Sunday, November 14, 2010
Tibetan Momo - Served in a Home Away from Home
Momo in Fresh Tomato Curry
Tashi Palkhiel Refugee Settlement
Housing Area of Settlement
Young Monks Following Induction Ceremony
A Break in the School Day
Settlement Home for the Elderly
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...In Tibetan Buddhist tradition, it is expected that the second son of each family will enter the monastery and study to become a monk. I mention that because Bob and I had a tour guide who was the first son of one of the families who fled Tibet and formed the Tashi Palkhiel Refugee Camp in Pokhara, Nepal. That relationship led to one of the most beautiful and moving experiences of our trip. Good fortune put us in the refugee camp on a day when a new monk was entering the community and, thanks to the intervention of the second son, we were invited attend the ceremony. It was quite beautiful, replete with chanting that included the use of drums and the dungchen, or longhorn trumpet. Following the service we toured the camp to see how these folks had adjusted to their new environment. As might be expected, the young had no problems but their elders still clung to the hope of returning to a free Tibet. The community is remarkably cohesive and remains distinctly Tibetan despite living in the heart of Nepal.
I was curious to see how their diet differed from that of the Nepalese or Indian people. In truth, if the foods I sampled were typical, they are very similar. Tibetan food used Szechwan pepper to provide heat rather than the cayenne or red pepper that's used in India or Nepal and, while it is no where near as refined as the best of Indian cooking, the ingredients used are basically the same and similar dishes are produced. I sampled a soupy stew, dumplings, a bread and two desserts. I can't claim to be an expert based on that, but from that list I picked the dish I think you'll most enjoy. The recipe is for dumplings. Dumplings are a lot of work and it would help to have someone working with you should you decide to make them. The recipe is straight forward and if you are a dumpling lover you might want to give it a try. Here's the recipe.
Tibetan Momo...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite
Dough for wrappers:
5 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon oil
1 cup water or as required
Pinch of salt
1 lb. ground lamb
1 lb. ground pork
1 cup onion, finely chopped
1 cup Napa cabbage, finely chopped
1 cup mushroom, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
1/2 teaspoon Szechwan pepper
2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons cooking oil
Salt and Pepper
1) For stuffing mixture, combine all filling ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Mix well, adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour to allow all ingredients to meld.
2) In a large bowl combine flour, oil, salt and water. Mix well, knead until dough becomes homogeneous in texture, about 10 minutes. Cover and let stand for at least 15 min. Knead well again before making wrappers. Prepare 1-in. diameter dough balls. It is recommended to work with a dozen or so balls at a time to prevent drying. Take a dough ball, roll between your palms to spherical shape. Dust working board with dry flour. On board gently flatten ball with your palm. Then roll out into 3-in diameter wrapper. Repeat with remaining dough balls. Cover with bowl to prevent from drying.
3) For packing hold wrapper on one palm, put one tablespoon of filling mixture and with other hand bring all edges together to center, while making pleats. Pinch and twist pleats to ensure absolute closure of stuffed dumpling.
4) Oil a steamer rack. Bring water in steamer to a boil. Place uncooked dumplings in steamer, leaving some space between them. Cover steamer and cook until dumplings are cooked through, about 10 to 15 minutes.Remove dumplings from steamer and serve warm with a sauce of your choosing. In Tibet momos are served with a sour pickle called achar.
You might also enjoy these recipes:
Indian Dumpling Basics - Asian Dumpling Tips
Chinese Dumpling Recipes - Asian Dumpling Tips
Nepalese Dumplings - World Recipes
Tibetan Food - Yowangdu
The Dali Lama's Momos - Palachinka
Nepaese Vegetable and Cheese Dumplings - The Global Gourmet