fillings. Give the following simple recipe a go, or if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, check this more complicated version out:

Image courtesy of RMT

Wrappers

  • 2 cups of plain flour
  • 3/4 cup of water

Filling

  • 500g minced meat (Beef or Pork is fine if you can't get your hands on any yak)
  • 4-6 spring onions 
  • 1 tbsp fresh crushed ginger 
  • 1 1/2 tbsp crushed garlic 
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • Handful of coriander/cilantro 
  • 2 green chillies (remove seeds for less spice) 
  • 2 tsp garam masala 
  • 2 tbsp oil

Directions

  • Finely chop all the filling ingredients and mix together. Mix the wrapper ingredients to make a dough. Roll the dough and make circles 6-10 cm across. 
  • Place a dollop of mixture in the middle of each circle and wet the edges to glue easier. Stick the sides together strongly to stop leakage. Pleat if capable! 
  • Boil a pan of water with a steaming pot on top. Oil the steaming pot to stop sticking. Place a few momo into the steamer and steam for 5-7 minutes.
  • Serve with a tomato and coriander sauce!

The following is a short documentary called ‘Momo’ by David Johnson about two Tibetan refugees who live in Dharamsala, Northern India, who make momo to sell at a local market. See if you can get you momo-making technique down like they clearly have.

For more information on the great projects on offer in Nepal, check out the Frontier website. For general information on Nepal, its culture and more on its cuisine, check out both www.yowangdu.com and the great blog from chef and author Jyoti Pathak tasteofnepal.blogspot.com

By Alex Prior

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