Call them Dim sums, call them Momos or call them dumplings– it’s one and the same thing! In India, we stick to the Tibetan term Momos and it is a wildly popular street-food in most cities. Here, I am using the Chinese term- ‘Dim sum’, simply as it is more universally recognized.
Steamed food is one thing that is very, very far from my comfort zone! In fact, I have only recently started making Idlis and Dhoklas (Indian savory snacks) from scratch at home, after having brought a little Idli steamer back from India. So, when the theme for this week’s Foodie Monday bloghop was decided as ‘Steamed food’, naturally I was very nervous.
In the past, I have tried my hand at making dimsums once, and it was a total disaster. I had this little steaming plate that had come as a complimentary gift with my pressure cooker. I steamed my dumplings for around 30-35 mins in it and still they failed to cook through. They were doughy and raw and just plain awful. After that time, I steered clear of even the idea of making dimsums at home.
This week, after a lot of contemplating, I decided to give it a second try for the sake of the weekly theme. After all, now I had my shiny, new Idli steamer that I could use to steam them properly in the least. Praying to the kitchen fairy, I dived right into it.
You know how they say that hard-work never goes to the waste? I had no idea how much sense this statement makes……till today. All the cooking that I have been doing ever since I started my food blog, has obviously given me a little prowess in my culinary skills. Last time when I had attempted making dim sums, I did about a hundred things wrong. This time though, at every step, my common sense and experience of the recent past kicked in. I knew how to make the perfect dough, how much stuffing to fill and how to work patiently to shape my dim sums. What do you know….It was a success!
So folks, “Try try till you succeed!”
These veggie dim sums are delicious and oh, so pretty. The only challenging part of the process, and what takes a lot of time is, shaping your dumplings. I confess I actually saw a lot of videos on Youtube and picked the easiest one. So, this post doesn’t really instruct you on how to shape your dim sums (Sorry!) Refer to the internet and take your pick on the most well-suited shape. One thing’s sure, it’s all about the plaiting.
Give this recipe a go friends, and enjoy!
For the filling-
– 1 cup chopped cabbage
– 1 cup finely chopped onion
– Half bell pepper/capsicum, finely chopped
– 1 clove of garlic, chopped
– 1 green chilly, chopped
– A little piece of ginger, peeled and grated
– 4-5 tbsn grated Indian cottage cheese or Paneer
– 1 tsp soya sauce
– 1 tsp vinegar
– 1-2 tbsn oil
– Salt and pepper to taste
For the dough-
– 1 cup plain flour
– 1 tsp olive oil/vegetable oil
– Water as needed
– Salt to taste
*Chinese cooking is always done on high heat!*
– Take all the ingredients listed under the dough category except for the water and combine well.
– Add your water little by little, to knead a soft dough of medium consistency i.e, it should neither be too soft or tight.
– Knead well for around 2-3 minutes, till you get an absolutely smooth dough. This step is essential as we need to activate the gluten in the dough. Sprinkle a little dry flour if your dough is sticky while kneading.
– Cover with a damp cloth and keep aside for half an hour.
– In the meantime, prepare your veggie stuffing.
– In a sauce-pan, heat your oil.
– Add chopped garlic, chillies and ginger. Saute for around a minute.
– Add your chopped onions and fry only till they turn a bit translucent. We want them to remain crunchy still.
– Throw in your chopped bell-pepper and cabbage and fry for 4-5 minutes, till the water from the veggies disappears.
– Add the grated paneer and stir, till it is combined well with the mixture. Cook for 1-2 minutes.
– Add the soy sauce, vinegar, salt and pepper. Mix well and cook for around a minute.
– Switch off the flame and let the mixture cool, uncovered.
– Take your rested dough and again knead well for a few seconds.
– Divide the dough into two round and smooth dough-balls.
– With a rolling pin, roll both the dough balls one by one, into large, thin circles. You will then have two thin, circular dough sheets.
– Next, take a round bowl or a lid from any jar, and cut equal-sized circles on the surface of both the flour sheets. Discard the excess dough from the sides.
– You now have multiple, equal-sized circles to make your dim sums. Fill the stuffing and form them into the shapes of your choice. Shaping the dim sums has to be done very carefully and patiently. This is the most important stage.
– Steam the dim-sums in a greased steamer for 13-15 minutes on medium flame.
– Serve hot, with sweet chilly sauce or spicy schezwan sauce. Enjoy!
– I have used Paneer (an Indian cottage cheese very similar to tofu) to bind the stuffing. You can use tofu or any cheese of your choice to give your stuffing a little binding, Otherwise, the stuffing will be difficult to fill. You can also use finely chopped boiled potato in the filling while sauteing the veggies!
– While shaping the dim sums, make sure that you are sealing the dough well. Any space left between the plaits/dough can result in the bursting of the dim sums because of the hot steam, while steaming.