Momos , the word always brings a smile on my face. 🙂 I spent some of my most happy childhood years in a small army station called Bengdubi near Siliguri in West Bengal North East of India. Of the various stations my dad was posted in, this place gave me some of my most beautiful memories. The Himalayan range was seen hanging in the sky like a painting from our home on the days when the skies were clear. This place and the life we had here was everything a child could ask for. I am just so deeply grateful for this experience I got in my life.
Being so close to the foot hills of hill stations like Darjelling , Kalimpong vising these hill stations was a monthly adventure for us. This is in the mid 90’s and the memories seem crisp and fresh even now. I feel I left a portion of my heart in the north east. I absolutely adore it. Speaking about North East , one food item most famous from there is Momo. 😀 It was unheard of in other parts of India uptil 2010 I think then in the last few years you could eat momo off a road cart in every big city of India. The soft folds of pasta with generous filling of finely chopped veggies dipped in some out of the world Garlicky chutney is a match made in heaven. I like the classic momo the most 🙂
Over the years obviously my eyes opened to the various versions of this dish over the world – Italian dumplings , Chinese pot stickers , Japanese dim sums .. they are endless and every country has something like this. Frankly I am amazed by all of them and the art of making them. Its my deep desire to make beautiful pretty dumplings. But the problem arises I am stepping away from gluten. I have make peace with my creative desire and decided Ill learn to make them perfectly no matter what. Once in a while indulge in them to re-live the happiness.
Being exposed to momo’s in the 90’s they were a hit in my family. Mom used to make lip smacking momo’s even when we shifted out of north east. Somedays momo’s were our dinner. She started making them whole wheat at that point. My challenge with this recipe was to make them gluten free and vegan. A lot of gluten free dumplings rely on use of egg. I proudly managed to make it the way I wanted and I used only Ragi Flour/ Finger millet flour instead.
I know these look like extra large momo’s made for another world 😀 they also remind me of big crawling snails from the north east 😀 . But I wanted to commend myself for making the effort and getting a wholesome meal ready. It took me down the memory lane of my childhood. Dough made with just Ragi is not very malleable. It can be rolled into a roti at a warm temperature but cannot be maneuvered into little tiny cute folds a dumpling requires. Due to lack of gluten they don’t eve stick well when folded. Perhaps in my next attempt ill make them smaller and cuter. The purpose of my blog here is to share my adventure, my beautiful memories and perhaps send you on your own creative spin to try new things. 🙂
Along with this recipe you will also get to learn how to make a ragi roti ! Isn’t that awesome 😀 . It is something I got comfortable with only in past year. My filling inside momo is the classic cabbage , carrot , spring onions and beans. I paired it with a simple pudina chutney. In my next dumpling post I will share mom’s garlic chutney for momos.
2 Cups of very finely shopped Vegatables
like green cabbage, carrot , beans and spring onions
1 inch piece of Ginger Grated
5 cloves garlic minced
1 Tbs Coconut Oil(any oil of your choice)
- Heat a tablespoon of oil in a vessel. Add finely chopped ginger and garlic and saute for a minute.
- Add Spring onions and saute for 2-3 minutes
- Add rest of the vegetables and saute at medium flame for 5-8 minutes. The vegetables start wilting but still have crunch to them.
- Turn off the heat and season the vegetables with salt and pepper.
Making Ragi Dough and Momos’s
1 Cup Ragi Flour
1 Cup water
1 tsp Oil
- Bring Water to a boil. Add salt and few drops of oil in it and switch it off.
- Immediately add the ragi flour to it. Using a wooden spoon or back of a ladle quickly mix it through the boiled water till its combined to form a dough like this.
- Take out the dough into another vessel to knead it. With slightly greased hands knead the dough into a soft ball. Cover and keep for 5-10 minutes.
- At this stage dough is ready for rolling. It almost rolls easily like a normal wheat roti. The thickness to which you can roll will depend on your skill. It gets better with practice.
- Cut the rolled roti with a circular frame to get the outer covering of your momo.
- It is good to work with this dough while it is warm so finish making all the rotis.
- Fill each circle with the filling giving enough space to maneuver the dough. Again the dough maneuvers best when its warm so make all the dumplings and then cook them.
- Lightly moisten the ends of the circle and seal it. Your could get more creative with the way you seal it.
- Heat water in a steamer , grease the surface of the steamer stand slightly. Once steam starts coming place few momo’s at a time and steam for about 10-12 minutes.(you could also use an idli stand)
- Once the mom is ready its surface looks glossy and shiny. Gently remove the momos onto a plate and serve with your favorite chutney.
You can refer to this video to make the ragi rotis –
God bless these ladies who have shared so much valuable knowledge on youtube.
Hope you enjoyed reading this. Be back with another exciting recipe 🙂