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Momo-cha (Nepali Meat Dumplings)

shantihhh's picture
How to make Momo-cha (Nepali Meat Dumplings) recipe by Tulsi Regmi is simply amazing! If you have ever eaten these you will surely delight in just reading the recipe and dreaming of the remembered taste. I hav made these with hand minced goat and also lamb (mutton). I think the lamb is best as the goat meat can be terribly dry. Momo can be served with a sauce, but also with a soup depends on where you eat these yummy dumplings.
  All purpose flour 3 Cup (48 tbs)
  Oil 1 Tablespoon
  Water 1 Cup (16 tbs)
  Lean ground lamb/Chicken 1 Pound
  Onion 1 Cup (16 tbs), finely chopped
  Green onion 1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs), finely chopped
  Cilantro 1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs), chopped
  Garlic 1 Teaspoon, minced
  Fresh ginger 1 Teaspoon, minced
  Szechwan pepper 1⁄2 Teaspoon (timur)
  Turmeric 1⁄2 Teaspoon
  Cumin powder 1 Teaspoon
  Coriander powder 1 Teaspoon
  Freshly ground black pepper 1 Teaspoon
  Red chilies 3 , minced (fresh)
  Nepali cheese 1 Cup (16 tbs), roughly crushed (homemade paneer)
  Clarified butter 2 Tablespoon (ghee)
  Salt To Taste

In a large bowl combine flour, oil, salt and water. Mix well, knead until the dough becomes homogeneous in texture, about 8-10 min. Cover and let stand for at least 30 min. Knead well again before making wrappers.

In a large bowl combine all filling ingredients. Mix well, adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour to allow all ingredients to impart their unique flavors. This also improves the consistency of the filling.

Give the dough a final knead. Prepare 1-in. dough balls.

Take a ball, roll between your palms to spherical shape.

Dust working board with dry flour.

On the board gently flatten the ball with your palm to about 2-in circle.
Make a few semi-flattened circles, cover with a bowl. Use a rolling pin to roll out each flattened circle into a wrapper. For well excecuted MOMOs, it is essential that the middle portion of the wrapper be slightly thicker than the edges to ensure the structural integrity of dumplings during packing and steaming.

Hold the edges of the semi-flattened dough with one hand and with the other hand begin rolling the edges of the dough out, swirling a bit at a time. Continue until the wrapper attains 3-in diameter circular shape.

Repeat with the remaining semi-flattened dough circles.

Cover with bowl to prevent from drying.

For packing hold wrapper on one palm, put one tablespoon of filling mixture and with the other hand bring all edges together to the center, making the pleats.

Pinch and twist the pleats to ensure the absolute closure of the stuffed dumpling.

This holds the key to good tasting, juicy dumplings.

Heat up a steamer, oil the steamer rack well.

This is critical because it will prevent dumplings from sticking.

Arrange uncooked MOMOs in the steamer.

Close the lid, and allow steaming until the dumplings are cooked through, about 10-15 min.

Take the dumplings off the steamer, and immediately serve.

To serve, arrange the cooked MOMOs on a plate dressed with tomato achar.

Be careful when you take the first bite of a hot momo as the juice is very, very hot, and can burn you easily.

In some places Momo is served with a sauce. I have a yoghourt type sauce with vegetables but I think this is a better flavour:

Momo Sauce

2 tbsp. Ghee
1 tsp. Minced ginger
1 tsp. Minced garlic
1/2 cup Diced Onion
1/2 tsp. Garam masala
1/8 tsp. Turmeric
1/2 tsp. Chili powder
1 cup Diced tomatoes
1 cup water
1/2 tsp. White vinegar
1 tsp. soy sauce
1/4 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. Pepper
Green onions; chopped
2 each Sprigs cilantro, chopped

1. Heat ghee in a pot. Add ginger, garlic & onion & stir-fry 1 minute.

2. Add garam masala, turmeric & chili powder.

3. Stir-fry for 30 seconds.

4. Add tomatoes & stir-fry for 3 minutes.

5. Add water.

6. Bring to a boil, reduce heat & simmer 5 minutes.

7. Add vinegar, soy sauce, salt & pepper.

8. Mix well.

9. Garnish with green onions & cilantro.

10. Serve hot.

Recipe Summary

Side Dish
Preparation Time: 
60 Minutes
Cook Time: 
15 Minutes
Ready In: 
75 Minutes
This dish is native to the Himalayas of Nepal. It is also made in Darjeeling. In Tibet, they often use yak meat, but here in the US, beef is often used. I prefer using hand chopped meat rather tha ground. In some places Momo are served with a sauce-see recipe at the end for sauce.

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Average: 4.2 (26 votes)

Nutrition Rank

Nutrition Facts

Serving size

Calories 2080 Calories from Fat 1051

% Daily Value*

Total Fat 118 g181.9%

Saturated Fat 59 g295.2%

Trans Fat 0 g

Cholesterol 331.8 mg110.6%

Sodium 1089.6 mg45.4%

Total Carbohydrates 161 g53.7%

Dietary Fiber 9.5 g37.9%

Sugars 5.9 g

Protein 89 g178.8%

Vitamin A 47% Vitamin C 65%

Calcium 101.2% Iron 89.5%

*Based on a 2000 Calorie diet


Snigdha's picture
Sounds great. Don't we need to precook the meat. Since you suggest steaming for 10-15 minutes, is it enough to cook the meat thoroughly?
Anonymous's picture
yes u have to cook the meat till its liquid
shantihhh's picture
Steaming cooks the meat just like with many dim-sum type dishes.
Leena.Kitchen's picture
Yes, I love momo. My Nepalese friends always cook that for me. I love that acchar that goes with the momo. We normally use wonton wrapper instead of making dough from scratch. Is a wonderful dish.
shantihhh's picture
No need to precook the meat. Just like when I make won tons using pork and shrimp they cook quickly in boiling water, these steam quickly and the meat is done. The area where the meat is encased should be thiner than the edges. For well executed MOMO's, it is essential that the middle portion of the wrapper be slightly thicker than the edges to ensure the structural integrity of dumplings during packing and steaming. I have also made these with a beef/pork mixture that is tasty but my favourite is the lamb which again can be mixed with beef or pork. I use a combination of minced meats most times rther than just one meat as it gives more depth in flavour. Beef/lamb or pork/lamb/beef is always great as is popular in the Balkans. Shanti/Mary-Anne
Snigdha's picture
Thanks for the information. I shall make them sometime.
blessy.matty's picture
Thanxx a lot Shanthihh for this recipe. Infact me n' my husband has a nostalgic incident connected to Momo. So when I first saw this recipe, I wanted to write a comment right away, but I thought its better to comment after trying it..Today evening, I tried it.It was very nice..I tried grounded beef for the meat... Thanx once more for this recipe.(I never thought of trying Momo before until I saw ur recipe eventhough it was one of our favorites)
Anonymous's picture
was the "incident" in bhairahawa nepal
shantihhh's picture
So glad you enjoyed them. I make a hot sauce for them as well. I'll see if I can post it-it requires a special chile from there. Shanti/Mary-Anne
HotChef's picture
I must give these a go.
Diomedes's picture
If you find a recipe for the sauce please post it, loved this dish. It was quite a hit at a recent party!
Anonymous's picture
Minz's picture
what is cha? (momo cha)
Anonymous's picture
Momo is Nepali food.. strictly nepali so it should be under nepali cuisine not indian.
shantihhh's picture
I agree, but we do not have a Nepali section/category so Indian was better choice than Chinese IMHO-having traveled both countries over 30 times :-)
Anonymous's picture
yes it may be....but it is cooked in darjeeling, and even in jalpaigudi that is in india...
Anonymous's picture
hey your momo recipe is amazing but i think it is a bad idea to add garam masala in momo sauce..
Anonymous's picture
this recipe is awesome! i made it for the first time and it was so good! everyone loved it! thanks!
Prabesh's picture
Yesto Po Recipies....
timur (Szechwan pepper) other name is (ZANTHOXYLUM -ARMATUM)
soonita's picture
hey i wanted to cook something special for my boyfrend and his mother and i thought about whynot MOMOs, as they are germans they dont know momos,and i went through google if i could find a good recipe for momos nd found ur recipe pretty good. i m gonna make it on tuesday.
shantihhh's picture
I know you will enjoy them, and so will your guests! Perfect meal to share!
Momo-cha (Nepali Meat Dumplings) Recipe, Nepali