It’s no secret that India left quite the culinary imprint on my foodie heart. I never ate so well as I did at the Ashram in Netala: curry for breakfast, who could ask for more? The ingredients were wholesome and local, and I loved chanting and praying before every meal.
But outside of the Ashram I got introduced to some pretty sensational dishes, too. There was this cute little piece called ‘Le Petit Momo’ in Rishikesh where supposedly they made the best vegetarian momos in town. I disagree. The best momos — the best food, period — was at the Buddha Café.
Momos are tender little dumplings filled with vegetables (my favourite filling is a simply sauteed spinach and onion), and are traditionally served with a vegetable broth. Plain, nutritious, but above all comforting food. Momos fill a crack in the heart that sometimes, very rarely, peanut butter just can’t.
I learnt the technique to fold the momos through this video. It takes some practice, and as you can tell I still need to improve! If you have a bamboo steamer, all the better. I used my good ol’ metal steamer that my mum handed down to me, and as you can see in the picture, the underside of my momos kind of stuck to the pan.
Serves 2 (makes 6 momos)
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 18 minutes total
120g (3/4 cup) plain flour
a pinch of salt
water, as needed
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 onion, very finely chopped
1/2 large carrot, washed and very finely chopped
1 handful of spinach, finely chopped
1 green chilli, deseeded and (you guessed it) finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tsp brown miso paste
250 ml (1 cup) boiling water
Heat the coconut oil in a frying pan. Sauté the onions until translucid, then add the remaining ingredients and sauté for 15 minutes, until tender. Set aside.
Place the flour and salt in a large bowl and gradually add water. Combine with your hands to create a soft, pliable dough that doesn’t stick to your fingers. Roll it out very flatly on a clean and floured surface. Cut out as many circles as you can (I used a pint glass of about 3.5 inches/9 cm, then knead the leftovers into a ball, roll it out flat, and cut more circles. Keep doing this until you have no more dough to work with.
Place a spoonful of the vegetable filling in the middle of each circle of dough. Following this method, twist and pinch shut the dough to form little parcels, or dumplings.
Steam the momos for about 3 minutes.
Stir the miso paste into a cup of boiling water until dissolved. Serve the momos with the miso soup.
What is the best food you’ve ever eaten, and where did you eat it? Give me your recommendations for the best places a foodie can travel to 🙂