Crispy pan-fried mushroom momos

Crispy pan-fried mushroom momos

By
From
I Love India
Makes
18 medium-large momos
Photographer
Martin Poole

My husband’s family are vegetarian and many of them are quite particular, so they wouldn’t eat a vegetarian dumpling in most places as they are normally stacked and steamed on top of meatier ones. In Calcutta, restaurants know their customers and they have separate steamers for vegetarian and nonvegetarian dumplings. So when we go to momo houses there, the family happily ask for the vegetarian menu and go to town on a large variety of vegetarian options. I love a vegetable-based dumpling but I do sometimes miss the umami and meatiness of the original ones so I came up with the mushroom version. They are full of that savoury flavour that most vegetables lack. These are normally steamed, but I love them pan-fried, which gives them more texture and flavour.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient

For the filling

Quantity Ingredient
21/2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus 1½ tablespoons for frying
1 small-medium red onion, finely chopped
salt
15g finely grated root ginger, (peeled weight)
6 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
550g finely chopped chestnut mushrooms
2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
3 teaspoons white or red wine vinegar
1 rounded teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
11/2 good teaspoons cornflour, mixed into a slurry with 50ml water
2 small spring onions, chopped
small fistful freshly chopped coriander
4 tablespoons finely chopped green pepper
Spicy charred tomato chutney, to serve

For the dough

Quantity Ingredient
100g plain flour, plus more to dust
good pinch salt
5 tablespoons cold water, plus more to seal

Method

  1. For the filling, heat the oil in a medium non-stick saucepan. Add the onion and some salt and fry until the onion is soft and colouring. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for 40–50 seconds or until the garlic is cooked through. Add the mushrooms and soy sauce and cook until the mushrooms release water and then it dries up. Add the vinegar, black pepper and cornflour slurry and cook for 3–4 minutes or until there is no more moisture and the cornflour is cooked. Cool and stir in the spring onion, pepper and coriander. Adjust the seasoning.
  2. For the dough, mix the flour and salt in a large bowl and add the water slowly, mixing well to create a medium-stiff dough. Knead well and add a little more water if the dough splits. Cover with a damp dish towel, or wrap in cling film, and let rest for 20 minutes.
  3. Take out the dough and knead well again. Roll it into 3 long sausages and cut each into 6 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, covering the remainder each time to prevent them from drying out. Roll each ball out, on a floured surface, into a 6–7.5cm circle.
  4. To make the momos, place 1½ tsp of the filling into the centre of each skin. I hold the momo in my left hand with my thumb on the stuffing. With my right hand I seal the tops together, folding a little as I go. My thumb from the left hand presses the filling down to make sure there is none in the sealed edges. Basically, you need to enclose the filling in the dough without any tears; you can do it any way which feels easy.
  5. At this stage you can freeze them or cook them straight way. Heat the oil for frying in a large non-stick frying pan that can hold all the momos (work in batches if necessary). Once the oil is hot, add the dumplings, pleat side up, turn the heat down to medium and cook for 2–3 minutes or until golden and crisp on the bottom. Add 100ml water from a just-boiled kettle and once steaming, cover and cook for 4 minutes. Uncover and cook on a high heat until the water evaporates, the momos crisp up on the bottom again and the upper edges are cooked through. Serve immediately with Spicy Charred Tomato Chutney.
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