Darjeeling-Style Chicken Mo:Mo are very famous chicken dumplings from in Darjeeling and Eastern part of Nepal. The recipe I am sharing is given by a local restaurant owner!!
I had my proper “Darjeeling” style mo:mo while I visited Darjeeling this past May with my family. It was so simple, juicy, and absolutely delicious; we inhaled several dozens of mo:mo in no time. The main difference I found between Nepali mo:mo I grew up with and Darjeeling style mo:mo is the use of spices or, the lack of. Nepali mo:mo uses “mo:mo masala” which is a combination of many spices such as cumin, turmeric, coriander to name a few.
The Darjeeling Style Chicken Mo:Mo recipe I am sharing today was verbally given to me by a local restaurant owner in Pashupatinagar, Illam (border city between Nepal and India). To make Darjeeling mo:mo, you will need:
- ground chicken
- green onions and cilantro
- homemade dumpling wrapper preferred or store bought
The owners were so kind, they excitedly shared how they make Darjeeling-style chicken mo:mo with me!!!! I learned that they use all parts of chicken including skin and fats which probably explains it’s juiciness.
Instead of a meat grinder, I was told that that a lot of locals use a cleaver to cut chicken into finer pieces. For seasonings, things are very basic - salt, pepper, generous amount of grated ginger.
Green onions and cilantro are seasonal and only used in mo:mos if available. Personally, I prefer the taste of both green onions and cilantro in my dumplings so I am including it in my recipe but feel free to skip if you are not a fan.
Unlike here, mo:mos in Nepal are 100% handcrafted with scratch-made dough and all. It’s not uncommon to see roadside mo:mo carts kneading and rolling the dough, wrapping, and steaming dumplings right in front of you. I occasionally enjoy making dumpling wrapper from scratch but it’s hard to not to take advantage of pre-made wrappers which are just as good as the homemade kind. Twin marquis and Yissine are my go-to brands for wrappers.
Darjeeling Style Chicken Mo:Mo is served alongside fiery, chili + tomato + garlic dipping sauce but I am not quite happy with my recipe. So in the meantime, I suggest checking out my current go-to dipping sauce — Tomato Timur Achar.
In Nepal, some restaurants serve soup (more like broth) alongside mo:mo and on a cold day, it’s really heavenly. With the winter months coming up, I made a quick broth by simmering water with some ground chicken filling, ginger-garlic paste, cumin powder, turmeric, salt, and pepper to taste, and finished off with dried fish in Sichuan pepper and scallions. It was a decent broth but if has a recipe on how to make the soup served in local restaurants in Nepal, please let me know.
I would love to hear your feedback on Darjeeling Style Chicken Mo:Mo! I have been trying to replicate that same taste and texture, while it’s a work in progress I am pretty happy with the recipe I am sharing today. If you have any tips, recipes, or anything to share, feel free!!
Darjeeling Style Chicken Mo:Mo
- 1 lb chicken thigh, ground use chicken skin and fat if possible
- 1 cup finely chopped onion about 1 medium onion
- 1 bunch green onion, chopped
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro about 10 sprigs
- 2-3 tablespoon ghee/oil/butter
- 3 tablespoon finely minced ginger
- ¼ cup water see notes below
- 2 teaspoon salt
- 40 dumpling wrappers, store bought or scratch made or make from scratch
- In a bowl, mix ground chicken with onion, scallions, cilantro, ginger, ghee, salt. Add in water only if the mixture feels dry, otherwise skip the water. Mix everything and set aside.
- Take a wrapper and gently wet the edges with water using your index finger. It helps seal the wrapper better. Take about 1.5-2 teaspoon depending on the size of your wrapper, then make pleats or fold to your desired shape. Continue until you are finished with the wrapper and filling.
- In the meanwhile, fill your steamer ¾th with water and bring it to a rapid boil. Line the steamer basket with cabbage, parchment paper or use nonstick cooking spray. Neatly arrange the dumplings without overcrowding the basket.
- Steam for 10-12 minutes until the dumplings are ready.
- Alternatively, you can arrange the dumplings on a baking tray and freeze for few hours until solid. Remove from the tray and transfer into the ziplock bag for later use. You can directly steam frozen dumplings for 10-12 minutes and enjoy.