Wednesday, 17 December 2014 19:00

MoMo - NOT Dumpling!

Momo is a type of steamed bun filled with meat, vegetable, cheese etc. Momo has become a traditional delicacy in Nepal, Tibet and among Nepalese/Tibetan communities in Bhutan, Sikkim and Darjeeling. It is one of the most popular fast foods in many regions of Nepal populated with people of Nepal, Tibetan or Himalayan origin. Momos have now been spread to other foreign countries in places with a significant Nepalese and Tibetan diaspora.

Although it is uncertain of the origin and etymology of momo in Nepal, this dish was initially popular among the Newar community of the Kathmandu valley, one prevalent belief is that traveling Newar merchants brought the recipe and the name momo from Lhasa, Tibet where they were a traditional delicacy for centuries. They modified the seasonings of the dish with available ingredients, using water buffalo and kept the same name.

Here is how you could make Nepali MoMo:


  • Dough for wrappers:
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon oil Water as required
  • Pinch of salt


  • 2 lbs. lean ground buffalo/lamb/pork
  • 1 cup of finely chopped red onion,
  • 1/2 cup of finely chopped green onion,
  • 1/2 cup of finely chopped fresh cilantro, 
  • 1 tablespoon fresh minced garlic, 
  • 1 tablespoon fresh minced ginger, 
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder, meat masala or MOMO masala
  • 4 fresh red minced chilies, or as desired
  • 3 tablespoons cooking oil
  • Salt and Pepper as desired


Preparing Filling: Combine all filling ingredients above in a large mixing bowl. Mix well; adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper depending your taste. 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.

Preparing Wrappers: Combine flour, oil, salt and water  in a large bowl . Mix well; knead until the dough becomes homogeneous in texture, about 10 minutes. Cover and let stand for at least 15 min. Knead well again before making wrappers. Prepare 1-innch diameter dough balls.  Take a dough ball, roll between your palms to spherical shape. Dust working board with dry flour. On the board gently flatten the ball with your palm. Then roll out into 3-in diameter wrapper. Repeat with the remaining dough balls. Cover with bowl to prevent from drying.

Packing: Hold wrapper on one palm, put one tablespoon of filling mixture and with the other hand bring all edges together to the center, while making pleats. Pinch and twist the pleats to ensure the absolute closure of the stuffed dumpling.

Steaming: Heat up a steamer, oil the steamer rack well. This is critical because it will prevent MoMo from sticking. Place uncooked MOMOs in the steamer with some space left between the MoMos. Close the lid, and allow steaming until the dumplings are cooked through, about 10-15 min. Take the dumplings off of the steamer, and immediately serve with special Achar made for MoMo or use hot sauce or ketchup.

There are several ways to make Nepali MoMos. If you have better idea and/or recipe feel free to share with us. 

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