Tasty Tibetan Recipes That’ll Leave You Licking Your Fingers

Momos are bite-sized dumplings hailing from Tibet. They are filled with minced meat, tofu, vegetables, or cheese and are conventionally steamed but can be baked, pan-fried, or deep-fried as well. Variations of this savory delicacy have been a part of several regions’ cuisines, including China, Northern Pakistan, Nepal, and even India. The traditional ones still remain the Steamed Momos (Dim Sum). First, prepare the dough by combining all-purpose flour with a teaspoon of salt and oil. Next, add a few tablespoons of water to the dough and knead it till it is firm and not sticky. Divide the dough into two parts and roll it with a rolling pin to form a log. Cut same-sized pieces out of the log and flatten them into a circle before placing them on parchment paper. The second step is preparing the vegetable or chicken stuffing. For the vegetable filling, finely chop and saute your combination of seasoned vegetables over medium heat. Finally, scoop a spoonful into the center of your dumpling wrapper and start pleating from one edge before pinching the top closed. Steam for 4 to 5 minutes or until the outer dough becomes transparent.

View of ladle on container with food fire in Tibetan's home, Tibet.

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Jhol Momos are steamed dumplings served in a soupy chutney (jhol). They contain a rich flavor of Indian spices as the chicken filling is seasoned with turmeric, curry powder, and coriander powder and sauteed alongside onions, minced garlic, and fresh herbs. The warm soup base is made by adding roasted tomatoes, Sichuan peppercorns, garlic, sesame seeds, red and green peppers, cumin, and fenugreek seeds to a saucepan with caramelized onions. Once everything is well combined, add a few tablespoons of water and puree with a blender. Tandoori Momos are one of the new variations of momos. They usually have a chicken filling and are doused in a spicy marinade before being charred over a grill. The marinade requires yogurt to be mixed with black pepper, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, red chill powder, salt, chickpea flour, and minced garlic. This bite-sized goodness is served with fresh coconut chutney or a mayo-centric white sauce to counter the spiciness.