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How to make Momo-cha?

Recipe by: Tulsi Regmi
History: This dish is native to the Himalayas of Nepal.
Description: Nepali Meat Dumplings
Serving Size: 2-3
Preparation Time: about 1 hour for assembly and 15 minutes for steaming


Dough for wrappers:

3 cups All-purpose flour
1 tablespoon oil
1 cup water
Pinch of salt

1 lb. lean ground lamb or chicken
(Note that beef is not eaten in Nepal, the world's only Hindu Kingdom)
1 cup onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup green onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
1/2 teaspoon timur (Szechwan pepper)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 fresh red chilies, minced
1 cup Nepali cheese (homemade paneer), roughly crushed (optional)
2 tablespoon clarified butter
Salt to taste


In a large bowl combine flour, oil, salt and water. Mix well, knead until the dough becomes homogeneous in texture, about 8-10 min. Cover and let stand for at least 30 min. Knead well again before making wrappers.

In a large bowl combine all filling ingredients. Mix well, adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for at
least an hour to allow all ingredients to impart their unique flavors. This also improves the consistency of the filling.

Give the dough a final knead. Prepare 1-in. dough balls. Take a ball, roll between your palms to spherical shape. Dust working board with dry flour. On the board gently flatten the ball with your palm to about 2-in circle. Make a few semi-flattened circles, cover with a bowl. Use a rolling pin to roll out each flattened circle into a wrapper. For well excecuted MOMOs, it is essential that the middle portion of the wrapper be slightly thicker than the edges to ensure the structural integrity of dumplings during packing and steaming. Hold the edges of the semi-flattened dough with one hand and with the other hand begin rolling the edges of the dough out, swirling a bit at a time. Continue until the wrapper attains 3-in diameter circular shape. Repeat with the remaining semi-flattened dough circles. Cover with bowl to prevent from drying. For packing hold wrapper on one palm, put one tablespoon of filling mixture and with the other hand bring all edges together to the center, making the pleats. Pinch and twist the pleats to ensure the absolute closure of the stuffed dumpling. This holds the key to good tasting, juicy dumplings. Heat up a steamer, oil the steamer rack well. This is critical because it will prevent dumplings from sticking. Arrange uncooked MOMOs in the steamer. Close the lid, and allow steaming until the dumplings are cooked through, about 10-15 min. Take the dumplings off the steamer, and immediately serve. To serve, arrange the cooked MOMOs on a plate dressed with tomato achar.

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