Vegetarian Dim Sum

Momos are a popular street food in northern parts of India. These are also known as Dim Sum and are basically dumplings made from flour with a savory stuffing. Learn to make these popular Tibetan recipe of easy vegetable momos from scratch with two folding techniques. The recipe is vegan.

About this Recipe

  1. What are Momos? As I have mentioned above, momos are dumplings made with flour and a savory stuffing. This stuffing can be made with veggies, sea-food, chicken or paneer (cottage cheese) .
  2. Method of cooking: Momos can be steamed, baked or deep-fried. We prefer steamed momos over the fried ones. This recipe is for making steamed momos.
  3. Savory stuffing: This momo recipe has a stuffing of mix veggies. The veggies I prefer to add are a mix of cabbage, carrots, french beans, capsicum and onions.
    Sometimes I also add white button mushrooms for a meaty texture and they also give a nice umami flavor.
  4. Dough: The dough for the dumplings is made with all-purpose flour. But you can even make the dough with whole wheat flour.
  5. Taste: In this recipe, the savory veggie filling has a balanced taste and is lightly spiced, so that it accompanies any spicy and hot sauce very well.
  6. Time intensive: Making momos or dim sum takes quite a good amount of time. So when you have enough time to spare, then make them. If you have a helping hand, then the time will reduce. But if you do everything on your own, it takes about 1.5 to 2 hrs, depending on your working speed and the gadgets you have in your kitchen.
  7. Shaping: The shaping of the momos come through practice and I do shape them decently. In the step-by-step photo guide below, I have shared two ways of shaping momos. Choose the shaping method that is easy for you.
  8. A Video made for you: You can also check the video showing the entire process of making veg momos from scratch. See the video in the recipe card, if you cannot understand the shaping part from the step by step photos below.

Serving Momos

We love steaming hot momos with a spicy sauce. I make these on days when we crave for some southeast asian food.

I have had one of the best dim sum in the Mainland China Restaurant decades back. That time I did not know that dim sum would become a popular street food in the northern parts of India.

Some years back when we lived in Gurgaon, I was amazed to see dim sum as a street food snack in many places.

When living in Goa, there was a restaurant just a few kilometers from our place and specialized only in momos with different kinds of stuffings. The owner’s wife was a Tibetan and she and her staff would prepare the dumplings

The sauce they used to serve with the momos was a spicy, hot sauce and so good. I even had these steamed dumplings with a very spicy sauce in Dharamsala, India.

The momos are not spicy but the sauce that is served with these is spicy. I have a really good recipe for a spicy momos sauce which we call Momos Chutney. You can try this spicy sauce when you make these steamed dumplings.

You can even serve these with schezwan sauce or sriracha sauce or hoisin sauce or red chili garlic sauce.

How to make momos or dim sum

For ease of understanding, I have divided this post into 4 main parts.

  • Step 1 – Making the dough
  • Step 2 – Making veggie stuffing
  • Step 3 – Shaping momos
  • Step 4 – Steaming veg momos

Let’s begin with Step 1 – Making the dough

1. Take 1 cup all-purpose flour, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon oil in a bowl. Mix well with a spoon.

2. Add 2 to 3 tablespoon water in parts and begin to knead to a firm dough. Do not make the dough soft as then it becomes difficult to shape the dumplings. If required you can add 1 to 2 tablespoons more water.

3. Cover the dough with a moist napkin or kitchen towel. Let the dough rest for 30 minutes.

Step 2 – Making veggie stuffing

4. Finely chop the vegetables. You will need 1.5 to 1.75 cups of finely chopped veggies. You can also use a food processor to finely chop vegetables like cabbage, carrots, french beans.

Veggies like capsicum (green bell pepper), button mushrooms, and spring onions (scallions) can be chopped with a knife.

5. Heat oil in a thick bottomed frying pan or wok. Add ½ teaspoon finely chopped garlic. Sauté for 2 to 3 seconds on medium-low heat.

6. Add spring onion whites (2 small spring-onions which have been chopped finely) . Stir and sauté for 10 to 15 seconds on medium-low heat.

7. Add all the finely chopped vegetables.

8. Increase the flame and stir fry the vegetables on a medium to high heat. If you have not used a thick bottomed pan, then sauté the veggies on a low to medium heat. Sauté or stir fry for 2 to 3 minutes. Then add 1 teaspoon soy sauce, ½ teaspoon black pepper and salt as per taste.

9. Continue to stir fry on a medium to high flame for 2 to 3 minutes more. Switch off the heat and add 1 to 2 tbsp of the spring onions greens. Mix well. Check the taste and add more salt, pepper or soy sauce, if needed.

10. The vegetable stuffing is ready. Let the stuffing cool completely.

Step 2 – Shaping momos, 1st method

11. Divide the dough in two parts.

12. Make a 7 to 8 inches log from each part. cut the log into equal slices.

13. Shape into a ball of each dough piece and keep them covered with a moist napkin.

14. Take each dough ball and on a lightly dusted board. Roll each dough ball into a thin circle of about 3 to 4 inches diameter.

15. The edges have to be thin and the center has to be thick.

16. Apply water with your finger tip or with a small pastry brush towards the circumference. This is an optional step.

17. Place 2 to 3 teaspoons of vegetable stuffing in the center.

18. Lift one side of the edge and start pleating. (You can also refer to the video above or in the recipe card below to see how the pleating is done).

19. Begin to pleat the momos.

20. Join all the pleats in the center.

21. A pleated and shaped dim sum.

Step 2 – Shaping momos, 2nd method

22. Another simple technique to shape momos – join the edges

23. This is an easy method. The momo is shaped like gujiya or karanji. You can stop here or can proceed to the next step.

24. Bring both the end together and join.

25. Prepare all momos this way and keep them covered under a moist napkin until you are ready to steam them.

Step 4 – Steaming veg momos

26. Grease a steamer pan with some oil.

27. Arrange them in the pan, keeping space between them.

28. Steam them in an electric cooker or a steamer pan. You can also use idli pan or pressure cooker to steam. Add 2 cups water in the pot or pan while steaming. (Check recipe notes in the recipe card below.)

29. Cover and steam for 5 to 6 minutes till the outer dough becomes transparent. Don’t overcook as then the outer dough, becomes dense and chewy. The steaming time may vary upon the thickness of momos’ cover.

When you touch the momo the dough should not feel sticky to you. This means they are done and the momos will have a transparent look.

30. Serve veg momos hot with momos chutney or red chili-garlic chutney, spicy schezwan sauce, or tomato sauce. They also go best with a spicy sauce and should be eaten hot.

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