Pork Momos

Momos are little dumplings traditional to Nepalese cuisine, among others – the filling is rich pork packed with the delicious flavours of ginger, coriander and the lovely spices of garam masala, and the whole thing is surrounded by moist pastry. I first tried these at a fabulous little Nepalese restaurant in Bath called Yak Yeti Yak (click here for my review!) and they were so delicious I knew I had to have a go at making them myself. This recipe is adapted from a couple of different ones that I found online.

120g plain flour, plus extra for dusting & rolling
150ml cup of water
300g pork mince
2 spring onions
1 tsp fresh ginger
2 garlic clove
Salt and black pepper
Handful of fresh coriander
2 tsp garam masala
1 tbsp oil
Sweet chilli sauce, to serve

Makes 6-8 dumplings.

Start out by making the filling – pop the mince in a bowl with a good sprinkle of salt and pepper and mix well to break up the meat. Finely chop the spring onions & fresh ginger and add those, and then crush in the garlic. Next , sprinkle in the garam masala – this is a wonderfully aromatic spice blend often found in South Asian cuisines, and usually includes cloves, cinnamon, cumin and cardamom. It’s worth buying, particularly if you like curries, as it will liven them up a treat (flavourwise, that is – it’s not especially hot). Finally, chop the fresh coriander, add that with a drizzle of olive oil, and mix the whole thing really well.

Once that’s all sorted, make your pastry. Weigh out the flour and then add the water a bit at a time, stirring as you go. A soft dough will start to form – you want it to come together (if it’s too dry, there will be lots of little bits of dough) but you don’t want it to start going blobby and sticky. Don’t worry though, because you can always add a little bit more flour if you feel like you’ve gone too far!

Flour a chopping board really well and tip the dough out onto it. Get your hands covered in flour as well and handle the dough gently, making sure it’s come together in one soft lump, and sprinkling on more flour if it sticks to your hands. Next, start rolling it out – keep turning it over, to stop it sticking, and add more flour if you need to. You want to try and get it nice and thin, but obviously not so thin that holes appear too easily.

For the next part, you need to create circles of dough that are about 10cm across – the easiest way to do this is to find a glass or a mug with about the right circumference, turn it upside down, and use it to press out the circles. Wash your hands, and then start forming the meat filling into little balls about the size of a 10p piece – pop each one into the middle of a circle and then wrap it up warmly with the dough, pinching the top to close it. You can make them little parcels like I’ve done in the picture, or you can try folding them into little half-circles and crimp the edges, like a miniature pasty.

Finally, heat a couple of centimetres of water in a little saucepan, and once it’s boiling and producing plenty of steam, rest a sieve on the top of the pan and put a couple of momos in the sieve to cook. Put a lid on top and leave them for about 7 minutes.

Serve them as soon as possible, while they’re still fresh, with a nice bit of fiery rocket and some sweet chilli sauce, for dipping.