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vegetarian momos: my escape from traditional Indian food

Vegetarian momos – steamed Tibetan dumplings

Vegetarian momos – or steamed Tibetan dumplings – as they are called in India – are probably the only good thing the Chinese have brought to Tibet. For the rest the Chinese government just tries to kill Tibetan culture and tries to wipe out the Tibetan population, while the whole world turns their back on the situation. Too much economical interest. But he, lets focus on food and not on politics. For now. It is not for nothing yummy Monday.

I’ve been in India for more than five months and I have a little problem. I know I’m going to sound like a spoiled kid, but for now: I am. The thing is: I’m a bit bored with Indian food. Don’t get me wrong. It is still my favorite food in the world, yet I don’t have a kitchen so I depend on restaurants to eat. Most of them have the same items on the menu card. After five months I know all of them and have had them over and over again. So I’m trying to take an escape in less traditional Indian food. The vegetarian momos are my favorite.

Mostly I eat them at Fatima’s Restaurant. Together with Fatima’s corner (other manager-director) my favorite restaurant. I get the vegetarian ones, but you can also prepare them with chicken. I like it with different kinds of sauces to dip the momos in.

I haven’t made them myself yet, but I will love to try it. As soon as I’m back in Europe and I have a kitchen I will give it a go.

Ingredients Vegetarian momos – steamed Tibetan dumplings

For the outside

  • 1 cup all purpose white flour (I will probably use another flour, but this is Fatima’s recipe)
  • ½ tablespoon oil
  • salt to taste
  • bit of water to knead the dough easily


  • 2 cups of chopped vegetables: cabbage, carrots, beans
  • ginger, garlic, onion; also chopped
  • chili, coriander
  • salt and pepper

Preparation Vegetarian momos – steamed Tibetan dumplings

  • Prepare the dough by mixing flour, salt and oil in a bowl. Add water bit by bit and keep kneading till you have a firm dough
  • Cover the dough and let it stand for half an hour
  • Chip the vegetables, garlic, onion and ginger
  • Stir fry all of this on high heat for a few minutes. You want the vegetables to be fried, but still crispy
  • Add salt and pepper
  • Take the pan of the fire
  • Make little balls from the dough. If you roll a ball out, it should be a thin circle with a diameter of 7 centimeter; more or less. It works best if the middle is still a bit thick and the edges are thin. You can use a board with some flower on it to prevent the balls sticking to the board
  • Put 1 or 2 tablespoons of vegetable stuffing in the center of the dough ball
  • Lift one side of the edge. You can fold it over the other half. Tibetan style is to ‘make ripples’ while folding it double, so the momo looks like a shell when it’s finished (see picture)
  • Prepare the momos one by one and cover them under a moist dishcloth
  • Bring water to boil in a steamer. Make sure the steamer where you but the momos in is greased, so they don’t stick to it. Place the momos in it, with enough space between them and steam them for 5 minutes
  • Your momos are ready as soon as the dough doesn’t feel sticky anymore and the dough looks see-trough
  • Serve them with a spicy sauce, soy sauce and other yummy sauces


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