Nepali Ricotta Cheese Dumplings
Dough for wrappers:
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 cup water or as required
- Pinch of salt
- 1 cup ricotta cheese, drained and crushed
- 1 cup paneer cheese or cottage cheese, drained and crushed
- 1/2 spinach, slightly blanched in salted water and finely chopped
- 1/2 cup red bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup mushroom, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup scallions, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, finely minced
- 3 mild green chilies, finely minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon timur (Szechwan pepper)
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, grated
- 1 tablespoon toasted cumin seeds, roughly crushed
- 1 teaspoon hot chili powder (optional)
- 4 tablespoons melted butter
- Salt and Pepper
For stuffing mixture, combine all filling ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Mix well, adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour to allow all ingredients to impart their unique flavors. This also improves the consistency of the filling.
In a large bowl combine flour, oil, salt and water. Mix well, knead until the dough becomes homogeneous in texture, about 10 minutes. Cover and let stand for at least 15 min. Knead well again before making wrappers. Prepare 1-in. diameter dough balls. It is recommended to work with a dozen or so balls at a time to prevent from drying. Take a dough ball, roll between your palms to spherical shape. Dust working board with dry flour. On the board gently flatten the ball with your palm. Then roll out into 3-in diameter wrapper. Repeat with the remaining dough balls. Cover with bowl to prevent from drying.
For packing hold wrapper on one palm, put one tablespoon of filling mixture and with the other hand bring all edges together to the center, while making pleats. Pinch and twist the pleats to ensure the absolute closure of the stuffed dumpling.
Heat up a steamer, oil the steamer rack well. This is critical because it will prevent dumplings from sticking. Arrange uncooked MOMOs in the steamer with some space left between the dumplings. Close the lid, and allow steaming until the dumplings are cooked through, about 10 min. Take the dumplings off the steamer, and immediately serve. You may also slightly sauté cooked dumplings in butter before serving. To serve, arrange the cooked MOMOs on a plate dressed with MOMO achar of your choice.