Buckwheat & cabbage momos


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes about


Appears in

Lands of the Curry Leaf

Lands of the Curry Leaf

By Peter Kuruvita

Published 2018

  • About

Momos originated in Tibet — but with the movement of the Tibetan people around the world, every country in the mountainous areas of the subcontinent consider momos as their own. This cabbage and buckwheat momo, however, is uniquely Bhutanese. The great thing with these is that you can fry or steam them.

Preparation 1 hour
Cooking 15 minutes + 7–8 minutes per batch


Cabbage Filling

  • ½ white cabbage, roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon sichuan peppercorns
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon very finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 65 g ( oz/½ cup) crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 120 g ( oz) unsalted butter

Buckwheat Dough

  • 300 g (10½ oz/2 cups) plain (all-purpose) flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 130 g ( oz/1 cup) buckwheat flour
  • 60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) vegetable oil


To make the filling, put the cabbage in a covered steamer basket over a wok or saucepan of simmering water for 5 minutes. Drain well, leave to cool, then squeeze dry. Finely chop the cabbage, place in a large bowl and set aside.

Using a spice or coffee grinder, pulverise the poppy seeds and peppercorns to a fine powder. Add to the cabbage, along with the onion, garlic, ginger, feta, chilli powder and salt and mix until well combined.

Melt the butter in a frying pan and brown over medium–high heat, stirring often, for about 4 minutes; browning the butter will add a nutty flavour to the filling. Leave to cool, then strain through a sieve lined with muslin (cheesecloth).

Add the browned butter to the filling and mix well.

To make the dough, combine the flours and oil in a bowl, then work in 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) water until the dough forms a ball, adding a little more water if necessary. Dust the ball with flour and knead for about 5 minutes, until the dough feels smooth and silky; it should not be sticky, nor should it be dry.

Cut the dough into eight equal portions. Dust them with flour, then wrap seven of the pieces in plastic wrap to stop them drying out.

Roll the rested dough into a long thick rope. Cut off finger-width pieces and roll each one into a 2.5 cm (1 inch) ball. Use a rolling pin to flatten a piece of dough, into a nice circle. Add a tablespoon of filling to the centre and pinch the edges shut, into the desired shape; most momos are crescent-shaped. Like all things this needs practice; you can also watch the technique demonstrated online if needed.

Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.

In a large saucepan of simmering water, cook the dumplings in batches for 7–8 minutes, or until the pastry is cooked through.

Serve hot, with the momo chutney.