Today, the traditional chicken momos recipe is one of the most popular Tibetan/Nepali dishes and an irreplaceable part of India’s rich street food scene. Momos are one of the rare dishes that you can eat for breakfast, lunch, snack, or dinner without feeling weird, heavy, or guilty. If you like Tibetan/Indian dishes and want to try to prepare something at home that will impress your friends or relatives, chicken momos are a great choice. They aren’t very easy to make and we’d probably rate the difficulty of our chicken momos recipe as ‘medium’ but this post will show you (in details) how to make chicken momos at home
But first things first…
What Are Chicken Momos?
Chicken momos are a dumpling-like snack that consists of a thin wrap and a delicious filling. Momos can be divided according to the filling ingredients to veg momos, beef momos, pork momos, chicken momos, cheese momos, mushroom momos, and nowadays, even sweet momos but the original momos recipe originates from the Tibetan region from where it spread to Nepal, Bhutan, India, and the rest of the world.
Let’s make it clear, making momos is an art and every family in the regions I mentioned has a slightly different way of making them. And that’s the beauty of it; you can always modify your chicken momos recipe according to your preferences.
History of Momos
Even though its origin isn’t 100% clear, momos probably originated somewhere in the Tibetan plateau around the 14th century. The golden era of the Tibetan kingdom was long gone but parts of Tibet had certain autonomy that allowed local trade to flourish. A lot of Tibetan merchants increased the trade with India and Nepal and this is probably how momos reached the Indian subcontinent.
To fit the needs of India’s dominantly vegetarian popultions, veg momos became a thing, and even though beef and pork momos were a lot more popular in Tibet, chicken momos thrived in Nepal and India (where most non-vegetarian people consume only chicken). From there, momos just kept getting more and more popular and people would find ways to adjust them to the local standards and ingredients.
That’s why today, there are a lot of…
As we mentioned, momos can be divided based on their filling but they can also be divided according to the preparation method. Hence, we have the traditional method of preparing momos- steaming but you can also find varieties, such as deep-fried momos, grilled momos, and baked or tandoori momos. In addition to this, it can be argued that a lot of regional dumplings, especially in Central Asia (such as manti, khinkhali, etc.) but also everywhere else where you can find Tibetan diaspora, originated from momos.
Serving Chicken Momos
Traditionally, the chicken momos recipe culminates by serving alongside some delicious chutney or a warm plate of thukpa soup. The chutney can be green or red, depending mostly on the color of the chilies used for preparing the dip. Please note that if you plan to prepare a traditional chutney, it will be quite spicy, so be conservative when using the spices if you’re not used to hot food.
This is the traditional way of serving momos but the beauty of this popular snack is in its versatility. Momos can also be eaten alongside other stews or combined with other Indian street food snacks like honey chili potato, ghugni chaat, or aloo chaat.
How To Shape Chicken Momos?
The hardest part of the traditional chicken momos recipe is shaping the dumplings. The two basic ways to shape momos are in circles and in half-moon shape. Whatever you choose, you have to start by dividing the dough into two pieces and rolling out a big, this sheet of dough. From here, you cut out large circles and start rolling them. They should be as thin as possible but not so thin that they’ll be transparent.
After that, add the dough circle in your non-dominant hand and add one spoon of the filling. Until here, the process is the same for both shapes and this is where the main difference lies.
For Circle-Shaped Momos
Start by pinching the edge of the dough together but make sure that the portion you pinch is small enough to fold between your thumb and forefinger. Keep stretching the dough around the edge as it forms a circle and merge it into a single spot. Make sure there are no holes in between (so that you don’t lose the juicy part of the momo) and you’re good to go.
For Half-Moon-Shaped Momos
Fold the circle dough into half in a way that the filling is completely covered by the dough. Press the two edges of the half circle together and close any open space that’s left in between. Pinch and fold around the edges to seal the dumpling until you reach the final shape. We recommend this approach for beginners. If you want to see more ways on how to shape momos, you can also check out this video.
A Few More Tips
If you want to make rolling the momos easier, use some rice powder for dusting.
If you use packaged minced chicken meat (you can also mince it yourself), use raw minced chicken rather than sautéed.
Tiny pieces of carrots really make the difference for the filling. Even though it’s not mandatory, I suggest you add it.
Don’t overcook the momos. Steaming shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes and anything more than this can make the filling dry and hard.
You can keep the momo chutney in the fridge for up to 3-4 days while if you choose thukpa soup, I suggest you don’t keep it in the fridge at all. If you still do, don’t keep the soup in the fridge for more than a day.
Can I Freeze Chicken Momos?
Short answer, yes, you can freeze momos, but let’s elaborate. You can roll the momos, keep them in the fridge overnight, and steam them the next day. Just make sure you use an air-tight container. If you want to store them for more than one day, keep them in the freezer. You can also keep the momos in a freezer for a few hours, and then add the frozen momos in a ziplock-freezer bag and store them for up to 4 weeks.
Important: Don’t cook, freeze, and reheat the momos. This will make the momos, dense, chewy, and hard which is exactly the opposite of what they should be.
A Few More Things You Need For This Recipe
For The Dough
- 2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
- 1 Tablespoon Oil
- 3/4 Cup Water
- 1 Teaspoon Salt
For The Filling
- 1 Cup Minced Chicken
- 1 Tablespoon Oil
- 5 Cloves Garlic (Chopped)
- 1/2 Capsicum (Chopped)
- 1/2 Spring Onion (Chopped)
- 1 Tablespoon Soya Sauce
- 2 Teaspoons Salt
- 1 Teaspoon Garlic
- 1 Teaspoon Chilli Powder
- 1/4 Carrot Shredded (optional)
1. Place all the dough ingredients in a bowl and mix.
2. Using water, knead a soft dough, and once done, cover it for 15-20 minutes.
3. Chop the garlic and other vegetables into very tiny pieces, preferably using a machine cutter.
4. Take the chicken and mix it using a machine cutter.
5. Mix the minced chicken together with the vegetables, add the soya sauce and all other spices, and mix everything well.
6. Make small balls from the dough and add one spoon of filling.
7. Pinch the dough and bring the edges together around the center as described in the section "How To Shape Chicken Momos").
8. Repeat the process until you have enough momos for the first batch.
9. Grease your steamer and add the first batch.
10. Steaming takes 10-15 minutes. In the meantime, you can repeat steps 1-10 for the second batch if necessary)
11. Serve with some hot chutney or thukpa soup and enjoy!
Serving Size:100 grams
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 325Total Fat: 12.91gSaturated Fat: 1.5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3.2gCholesterol: 88mgSodium: 114mgCarbohydrates: 10.94gNet Carbohydrates: 19.94gFiber: 1gSugar: 1.5gProtein: 25g
How did you like our chicken momos recipe? Did you ever taste this delicious treat? Did you try our recipe at home? Don’t forget to leave us a rating.
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