11 Jan Chicken Momos/Dimsums
Momos/Dimsums as you call them.Momos as per tibetian cusine while dimsum refers to their chinese counterpart.Whatever name you might call them according to culinary dictionary applicable to different regions , yet they represent the same yummy ,absolutely moist tender mouth watering morsels, steamed ,brimming with simplicity, releasing an awesome flavour and taste. .
Well , while majorly is is an oriental starter, yet in Indian it is widely common across the north east States(Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya to be precise) and the northen state of sikkim as a very common snack or starter and most often a meal in itself with a clear chicken soup.Originally a tibetian /nepali starter/ and often a meal for people, although there is still debate for its paternity claims between tibet and nepal. Tibet, nepal , bhutan are the most famous neigbours that gorge on momos. In india, Famously available in north east states, sikkim and darjeeling, it is also nowadays common across kolkata and Delhi as well.
That’s how my love for these beautiful small gorgeous tender appetizers are inherent and inborn with the culture of the city and community that I belong to,.Growing up in the beautiful north east, guwahati to be precise, there would be hoards of momo serving small outlets across the roads then serving steaming hot momos and a clear soup.A plate of momos would come in 6 peices.Complimented with a spicy garlic chutney.In fact reminisence of this famous place called “momo hut” still reins supreme in my memory as collegians would flock to this place for their lunch during breaks.All these for Rs 25 to 30 only, while it would be lesser still on the street carts if you choose to have, maybe Rs 15 is what i faintly remember, back 20 yrs ago.
While thats how my life nad childhood story connects to this beautiful dumpling that is so common acros the north east, it is making its presence felt across other cities too now, esp in movie theatres and food courts.Although I wouldnt like to rate them since thay arent really worth comparble to the momos that are available back home.There is something enticing in the taste, texture and flavour back in the north east which makes them so desirable which somehow is missing in the dimsums that are avaialable this side, not to mention about the exorbitant price that it is sold at. In fact its almost a street food back home and easily affordable ,while the same is sold as an exotic starater with an enormously ridiculous price in mumbai.
And while we relish these beautiful steamed wonders, and complain that its not available across cities, yet its so easy to make at your own convenience at home that you will be surprised.
In fact now whenever my hunger pangs are high for momos, and since its almost impossible to get wonderful momos in Mumbai perfecting in taste,I quickly make them at home.Its logical, all you need is minched boiled meat and flour.Nothing much.
So without much fuss here it is
All purpose flour: 1 cup
Oil for stirfrying -1 tsp
Salt’- as per taste
Minched meat- 1 cup
Ginger chopped- 1 tbsp
Soy sauce- 1/2 tsp(optional)
chopped onions- 1 (optional)
chopped garlic- 1/2 tsp
For the filling
- Boil the minched meat with some chopped garlic and ginger.Keep the stock aside ,we use that for the clear soup
- In a pan, add a drop of oil and drop the chopped onions if using, ginger and minched meat.Add Salt
- You can add a drop of soy sauce if you want,otherwise also its fine
- Stir fry , remove and keep aside
- The filling should not be very dry, generally its slight juicy
- Roll the dough into small balls and roll out into a small roti. easier way ,you can just make a circle with a plain cookie cutter or a the cover of a bowl.This way you will get equal circles.
- Put the filling inside and seal the edges.You can give them any shape as you like
- There are many ways to shape momos, although the basic ones are the round ones and the half moon ones.
- Steam them for about 15-20 minutes
- Serve with garlic chilly red chutney and hot clear soup which is used from the leftover stock
Simple, soft ,moist with the juicy chicken minced inside,these are an absolute delight.But perhaps, it might cater to an “acquired taste” for the ones who have never tried.Coz unlike indian foods, filled with spices, these wonderful morsels are bland and steamed with no spice or oil at all.Which is why an exquisite taste and flavour thats so intoxicating across the regions that its famous for.North east, Kolkata, Darjeeling, Sikkim and to an extent even Delhi(coz of the influx of North east students), these are very popular and found across restaurants and streets.Otherwise you would see them at chinese restaurants under the name “wantons/Dimsums” ,the steamed version. Incredibly tempting. But there are veg versions as well for the vegetarians. That could be any type of filling but mostly its filled with cabbage and onions.The procedure remains the same. In fact in Sikkim and some other parts, the veg momos are equally famous like the chicken ones.
But for me nothing beats the chicken momos.With the spicy garlic chilly chutney and a clear soup this calls for a perfect winter meal..Hot , steamed bland and spicy with some amazing soup.