Holi festivities mark the beginning of New Year to many Hindus, as well as a justification to reset and renew ruptured relationships.
I first ate a momo when a Nepalese lady was helping me at home with my first baby six years ago. She did lots of chopping, then 10 minutes later, she had made her little momos. I am dumpling-obsessed, so have dreamt of homemade momos ever since. They were brought to India by Tibetan and Nepalese people and, every time I go to Kolkata, I am tempted by the momo street vendors and the many restaurants catering to dumpling lovers. Making them is not as hard as you might think, although your first momo will probably look quite different to your last!
The chutney served with this is really spicy; below is my version, but feel free to experiment.
Steamed Momos Makes 15–16 dumplings.
For the dumplings 50g plain flour, plus more to dust A little vegetable oil
For the filling ½ onion, finely chopped 90g cabbage, finely grated, excess water squeezed out ½ small carrot, finely grated, excess water squeezed out Small handful of frozen peas, defrosted 3 tbsp finely chopped red pepper 3 green beans, finely sliced 9g root ginger, peeled weight, finely chopped 2 garlic cloves, peeled and grated 1½ tsp soft, unsalted butter ½ tsp salt, or to taste Good grinding of black pepper
Mix the flour with 2 tbsp of water and make a dough. Give it a good knead so it is smooth and soft, adding 1 tsp more water if needed. Halve the dough and roll each half into a long rope. Pinch off equal tiny portions, aiming to get seven or eight from each rope. Roll each into a smooth ball and cover with a damp tea towel.
Mix all the ingredients for the filling, taste and adjust the seasoning.
Place a steamer filled with water on the heat and oil the steamer basket. Taking one ball of dough at a time, use a little flour to roll out into a thin 6–7.5cm round. Place a generous teaspoonful of filling in the centre. Take the momo in your left hand (if right handed) and use your thumb and forefinger to enclose the filling by gathering the edges of the dough and pleating them together. Either way, make sure the filling stays well away from the edges. Place on the oiled rack, seam side up.
Once they are all done, place in the steamer, close the lid and steam for 12–14 minutes, or until the dough is no longer sticky, then serve.
Chilli, Ginger and Tomato Chutney Makes enough to go with the momos.
Heat 1 tbsp of vegetable oil in a small saucepan. Add 3 peeled garlic cloves, 18g of root ginger, peeled weight, and 2–3 green chillies, all roughly chopped, and sauté until the garlic begins to colour. Add 2 large tomatoes, roughly chopped, and salt, cover and cook down until the moisture has evaporated and the tomatoes are darkening. Add some boiled water and blend together (it doesn’t have to be too fine). Add 1 tsp of finely chopped ginger and 1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves. Taste, adjust the seasoning and add more finely diced green chilli, if you like. It should be loose but not watery, quite hot and gingery and slightly salty, as the dumplings are quite simple.
The Holi Festival is celebrated in Sydney through a range of events from March 21-23 details here.