Momo (dumpling)

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Momo nepal.jpg
A typical serving of a plate of momo with sesame yellow and red garlic chilli sauce in Nepal
Course Meal
Place of origin Nepal and Tibet[1]
Region or state Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan, Northeast India
Main ingredients White-flour-and-water dough; meat, vegetable or cheese filling
Variations Steam-momo, Kothey momo, C-momo, Fry-momo, Open-momo
Cookbook:Momo  Momo

Momo (Nepali: मम; Nepal Bhasa: ममचा, मम:; Tibetan: མོག་མོག་Wylie: mog mog; simplified Chinese: 馍馍; traditional Chinese: 饃饃; pinyin: mómo[2]) is a type of dumpling native to Tibet and Nepal. It is similar to Chinese baozi and jiaozi, Mongolian buuz, Japanese gyoza, Afghan mantu, and Korean mandu. Over the years, it has become very popular in the Indian states of Assam and Manipur; where people have started eating its plain steamed pork-filled variety as part of their staple diet.


The origin and etymology of momo in Nepal is uncertain. Since 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.


Momo is a type of steamed bun with or without filling. Momo has become a traditional delicacy in Nepal, Tibet and among Nepalese/Tibetan communities in Bhutan, Sikkim and Darjeeling district. It is one of the most popular fast foods in many regions of Nepal populated with people of Tibetan or Himalayan origin. Momos have spread to India in places with a significant Tibetan and Nepalese diaspora, including West Bengal, Assam, Delhi, Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Himachal Pradesh, Bangalore, Arunachal Pradesh, and Uttarakhand.


Plate of momo in Nepal
A woman making momos

A simple white-flour-and-water dough is generally preferred to make the outer momo covering. Sometimes, a little yeast or baking soda is added to give a more doughy texture to the finished product. Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is also used sometimes to enhance the taste of momo.

Momo in mucktoo

Traditionally, momo is prepared with ground/minced meat filling, but over the past several years, this has changed and the fillings have become more elaborate. These days, momo is prepared with virtually any combination of ground meat, vegetables, tofu, paneer cheese, soft chhurpi (local cheese) and vegetable and meat combinations.[3]

The dough is rolled into small circular flat pieces. The filling is then enclosed in the circular dough cover either in a round pocket or in a half-moon or crescent shape. People prefer meat that has a lot of fat because it produces intensively flavored juicy momos. A little oil is sometimes added to the lean ground/minced meat to keep the filling moist and juicy. The dumplings are then cooked by steaming over a soup (either a stock based on bones or vegetables) in a momo-making utensil called mucktoo. The dumplings may also be pan-fried or deep-fried after being steamed.


Basically, there are three types of momo, steamed, fried and pan-fried. Momo is usually served with a dipping sauce (locally called chutney/achhar[5]), normally made with tomato as the base ingredient. In Nepal, soup momo is a dish with steamed momo immersed in a meat broth. Pan-fried momo is also known as kothey momo. Steamed momo served in hot sauce is called C-momo. There are also a variety of Tibetan momos, including tingmo and thaipo.

Price in Nepal[edit]

Momo is the most preferred food for lunch in Nepal followed by chowmin, which is also very popular among Nepali people. Momos are available almost in every restaurant in Nepal and depending on the type of restaurant, the type of meat it is made of, a portion (generally 10 pieces with achar) can cost anything from NRs 50 to NRs 250. Tomato, Sesame and 'Timur' are the main ingredients of this achar. One can get the momo submerged in achar or separately.

See also[edit]


  1. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ Jīn Péng 金鹏 (ed.): Zàngyǔ jiǎnzhì 藏语简志. Mínzú chūbǎnshè 民族出版社, Beijing 1983, p. 31. This is not the same as dumpling.
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Momo recipe". Retrieved April 6, 2011. 
  5. ^ Williams, James. "Momos Chutney Recipe". 

External links[edit]