Momo is my favorite food. For those who don’t know about momo, it’s a very similar to Chinese potstickers/dumplings or Japanese gyōza. To be honest, I was quite conflicted either to call my dish, momo or gyōza or dumplings, before writing this post. Other words are probably understood more widely but momo was what I was set to make, and how I know it from my heart. So be it, it’s “momo”. Oh well it’s not that I am calling a burger as “masu ko dalla”.
Often, I get asked by my vegetarian Nepali friends (Sau’bh, A’ya, A’u, S’e, Dha’na) how to make a good vegetarian momo. The easiest answer is to use any meatless sausage from your local grocery or homemade seitan instead of meat. However this time, I wanted to make a healthy and less processed vegetarian filling from scratch.
Many converted vegetarians don’t like momo much because they use watery vegetables that results in soggy overcooked momo. It’s complete blasphemy to art of momo making with complete disregard to the fact that momos are the texture food with meaty texture. You need to get the right texture not just flavor for your momos.
This is my journey on how to make a partially successful veggie momos. Partial success, because I’m still not satisfied with the final vegetarian momo. It’s definitely not as good as my favorite classic meat (masu) momo.
I used defrosted frozen spinach because it is has somewhat neutral flavor, is convenient, and has healthy overtones.
This is the most important step of making vegetarian momo — giving it texture. I added texture by adding lentil flour (urad dal) and use egg to bind the concoction. You can use other lentil flour such as chickpea flour or besan, now conveniently available in your local Wholefoods. I added imported momo masala for spicing my momos. If you don’t have momo masala, add any garam masala or make one. Please remember that all garam masala (or curry powders) are not created equal. Invest in a good one since it will last for many meals to come.
Here I’m improving my momo recipe by adding flavorful cilantros.
For more flavors, chopped onions, tomatoes and ghee were added. Everything could be added earlier but this shows how I was improvising (or was nervous about) my momo.
I used Nasoya wonton wrappers from a generic grocery store to wrap my momos. My momo looked awful, but I was really tired and hungry. I just wanted to get done (also I can’t wrap momos well). For comparison, see some of the finest momo in this momo facebook album.
Steam it for about 10 minutes around when momo wrappers are cooked showing its shiny exterior.
Serve with classic momo sauce made with roasted tomatoes and fresh cilantro. As you can see from image of one open momo that the texture of even spinach momo was meaty like momo – not watery. Even though , the texture was fine, the momo was lacking something else.
I made a quite a few of these momo – so luckily I had the leftovers for dinner the next day. One of the classic ways to serve leftover momo is to deep fry or pan fry them. I decided on going a healthy route and baking my momos. Lightly coat with oil – maybe those Pam oil spray will come handy here. Bake 20 minutes in 375 °F oven. This still remains an attempt because I was not completely satisfied with it. Trust me the photo looks tastier.
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Posted in: Cooking | Tags: baked momo, dumplings, Green momo, Momo, momo facebook album, momo fillings, momo masala, momo wonton wrappers, Newari Food, Spinach Momo, Vegetarian, vegetarian momo, vegetarian nepali