Discover Himalayan Food with Michael Palin


We are very excited about the travel series airing now on KCET, Himalaya with Michael Palin. Palin, a member of Monty Python, has been traveling the world in recent years, and this series captures his epic jaunt through India, Nepal and Tibet, where he meets interesting people, comes across astounding architecture, and of course, eats local food.

We've collected a few classic Himalayan recipes so viewers at home can travel along with him -- or their tastebuds can, at least! This first recipe comes from YoWangdu, a site celebrating Tibetan culture. Momos are Tibet's version of dumplings. Since they're a perfect snack food, serve them up while you're enjoying the show.

Beef or Vegetable Momos
Serves 4
For the dough:
3 cups of flour (all-purpose)
3/4 cup of water

For vegetable momo filling:
Chop all the following ingredients into very, very small pieces:
Two onions
Two inches fresh ginger
Two or three cloves of garlic
A bunch of cilantro
One pound of cabbage
One pound of tofu*
One quarter pound of dark brown mushrooms*
Two tablespoons of soy sauce
One teaspoon of chicken, beef or vegetable bouillon

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*don't use these if you are making meat momos

For meat momo filling, add:

One pound of ground beef: This beef replaces the mushrooms and tofu in the vegetable recipe.


Mix the flour and water very well by hand and keep adding water until you make a pretty smooth ball of dough. Then knead the dough very well until the dough is flexible. Now leave your dough in the pot with the lid on while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. You should not let the dough dry out, or it will be hard to work with.

For both kinds of momos, put all of the ingredients in a pot or big bowl, then add a teaspoon of bouillon and two tablespoons of soy sauce. Mix everything together very well.

To shape the dumplings, place the dough on a chopping board and use a rolling pin to roll it out quite thinly. It should not be so thin that you can see through it when you pick it up, nor should it be quite as thick as a floppy disk for a computer. After you have rolled out the dough, you will need to cut it into little circles for each momo. The easiest way to do this is turn a small cup or glass upside down to cut out circles a little smaller than the palm of your hand. Then you are ready to add the filling.

You begin by holding the flat circular dough in your left hand and putting a tablespoon of filling in the middle of the dough. Then you have to fold your circle of dough in half, covering over the filling. Now press together the two edges of the half circle so that there is no open edge in your half circle, and the filling is completely enclosed in the dough. You will now have the basic half-moon shape, and you can make your momo pretty by pinching and folding along the curved edge of the half circle. Start at one tip of the half-moon, and fold over a very small piece of dough, pinching it down. Continue folding and pinching from the starting point, moving along the edge until you reach the other tip of the half-moon.

Steam or fry, and serve immediately. A mix of soy sauce and Patak's Hot Lime Relish, Extra Hot, is recommended for dipping.

Many thanks to YoWangdu.com for the recipe.

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