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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Cooking Without Rules and Restrictions; Imagination Momos

This is a dish out of my whims. Isn’t it fun sometimes, to follow your imagination rather than cooking with rules and restrictions? I didn’t want to follow a particular cuisine, neither did I have a recipe in mind, but I was craving something yummy, something like may be pasta or momos, or shawarma. I was confused for an hour and all I knew was that I have some chicken leftover and a lot of tomatoes. Twisting and turning, playing between ingredients and dishes, I finally came up with these Imagination Momos. They do not follow the exact momo recipe, but I worked with what I had in mind and it turned out, well, spicy and yummy! I feel like a street vendor today, imagination wise, this is surely not fine dining stuff, but definitely something you will enjoy!


For the Stuffing

Chicken 1 large breast piece (You can use roasted chicken leftovers)
Cocktail Sausages, Pork 6
Black Pepper, freshly ground ½ teaspoon
Coriander Leaves a handful
Salt to taste

For the Dough

Refined Flour 1 cup
Egg 1
Salt a pinch

For the Sauce

Onion, peeled 1 small
Red Pepper, with the seeds removed 1 small
Garlic, peeled 6 cloves
Ginger, peeled 1 inch
Tomatoes 3, medium
Sesame Oil 1 tablespoon (You can use olive oil, vegetable oil in its place)


For the Stuffing

In a deep pan, fill in inch deep water. Add in the chicken breast and cook for five minutes on medium heat until the chicken is completely cooked. When you cut it in the thick part, it should be white inside, not pink. Remove the chicken and keep it aside.

Refill 1 cup water in the pan along with the leftover cooking liquor from the chicken. Add in the cocktail sausages and boil them for five to seven minutes. Save the cooking liquor, keep it aside.

In a grinder, add in the cooked chicken and the boiled pork sausages with black pepper, coriander leaves and some salt if necessary. Taste the cocktail sausages for salt, if they have some salt, do not add more salt to the mixture. You may cut chicken and the sausages into smaller pieces for easy grinding. Mince the mixture, the flavours should blend together. Let the mixture be coarse, for the meat texture to entertain your palate.
NOTE: Lime Oil is a fantastic addition to this mixture. On this occasion lime oil was unavailable to me, but you can add it in if you have it.

To Make the Dough

On a flat surface, take the refined flour and salt. Make a well in the centre and add one egg in it.
Mix in the egg with the dough with the help of your fingers. Bring the flour together and make a dough.
Knead the dough well. Cover it and keep it aside.
Do not prepare the dough before hand, the egg tends to dry out and makes the dough hard if rested out in the open.

To Make the Sauce

Make a cross incision at the base of the tomatoes, remove the eye and pop them in boiling water until there skins come out. Remove the skins, grind them into a fresh puree and keep them aside. OR USE CANNED PUREE, 200ml should be enough.
In a grinder, add in the peeled onion, the red pepper, garlic, ginger and a pinch of salt. Grind this mixture into a fine paste.
In a pan, heat oil and add in this mixture. Stir and cook on medium heat for three to four minutes. Add in the tomato puree and cook the mixture on medium heat for five to seven minutes, until it becomes a thick paste. Keep it aside.

To Make Imagination Momos

Divide the Dough into 24 equal pieces. Divide the stuffing into 24 equal portions.
Roll out each piece of the dough into a thin circle. It should be about 2 inches in diameter or half the size of your hand.
Place the stuffing in the centre of the dough. Fold the sides of the dough into the centre until all the sides are sealed together. Press it firmly together. Make twenty four pieces.
Heat the cooking liquor saved from the chicken and pork in a pan. Make batches and cook each batch in the simmering liquid for three to four minutes. Make sure there enough space in the pan for cooking each batch. The pieces tend to swell up and increase in size when cooked.
Remove the cooked pieces and keep them aside. Squeeze some lime juice on top of the imagination momos if you haven’t added lime oil in the stuffing.
These can be served alongside with the red sauce we made earlier or mixed up with the sauce and then served warm.

To Make a Soup with the Leftovers

Take some leftover stuffing and sauté it in a pan, add in some of the red sauce and stir. Now, add in one cup water along with the leftover cooking liquor. Mix a tablespoon of corn starch in two tablespoons of water and this in to the soup. Bring it to a boil and turn off the heat. Squeeze some lemon juice in it and add chopped coriander leaves on top. Serve hot.