Dalai Lama’s Momos

Momos, or steamed dumplings, are a traditional Tibetan favorite. The following recipe is attributed to Tenzin Gyatso, His Holiness, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama.

For the Filling:

1 pound potatoes
3 tablespoons olive oil
6 onions, chopped
12 ounces mushrooms, chopped
12 ounces small-cubed Tofu
1 bunch of fresh coriander, chopped
Red pepper powder and s
alt to taste


For the Dough:

1 pound plain flour
About 2 cups water

For the Soup:momo

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped,
2 tomatoes, skinned and chopped
1 tablespoon chopped coriander
2 cups of vegetable stock

To make the filling, boil and mash the potatoes. Leave to cool. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan and cook the onions for 5 minutes until soft. Add the mushrooms, cover, and cook for 5 minutes or until soft. Leave to cool. When all the vegetables are cooled, mix with the Tofu, chopped coriander, salt, and any variety of  powdered peppers to taste.

Mix the flour with enough water to form a smooth dough. Roll out the dough, but not too thinly. Cut into rounds with a 2″ pastry cutter. Taking each round, press the edges with your thumb and first two fingers, working around the circle.* On one side of the round, place a tablespoonful of the cooled vegetable mixture, then fold over and press the edges together, making sure they are well sealed. Alternatively, hold the round in one hand, and with your thumb and forefinger gather the edges into a pleat at the top and seal.

Fill a small steamer with water, first boiling the rack so the dumplings do not stick.** Bring the water to a boil. Place the Momos on the steamer rack, spacing them well apart as they will expand and stick together if they are too close. Steam for 20 minutes, or until they are firm and glossy.

To make the soup, heat the olive oil in a saucepan, add the onion, and cook until soft. Next. add the tomatoes and chopped coriander and cook for 5 minutes. Now add 2 cups of vegetable stock, bring to a boil, and simmer for 10 minutes. Serve in small bowls as an accompaniment to the dumplings.

**It is suggested that you briefly knead the dough until it is smooth. Doing this makes the edges a little thinner than the center so that when you fold the edges together and pleat them, they’re not too thick and your Momos will cook evenly.

** Momos can also be fried on each side until golden brown.

*** In addition to the soup, you might want to try a simple Kathmandu-style Momo-dipping mixture of soy sauce, a little rice vinegar, and chili-garlic sauce.