Chicken Momos2:21 PM
Momos, dim sums, dumplings...they go by many names and will always remain one of these Asian cuisine favourites. In our home, this is one of Ishita's favourite food. Between her and I we can easily eat a dozen and call it a meal. That is how much we love them, if that means anything.
Sadly, no matter were you go, you will end up spending way too much money for really not much. For the dumplings fanatics that we are, making them home becomes a very viable option. And they aren't even that hard to make.
Time consuming? A little bit. Hard? Nope, not at all. Not with a little practice, and certainly not with this nifty little tool :
This little kitchen gadget is a pasty mould, in India they are often known as Gujiya moulds as they are usually used to prepare the pastry of the same name. You will find it in most stores that sell kitchen items. Mine is part of a set of four in various size, so that I can make tiny dumpling (the one above is the smallest), bigger puffs and pasties, or even giant hot pockets backed in the oven. They make my life much much easier each time I am making some stuffed dough items, and they are just about ideal to make momos without messing everything up.
Before I acquired that nifty little tool, I used to make them round, spent a lot of time making sure the bottom was thicker to prevent the dumpling from breaking in the steamer, and always ended up with stuffing stuck to my hands, and spreading to the whole work surface. They were also taking much more space in said steamer and cooking enough to feed us all became time consuming. Considering we eat these often enough, I am all for simplifying the process as much as possible. Because this is the part that is really the trickiest with dumplings. The stuffing is easy to pull and you can pretty much put whatever you want in it.
In this recipe, I made plain chicken ones, but I made vegetarian one in the past, they even became an instant hit at my in-laws place last Diwali.
I can't tell you how many dumplings this recipe does really, it depends the size of said dumplings. With our little mould, it yields a LOT, enough that we usually don't make them all in one meal, I store the remaining stuffing in an airtight container for the next day.
For the dough : 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour (maida)
- 400g chicken keema (ground chicken)
- 2 medium large onions
- a piece of ginger the length of your thumb
- 2 tbsp corn flour (known as corn starch by many)
- a pinch of salt and a splash of soy sauce
1) in a bowl, mix the flour with enough water to make a smooth elastic dough and cover and set aside.
2) peel the onion and ginger and throw in a mixer grinder to make a paste. Then in a mixing bowl, combine the ground chicken and onion paste evenly, add the salt and soy sauce and mix. last but certainly not least, add the corn flour. This step ensure that the water in the mix is absorbed, this will prevent the dumplings from filling with juice during the cooking stage and prevent the dough from breaking apart once you remove them from the steamer...do not forget the corn flour!
3) I use the steamer basket in my rice cooker for this, but you can use a bamboo steamer, or put a sieve inside a sauce pan. What matters is that the basket does not touch the water and sits high enough above it.
If you are using a plastic or metallic steamer, lightly spray it or brush it with oil first, to ensure the dumpling won't stick to the bottom.
Start making your dumplings. Take small balls of dough and roll them down to a disk shape on a floured surface. At this point, I am giving you the mould technique, because that is the easiest. Place the disk of dough on the mould, and add enough stuffing to fill the center. Fold and press hard to seal the dumpling. Remove the excess dough and repeat. Place each dumpling in the steamer's basket.
4) place the steamer basket into a pan that contains a little boiling water at the bottom and steam for about 4-5 minutes.
Enjoy them hot, with some soy sauce on the side. It goes well with a salad or some steamed veggies.
I sometimes add green peas to the chicken stuffing, or grated carrots, you can really adjust the base chicken stuffing to your taste, the only thing to mind is the water content in the stuffing, so if you feel yours is a bit runny or you see any water in it before cooking, add a little more corn flour.