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 Delhi, India
Course Meal
Place of origin Tibet [1]
Region or state Tibet, Bhutan, Nepal, India(Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Ladakh, West Bengal, Sikkim, Manipur)
Main ingredients White-flour-and-water dough; meat, vegetable or cheese filling
Variations Steam-momo, Kothey momo, C-momo, Fry-momo, Open-momo , plain-momo
Cookbook: Momo  Media: Momo

Momo (Tibetan: མོག་མོག་Wylie: mog mog; Nepali : म:म) is a type of dumpling native to Tibet, traditionally filled with yak meat and eaten with a variety of sauces. It is similar to Chinese baozi and jiaozi, Mongolian buuz, Japanese gyoza, Turkic mantu and Korean mandu. In Nepal and bordering regions of India, momos are typically filled with ground and seasoned water buffalo meat. Momos are served hot with tomato and sesame sauce usually seasoned with ground peanut, Sichuan pepper (timur), and cilantro.


Native to the Tibet region, the dish was initially popular among the Newar community of the Kathmandu valley. As a result, one prevalent belief is that traveling Newar merchants brought the recipe and the name momo from Lhasa, Tibet where they had been a traditional delicacy for centuries. The merchants modified the seasonings of the dish with available ingredients 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 India. Unlike yak meat in Tibet, ground and seasoned water buffalo meat is the most popular filling in Nepal. Momos are growing popularity in India. The style and filling varies according to the preference of the people in different regions. In India, the filling can include paneer, mutton, chicken, pork and an assortment of vegetables.It is often paired with cilantro.


Plate of Hot Momo (dumpling) with soup at Ladakh
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.

Fried Momos
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.[2]

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[4]), 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 spicy 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 chowmein, which is also very popular among Nepali people. Momos are available almost in every eateries in Nepal. Depending on the type of restaurant, the type of meat it is made of, a portion (generally 10 pieces with sauce) can cost anything from NRs 50 to NRs 250. Tomato, Sesame and Sichuan pepper are the main ingredients of sauce.

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