FOR THE FILLING:
2 lbs. ground chicken
1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped
2 bunches spring onion, finely chopped
1 bunch cilantro, finely chopped
1 Tbsp. ginger-garlic paste (available at Indian grocers)
1/2 Tbsp. ground cumin
1/2 Tbsp. ground coriander
salt, to taste
red chili powder, to taste
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1/4 cup warm water
FOR THE DIPPING SAUCE:
3 roma tomatoes, diced
5 garlic cloves
1/2 onion, diced
1 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 bunch cilantro, finely chopped
(optional) Thai chili peppers, to taste
FOR THE WRAPPERS:
~50 store-bought wonton wrappers (available at most grocery stores, in the refrigerated case near the tofu)
You'll Also Need:
a steamer, a blender
2. In the meantime, make the sauce:
a. Fry the diced onion and garlic together until the onion turns translucent.
c. Add the remaining dry spices. Saute for several minutes.
d. Add the tomatoes. Let it cook for 5 to10 minutes on medium.
f. Add the teaspoon of sesame oil.
Makes about 50 momos.
The AHH Factor: Momo making was going great. Even though it was the first time I'd ever made momos, the Nepalese-Tibetan dumplings that Nick loves (and his whole family is experts at making), I was confident. I'd seen momos made before and gotten a fool-proof recipe from Nick's cousin Rubina (that's her recipe above, with some slight tweaks based on what I had on hand). Nick was even helping me fill and fold the wonton wrappers. It brought back fond childhood memories, I think.
His mom (AKA my new mother-in-law) was in Los Angeles on vacation. Nick suggested I impress her by making a Nepalese dish, and, since we'd gotten an awesome steamer as a wedding gift, momos were the obvious choice. And Rubina, who lives in Denver, was being amazingly helpful with all of my dumb questions, including ones I was sending her via text message while I was mid-prep.
So, what could possibly go wrong?
As I'm trying to be witty around my mother-in-law, brother-in-law, and my sister (who was in town from Houston), my first brother-in-law (her husband), and keep an eye on my rambunctious 2-year-old nephew, Nick asks me a question. "Hey, are these momos done?" I steal a quick glance at the steamer, where the momos I'd set down about 5 minutes ago but hadn't yet steamed (the serving tray was full) were sitting. "No," I replied, "but I'll go ahead and steam them now." Nick gets a weird look on his face. "Uh, cause I just ate one."
AHH. Apparently, I should have been watching 29-year-old Nick, NOT 2-year-old Sanjay. Holy crap. I had no idea what to do. Make Nick throw it up? But he'd already eaten a bunch of other appetizers, so that seemed even grosser than what the uncooked dumpling could be doing to his insides. Plus, oh my god, his mother was standing just in the other room and if she found out what was going on, she was going to be so appalled that I can't even steam a freakin' momo properly. My head was just spinning. Nick, despite the fact that he/we may have just given himself food poisoning, was the calm one. He ushered me out of the kitchen and assured me he'd be fine.
We both managed to eat the rest of the meal. Nick, ever the sweet tooth, even ate several desserts, apparently already over the food scare. I, however, ever the worrier, researched all the foodborne illnesses I could think of over the next few days. But at the time I'm writing this two months have passed, and I am happy to say that no momos have been thrown up, purposely or otherwise.
Next time I make these I am kicking Nick out of the kitchen. Oh yeah, and according to his mother's (only!) critique, adding more salt.
Get more saagAHH on Facebook: www.facebook.com/saagahh.