Recipe of the week
Momos: A Nepalese specialty that every family should know
“I love momos because making them brings everyone together,” says Binita Pradhan in We Are La Cocina: Recipes in Pursuit of the American Dream (Chronicle Books). When I was a girl growing up in Nepal, my family members would all sit around the dining room and kitchen, and each person had a momo job—kneading the dough, grinding spices, stuffing the dumplings. Momos are traditionally made with goat meat and from-scratch dough, but the signature momos at my San Francisco restaurant, Bini’s Kitchen, are made with ground turkey and pre-made wrappers. Asafetida, a powdered herb used in the sauce, can be found in Indian markets.
Momos (Nepalese dumplings)
1 tsp each ground bay leaves, cumin, and coriander
¼ tsp each ground green and black cardamom seeds
⅛ tsp each ground nutmeg and cinnamon
12 oz ground turkey, preferably thigh meat
½ cup minced onion
¼ cup finely chopped cilantro
1½ tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp peeled, minced fresh ginger
1 tsp kosher salt
1 package Nasoya (or any brand) round dumpling wrappers
Preheat oven to 200. Fill a small bowl with water and lightly grease a baking sheet. Combine spices. In a large bowl, combine spice mixture with other filling ingredients, using a wooden spoon.
Place a heaping teaspoon of filling in the center of each wrapper. Dip your fingertips in water, and use a wet finger to moisten the wrapper edges. Place a wrapper in the cupped palm of your hand. Gather wrapper’s edges together, pinching dough to form pleats and turning the wrapper as you work. Twist the gathered pleats to seal end. Place momos on the baking sheet as you go.
Fill a large pot with 1 inch of water and bring to boil over medium-high heat. Lightly grease a steamer basket or colander that fits inside the pot. Put momos in it, leaving an inch of space between them. Lower basket into pot, cover, and steam until turkey is cooked through (test one by piercing with a knife point), about 10 minutes. Transfer momos from steamer to a heatproof platter. Keep warm in a preheated oven. Repeat with remaining momos. Makes about 30. Serve them warm, drizzled with golveda ko achar, a tomato cilantro sauce.
Golveda ko achar
1 lb plum tomatoes (about 13)
4 to 6 garlic cloves, peeled
½ cup finely chopped cilantro leaves
¾ tsp ground Szechuan peppercorns
⅛ tsp asafetida
2 tbsp olive or vegetable oil
Kosher salt (optional)
Place a seasoned cast-iron skillet or griddle pan over high heat. Add tomatoes and roast, turning frequently, until softened and blistered on all sides, about 6 minutes. Combine blistered tomatoes, garlic, cilantro, Szechuan pepper, and asafetida in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Puree until smooth. With motor running, slowly drizzle in oil. Sauce should be bright orange. Taste and add salt, if needed. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 3 days. ■