I love momos, so this week I put myself and my tiny kitchen to the challenge of making momos from scratch - a daunting prospect. I’d never made any dumplings before and it was a far cry from my usual Monday night dinner: pasta pesto.
But I followed the recipe on our Tea for Tibet page, and did manage to produce something resembling momos. In comparison to the momos my colleague Namgyal bought in on Wednesday – mine were a hot mess, and the laughing stock of the office, but I was weirdly proud of them. And making them did make me feel like a contestant on Bake Off.
The first instruction is ‘mix all the dry ingredients and knead well with enough water. Make a soft (not sticky) dough’. I used about half a cup of water which may have been a bit too much, but I’d used all my flour already, and ended up with the dreaded sticky dough.
I chopped and cooked the veg whilst the dough was rising – which was easy enough. Namgyal’s momos had a spinach cheese and mushroom filling which was delicious. The filling of mine was pretty good, despite being about 80% cabbage.
I cut the dough and then got to the fiddly bit of trying to actually make a momo. Perhaps naively (or over-confidently) I was imagining I might produce 20 dumplings with a beautiful spiral pattern on the top, instead what I got was this:
Some blobs. The dough was a bit too thick, and I was nowhere near dexterous enough to even make a momo without a hole in the top, let alone with a pattern on the top. I’m just going to call them ‘rustic’.
My poorly stocked kitchen was another hurdle in the process. I used a wine glass to cut the dough, and more problematically I had no steamer. Sticking to the rustic vibe, I used my colander on top of a saucepan of boiling water, and put a lid over it. This did the job, but I’m sure a momo purist would not be impressed with the method.
After 10 to 15 minutes of steaming my final momos were complete.
They were a funny brown colour and not very pretty, but they did taste good. I’d originally intended to share them, but ended up eating all of them before I’d even got to work the next day.
I had a lot of fun making the momos and the process wasn’t too hard, I would definitely make them again and reckon other people should too. We’re having a Tea For Tibet in the office in a few weeks and I’m planning on making another batch for that. If you’re running your own Tea for Tibet (or if you just fancy trying it) I highly recommend making your own momos, even if you’ve never made them before, it was great fun.
Rachel has been the Executive Assistant at Free Tibet since June. She first became interested in Tibet after staying in a Tibetan community in Nepal, and became a supporter of Free Tibet after meeting the team at Womad festival in 2014.