Kukhura Ko Momo – Steamed Chicken Momos
A Nepali delicacy, momos are a stuffed, steamed dumpling. Santosh Shah's take on the dish involves chicken, lemongrass, and fragrant herbs.
From the book
Originating in Tibet, momos are now Nepal’s most popular dish – we have them for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Minced (ground) buffalo meat is often used in the filling, but you can substitute a meat filling with a mixture of finely chopped vegetables, such as cabbage, cauliflower, green beans, carrots, broccoli and asparagus. They can be served with any chutney but I like to pair them with a Tomato Sesame Chutney.
Tip: If you prefer, you can skip making the momo wrappers and substitute these with 20 sheets of store-bought round dumpling pastry.
|For the wrappers:|
|200g (1½ cups)||plain (all-purpose) flour, plus extra for dusting|
|¼ tsp||baking powder|
|1 good pinch||salt|
|3 tbsp||cornflour (cornstarch), to dust|
|For the filling:|
|250g (9oz)||free-range chicken thighs, skinned, boned and finely chopped|
|½||red onion, finely chopped|
|1||garlic clove, finely chopped|
|2.5-cm (1-in)||piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped|
|2||fresh green bird’s eye chillies, finely chopped|
|1||spring onion (scallion), finely chopped|
|1||small lemongrass stick, finely chopped|
|1 tsp||black peppercorns, crushed|
|1 tbsp||fresh coriander (chopped)|
|30g (2 tbsp)||unsalted butter, melted|
|juice of ½ a lemon|
|finely sliced red onion and chopped coriander (cilantro)|
|any chutney – I like to pair them with a Tomato Sesame Chutney (page 151 in Ayla)|
You will need: a large steamer basket.
For the wrapper dough (if making), sift the flour and baking powder onto a clean work surface. Make a well in the centre, sprinkle in the salt and 50ml (3½ tablespoons) of water. Start working the dough with your hands. Add another 50ml (3½ tablespoons) of water and continue to work until the dough is formed. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Cover with a dry kitchen towel (dishcloth) and set aside for 30 minutes.
While the dough is resting, make the filling. Place all the ingredients for the filling in a large bowl and mix until well combined. Adjust the seasoning to taste with salt and set aside.
Make the wrappers. Transfer the dough onto a tabletop well dusted with flour. Roll with your hands into a long cylindrical shape about 2.5cm (1in) in diameter. Cut into pieces about 2.5cm (1in) wide. Dust with flour and flatten each piece into a circular shape. Roll out each piece with a rolling pin until you have a circle about 8cm (3¼in) in diameter and the thickness of 1–2mm. Dust the pastry with cornflour between each layer and cover the wrappers with a damp kitchen towel (dishcloth) to prevent them from getting dry.
Take a momo wrapper and wet the edge of the pastry with a little water. Place a heaped teaspoonful of the filling mixture in the centre and starting from one point on the outer edge of the wrapper, make a succession of small pleats, in a circular motion, until you come back to the starting point. Now hold all the pleats together and twist them slightly to seal the opening. Repeat the process to make the rest of the momos and keep them covered. Transfer all the momos into a large steamer basket. Steam over high heat for 10–12 minutes, until the filling is well cooked. To serve, place a dollop of chutney on a serving plate, place 5 momos on top and garnish with sliced red onion and a sprinkle of chopped coriander.