A typical serving of a plate of momo with sesame yellow and red garlic chilli sauce in Nepal
|Place of origin||Nepal|
|Region or state||Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan, Northeast India|
|Main ingredient(s)||White-flour-and-water dough; meat, vegetable or cheese filling|
|Variations||Steam-momo, Kothey momo, C-momo, Fry-momo, Open-momo|
Momo (Nepali: मम ; Nepal Bhasa: ममचा, म:म:; Tibetan: མོག་མོག་, Wylie: mog mog; simplified Chinese: 馍馍; traditional Chinese: 饃饃; pinyin: mómo) is a type of dumpling native to Nepal and some communities in Tibet; Bhutan and Northeast India. It is similar to the Chinese Baozi and Jiaozi, the Mongolian Buuz, the Japanese Gyoza, the Afghan Mantu and the Korean Mandu.
The origin and etymology of momo in Nepal is uncertain but the dish is thought to be rustic in origin. Since this dish was initially popular among the Newar community of Kathmandu valley, one prevalent belief is that Newari traders brought momo techniques from Lhasa, Tibet. They modified the seasonings of the dish with available ingredients, using water buffalo meat, and gave the dish a Nepali name. Other sources claim Kirtiman Sherchan for being the inventor of momos.
Momo is a type of steamed bun with or without filling. Momo has become a traditional delicacy in Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan, Sikkim, Darjeeling district and other parts of eastern India. It is one of the most popular fast foods in many regions of Nepal populated with people of Tibetan, Nepali or other Himalayan origin, and in places of India with a significant Tibetan and Nepalese diaspora, including West Bengal, Assam, Delhi, Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Himachal Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
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.
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.
- Meat: Different types of meat fillings are popular in different regions. In Nepal, Tibet, Darjeeling district, Sikkim and Bhutan, pork, chicken, goat meat and buffalo meat are commonly used. In the Himalayan region of Nepal and Ladakh, India, lamb and yak meat are common. Minced meat is combined with any or all of the following: onions/shallots, garlic, ginger and cilantro/coriander. Some people also add finely puréed tomatoes and soya sauce.
- Vegetables: Finely chopped cabbage, potato or chayote (iskush) are used as fillings in Nepal and some parts of India.
- Cheese: Usually fresh cheese or the traditional soft chhurpi is used. This variety is common in eastern Nepal, Bhutan, Sikkim and Darjeeling.
- Khuwā: Momo filled with milk solids (khoa) mixed with sugar are popular as dessert in the Kathmandu valley.
- Mashed potato: Mashed potato (ālu) is another popular filling in the Kathmandu valley.
- Paneer: Paneer is another recent and popular filling in Kathmandu.
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 two types of momo: steamed and fried. Momo is usually served with a dipping sauce (locally called chutney/achhar), 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.
- Nepalese cuisine
- Newa cuisine
- Har gow
- Jau gok
- Manti (dumpling)
- Mandu (dumpling), Mandugwa
- Buuz, Khuushuur, Bansh, the Mongolian variants (steamed, fried, boiled, respectively)
- "Taste of Nepal, Nepalese dumpling (Momo)". Nepalese cuisine. tasteofnepal.blogspot.com. Retrieved 5 January 2014.
- 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.
- "Momo recipe". Himalayanlearning.org. Retrieved April 6, 2011.
- A simple momo recipe by Ladies Lounge
- Newari momos
- Tibetans’ (Forbidden) Special Treat (New York Times, February 21, 2012)
- Make momo with pasta wrap
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