Skip to Content

Recipe for Nepalese dumplings: momos

Recipe for Nepalese dumplings: momos

Momos are Nepalese steamed dumplings also popular in Tibet.

They are served with a spicy, tasty sauce for dipping.  They can be vegetarian or meat based.

This is the recipe for vegetarian momos and the dipping sauce, which we learnt from the Nepalese Cooking School in Kathmandu.

This recipe uses Momo Masala sauce.  This is a powder comprising a mix of coriander chillies, cardamom, fenugreek, cassia, turmeric cloves, cumin, dried ginger, cinnamon, mace, garlic and black pepper.

Ingredients for momos

  • 1 cabbage
  • 1 raddish
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 potato
  • 500g of wheat flour
  • water (1-2 litres as needed to get the dough consistency right)
  • 2 teaspoons of turmeric powder
  • salt
  • vegetable oil for cooking
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin seed
  • a steamer to steam the momos
  • 2 tablespoons of Momo Masala sauce (if you have it):
Momo Masala sauce

Momo Masala sauce

How to make vegetarian momos

1. Grate all the vegetables (cabbage, raddish, potato and carrot) for the momo filling and squeeze out all the juice.  Put the vegetables in a separate bowl to use later.

2. Make a dough by mixing the wheat flour and water.  This is the tricky part as you want to get a dough which is not too sticky (add more flour if it sticks) but being very subtle with the amount of water you add.  Add the water to the flour very slowly, kneading it in thoroughly.  The test for the dough is that when you touch it it springs back and does not stick to your finger.

The dough should look something like this:

Sebastien and the momo dough

Sebastien demonstrating what the momo dough should look like3.Once the dough is made, knead in 2 teaspoons of salt and  let it rest for around 30 minutes, covered under a tea towel.

3. And add required amount of salt and 2 tablespoons of momo masala sauce.

4. Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a frying pan and fry a teaspoon of cumin seeds for a few minutes:

5. Add 2 teaspoons of turmeric powder then remove from the heat.

6. Add the oil, cumin seeds, turmeric powder mixture to the vegetables prepared earlier and mix it all together.

7. Retrieve the dough, add a pinch of flour and prepare a work top area to roll out the dough – flour the work top area.

8. Cut small chunks from the dough and roll them out into large circle and use a small shots glass or small drinking glass to make circular shapes:

Stefan rolling out the dough

Stefan rolling out the dough to make the momo dumplings

9. Separate these smaller circular shapes out and put half a teaspoon of filling into the centre.

10. Close the momos up by pressing each side together.  Doing this way will make ear shaped dumplings.  There are more elaborate ways to close the dough together, but for us amateurs, this simple way of closing them shut worked just fine!

11. Boil water at the bottom of a steamer and put oil in all sheets of the steamer so the momos will not stick to it.

12. Steam the momos for around 10-15 minutes.

Ingredients for Momos dipping sauce

  • 1 boiled tomato
  • 1 tablespoon of toasted sesame
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 6 seeds of Sichuan pepper
  • 1 small piece of ginger
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 chilli (use less to make it less spicy)
  • 2 tablespoons of hot water

How to make the Momos dipping sauce

1. In a grinder, mix the salt, chilli, ginger, garlic and Sichuan pepper seeds.

Sebastien demonstrating the grinder

Sebastien grinding the momo sauce ingredients together to make a delicious paste

2. Add the toasted sesame seeds and grind it to make a paste.

3. Add the boiled tomato and continue grinding the mixture.

4. When it’s all mixed together add 2 tablespoons of hot water and serve.

This post may contain affiliate links which means if you make a purchase through one of these links, we will receive a small commission. Read our disclosure for more info.
Learning to cook daal bhat
Nepalese Daal Bhat recipe
← Read Last Post
Nepalese "Kheer" rice pudding recipe
Read Next Post β†’

Sebastien is the co-founder, editor and author of He is a tech geek, a total travel nerd and a food enthusiast. He spends the majority of his time planning Nomadic Boys' travels meticulously right down to the minute details. Sebastien has travelled to over 80 countries with his partner in crime and the love of his life, Stefan. He regularly shares his expertise of what it’s like travelling as a gay couple both on Nomadic Boys and on prominent publications ranging from Pink News, Matador, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Guardian and many more. Originally from France, Sebastien moved to London in the early 2000s where he pursued a career as a computer programmer for Thompson Reuters and Bloomberg. He subsequently left it all to explore his passion for travelling around the world with Stefan to hand, and thus Nomadic Boys was born.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.