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Tibetan Dumplings For A New Year

March 5 was the start of the Tibetan New Year 2138, the year of the Metal Rabbit, and Losar is Tibet's equivalent to our New Year's Day celebration.

Losar is one of the most important festivals in Tibet. In places such as the capital city of Lhasa, Losar celebrations last 15 days and are filled with family, food, friends, prayers, drinking, and dancing. This year in Bloomington, Indiana the occasion only lasted one day with less celebration because of the recent passing of local Tibetan Jigme Norbu, the nephew of His Holiness, the Dalai Lama.

At almost all Losar celebrations you will find momos, or steamed stuffed dumplings. You can literally stuff momos with anything: mushroom, cheese, and potato. Usually momos are made for many people, but this veggie momo recipe will serve about eight.

Vegetarian Tibetan Momos

Ingredients (Momo Dough):

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda

Ingredients (Momo Filling):

  • 1 large onion - sliced
  • 1/2 pound carrots - grated
  • 1 head of cabbage - shredded
  • 2 tablespoon oil
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt

(If you would rather have meat filling, use 2 lbs ground beef and 1 large shredded radish and 2 tablespoons of oil for filling.)

Method For Shaping Momo:

  1. Knead the dough until it becomes elastic.
  2. Flour your work surface well. Roll the dough under your palms to a long cylinder about one inch in diameter.
  3. Break off balls of dough, each about one inch in diameter. Roll into a ball, flatten into a small circle.
  4. Use floured rolling pin to enlarge the circle, working the edges so that the center stays a little thicker.
  5. Put about 1 tablespoon of filling into center of dough circle and shape. (Shaping the dough takes some practice but the main thing to remember is to make sure there are no holes or your momos will fall apart!)
  6. Fill up steamer and steam for 20 minutes. Both vegetable and meat momos take the same amount of time.

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