Momos are a type of dumpling native to South Asian countries like Nepal and Tibet. Similar to Japanese gyoza, they are traditionally filled with a mixture of meat and vegetables, but this version replaces meat with hearty beluga lentils, cabbage, and other vegetables. If you prefer crispy dumplings, try pan-frying them after they've been steamed and serve with the spiced apple chutney!
Momo: South Asian Dumplings With Apple Chutney [Vegan]
About 60 momos
For the Dough:
- 10.5 ounces type 0 flour (see notes)
- 1 1/4 cups rice flour
- 2 tablespoons rice starch or cornstarch
- A good pinch of salt
- Lukewarm water, as needed
For the Filling:
- Beluga lentils or other choice lentils, as needed (about 3 handfuls)
- About 5.3 ounces purple cabbage
- 2 medium-sized carrots
- 2 small leeks (including the green part)
- 2 small white turnips (or a piece of daikon)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 4 teaspoons Himalayan masala spice mix, sweet curry masala, or other masala mix
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
- 1 generous piece of fresh ginger root, or according to taste
- 1 bay leaf
For the Apple Chutney:
- 14 ounces apples, cored (weight before coring)
- 7 ounces shallots
- 4 cardamom seeds
- 1 star anise
- 2 fresh red chilis
- 2 cloves
- 2 scant cups of good quality apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons Sichuan pepper or pepper of choice
- 2 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds
- 1/2 stick of cinnamon
- Salt, to taste
To Make the Dough:
- Sift the flours and mix them with the starch. Add the pinch of salt and then slowly start to incorporate the water. Work the mixture until you have a smooth, soft, elastic dough. Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel until ready to use.
To Make the Filling:
- Rinse the lentils under running water and then cook them according to package instructions with the bay leaf.
- Finely grated ginger and cut the vegetables into small pieces vegetables with a knife or in a food processor. Grind or crush the coriander seeds.
- In a wide shallow pan, heat the masala, ginger, and coriander with oil. Fry over medium heat, then add the vegetables and lentils. Salt and cook over high heat for a few minutes to evaporate the water released by the vegetables. Let them cool completely before using them to fill the dough.
To Make the Chutney:
- Peel the shallots and cut into slices. Cut the apples (no need to peel) and slice the chilis.
- Put all the spices in a mortar or spice grinder (except the cinnamon) and grind into a fine powder.
- Then, transfer the powdered spice mix to a non-stick pan and toast for a few minutes over high heat, stirring often with a wooden spoon to prevent them from burning.
- In a thick-bottomed saucepan (preferably stainless steel), heat oil, add the prepared spices, and let them sizzle in oil for about a minute. Add the peppers, apples, and shallots. Salt lightly and add vinegar. Cover with a lid and cook over a gentle heat for at least an hour. Add sugar and finish cooking until the apples are soft. At this point, you can remove the cinnamon stick.
To Make the Momos:
- On a floured surface, roll the dough out until it is about 1/10-inch thick. Using a 3-inch pastry ring (or cookie cutter or the rim of a glass), cut discs in the dough.
- Place a disc of dough in the palm of your hand and using a teaspoon, add filling to the center. Pinch the edges together, like a small bundle, and seal well. It is a good idea to keep the dough covered with a clean kitchen towel, to prevent it from drying out. Repeat until you are out of filling.
- Dust the momos with rice flour and prepare your steamer basket. Line the basket with a large cabbage leaf, place the momos inside, and cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes
- Remove from steamer and serve immediately with tamari for dipping and chutney on the side.
Type 0 flour is used to make bread, pizza dough, and pasta in Italian cooking. You can find it in Italian specialty stores.