Meat Momos with Sweet Chilli Sauce

Momos. Does that need an introduction? These steamed dumplings stuffed with meat are great on their own and even better with some chilli sauce! I am sure every momo lover will have one favourite dim sum outlet to hang out and binge on momos. And neither does that stop us from trying momos from every Chinese restaurant we happened to go to... ahem...Chinese? or Tibetan? or Nepalese? or Japanese? I am sure by now most of you must have learnt that momos exist in most of the South-Asian countries with varied names and accompanying sauces. What I am sharing today is more of a Tibetan style. 

Meat Momos with Sweet Chilli Sauce

Honestly, I would have never tried my hands in making momos if there was at least one place in Yanbu that serves it. We have two Indo-Chinese restaurants and both don't serve momos aka dumplings. I am not sure why maybe it needs more employment? to roll, stuff and steam in large batches? When you watch some of the youtube videos of experts making momos at such speed, I am convinced that it comes with daily practice. Not like me, who in the three-plus years in Yanbu, made momos only thrice :-D Blame it on the workload.

I enjoy wrapping the momos but haven't acquired the speed. 

Like most of my food adventures, momos too was part of my Bangalore days. While I have tried it from several places, there is this one small hole-in-the-wall kinda restaurant that I enjoyed going back to. After a long tiring day from work, their one plate of momos is all I need for dinner and am a happy soul. They do have a takeaway option, but I always sat at a corner table and ate each momo mindfully. I bet there are very few like me in this case! 

Momo making can be a stress buster if you enjoy wrapping without the need to be perfect. If your partner can join in, then this is a superb bonding time. F helped me the first time, then I learnt I am better off making them alone if all he can do is place the momos in the steamer and swiftly make some momos disappear into thin air. This third time I strictly prohibited him from touching until after some decent photoshoot. 

Btw, did you know there is a misunderstanding of dim sum vs momos? Dim sum isn't momos or dumplings. Dim sum is what mezze is in the Middle East. It is a brunch or tea time experience where bite-sized food is served with tea. I now know why my favourite place was named Dim Sum. :-P If you are interested to read more about this topic, I recommend you read this article.

Meat Momos with Sweet Chilli Sauce

Momos can be filled with anything you prefer but take care the filling is not very watery. The dough can be made with wheat or all-purpose flour (maida). The wrapping can be done in so many different ways and what comes to you naturally. The idea is to seal the dumpling well so it doesn't open up while steaming and also to make it look pretty :-) 

What I learnt is, trying to replicate what the video or images show restricts your own thinking. I tried to follow the folding instructions for the first momo I made and got disappointed that it never looked like how it should... but now, who cares as far as you can make your own ways.. or the way your fingers know! :-D  Get creative and wrap the momos up! 

Meat Momos with Sweet Chilli Sauce

I used to make the dough with just flour, salt and water until I came across this recipe at The Garum Factory that uses garlic-infused water to make the dough! I had to try it! The chilli sauce is one thing I always struggled to get right to my taste but this is the only time I nailed it and thanks to Fun Food Frolic's recipe!

Meat Momos with Sweet Chilli Sauce Recipe

Yields: 25 momos


For the Dough:
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed and minced
  • Approx 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
For the Filling:
  • 1 cup ground beef /lamb/ chicken
  • 1 medium onion, diced finely
  • a handful of  chopped garlic chives or scallions
  • 2 to 3 garlic pods, minced finely
  • a fistful of chopped coriander leaves
  • 5 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 2 teaspoons sunflower oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
For the Sweet Chilli Sauce:
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 5 dried red chilli broken into 2 to 3 pieces
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 3 tablespoon sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 tablespoon cornflour with 1/2 tablespoon water
Oil to grease the steamer


Prepare the dough and while that is resting prepare the chilli sauce and then the filling. 

Prepare the dough:
  1. Add the minced garlic to a small bowl along with water and let it steep for 20 to 30 minutes.
  2. In another bowl, add the flour and make a well in the centre.  
  3. Strain the garlic-infused water through a sieve into the well in the flour. Use your fingers and make a circular motion to incorporate the water into the flour.
  4. Start to knead the dough until stiff and smooth, approx 5 to 8 minutes. Cover the dough and let rest for 30 minutes.
Prepare the Sweet Chilli Sauce: 
  1. Add the dried red chillies to the boiling water. Switch off and cover the pan and let the chillies soak for 10 minutes.
  2. Transfer the soaked chillies along with the water into a blender and add the sugar, garlic, salt, vinegar and blend. 
  3. Pour the sauce back into the pan and bring this to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and let it simmer.
  4. Meanwhile, mix cornflour with water and stir into the sauce. Keep stirring until the sauce thickens. 
  5. Turn off the heat and let it cool down completely. Serve with steamed or fried momos.
Prepare the filling: 
  1. Add all the filling ingredients into a bowl and give a good mix. Check the taste and adjust the flavours.
Prepare the Momos: 
  1. Divide the dough into equal-sized pieces. approx 25. 
  2. Take a dough ball and dust with flour and flatten it slightly. Use a rolling pin (small), roll the dough balls into 2-inch rounds, making sure not to put pressure in the middle. Ensure to put pressure on the edges as we want the edges to be thinner than the centre. Roll enough dough balls your steamer can hold and stack them with flour or spread them on a large plate but ensure to keep them covered all time. 
  3. Place a tablespoon of filling in the centre of rolled dough rounds and seal the dumplings with your choice of method. 
    1. Pinch to close one end of the momo and start to pleat
      1. You can pleat one side and stick the pleat to the other edge as you go
      2. OR, pleat on both the edges and stick as you go until the end (leaf-like momo)
  4. Grease the steamer with oil to prevent the momos from sticking. Ensure to add enough water to the steamer and bring it to a full boil before placing the momos. 
  5. Place enough momos in the steamer without touching each other and steam for 15-20 minutes. Serve hot with sweet chilli sauce and some black tea.
Meat Momos with Sweet Chilli Sauce

I have tried to explain the folding method so you have an idea. There are many versions of chilli sauce for Momos out there, but I like this one as it uses less dried red chillies that are my prized possession. :-)

tips to make momos:

  • Add cabbage when making veg momos, as it releases moisture while steaming making it juicy when done
  • If you are used to washing the minced meat, then ensure it is drained well before you make the filling. 
  • Make one momo and taste it and then adjust the seasoning if required before wrapping the rest. 
  • Keep them covered all the time before and after steaming to retain the softness. Steam again to make it warm if serving later. 
I had started drafting this post when Ragee was there but never got to finish this due to other priorities. Just a few days ago I remembered that my blog will be completing three years! WOW! So planned to publish this post today which I believe sums up why I blog. :-)  how this city pushes me to try new and old dishes and share my good and bad experiences with some laughter! I think. 

I don't want to share the blog stats and blow your socks off :-P

But you can share your love by tagging me on your momo adventures! or anything that this blog has inspired you to do!  

Check out all my blog anniversary posts

TRIED THIS RECIPE? I would love to hear from you. If you have made this recipe then please do leave a comment below. If you like this recipe then please do share the recipe with your friends and family. Please do follow me on Instagram and mention @butfirstchaai or tag #butfirstchaai so that I can see your creations!