Momos two ways (maida free)

Momos have always been a favourite in our family, but I have never been thrilled using maida or all purpose flour for making the wraps. While you can make the wrappings with full atta or wheat flour also, I am not 100% happy with the texture of the wrapping. 

 

So here is a recipe using starch or the milk solids extracted from wheat flour, equal quantities of foxtail millet (தினை) and Kodo millet (வரகு) and potatoes. Each starch behaves differently when cooked and so you do need a combination of starches along with some wheat flour to give you a dough of the right consistency and texture. I have made the starches at home and the recipe and video are here below. These starches are readily available in the market, but I prefer to make mine at home. They are quite moist so they will need to be refrigerated. 

Ingredients
Whole wheat – 2 cups
Foxtail millet (தினை) – 1 cup
Kodo millet (வரகு) – 1 cup
Potatoes – 5-6 medium size 
Water – as needed 
 
Soak the wheat and the two millets in water in separate containers (both millets can be soaked together) overnight. 
 
Wheat starch – grind the soaked wheat with sufficient water and strain the white milk that you get through a cheese cloth or a nut milk bag. Repeat grinding the solids two or three more times till all the milk has been extracted. Cover the collected liquid with a lid and let it sit for 5-6 hours. A white slurry will settle in the bottom and there will be clear liquid on the top. Gently drain off the clear liquid and transfer the white slurry on the bottom to a plate and leave it the sun till it dries completely (may take 5-6 hours). You should be able to get dry flakes of wheat starch now. You can dry grind it if you want and then sieve it to get fine grained wheat starch powder.
 
Millet starch – this is done similar to the wheat starch but is much easier and the white slurry at the bottom is pretty thick and will not require sun drying. Transfer to a plate and sieve it when dry to get the finely grained  millet starch. Again, if needed, you can put in the grinder before you  sieve it.
 
Potato starch – wash, peel and grate the potatoes and grind with water to remove the starch from it. Strain it through a cheese cloth and collect the liquid in a large bowl. Repeat grinding the remaining solids a few times to get all the starch comes out. Allow the collected liquid to stand for a few hours. Because it is potato, the clear liquid at the top will be brown in colour due to oxidation. After a few hours, drain off the brown liquid and spoon out the white potato starch at the bottom on to a plate. Allow to dry well, grind if needed and sieve it. 
 
As these starches are moist and will need refrigeration so they don’t spoil. But they will keep for a few months at least  and you can make healthy momos anytime you want. 
 

Ingredients for momos

Momo wrap
Wheat starch – 2/3 cup
Millet starch – 2/3 cup
Wheat flour – 2/3 cup
Potato starch – 1/4 cup
Salt – to taste
 
Vegetable filling
Cabbage (finely shredded) – 2/3 cup
Carrot (finely grated) – 2/3 cup
Onion  (finely chopped) – 1 (medium size)
Garlic (finely chopped) – 3 cloves 
Oil – 1 tsp
Salt – to taste
Black pepper powder – 1/4 tsp
Soy sauce – 1 tsp
 
Spinach filling
Spinach (finely chopped) – 2 cups
Tofu (grated ) – 1 cups
Garlic (finely chopped) – 3 cloves
Oil – 1 tsp
Salt – to taste
Black pepper powder – 1/4 tsp
Soy sauce – 1 tsp
 
Tomato chilli sauce
Tomatoes (chopped) – 2 
Garlic (finely chopped) – 3 cloves
Dried red chillies – 3-4
Kashmiri chillies – 3-4
Sugar – 1 tsp
Salt – to taste
Vinegar – 1 tbsp
Oil – 1 tsp
 
Dough – Mix together the wheat starch, millet starch and potato starch in a large mixing bowl and add salt to taste. Mix well using boiling water. The dough will be a little sticky and to this add the 2/3 cup wheat flour and knead to a smooth and pliable dough. Cover with a lid and allow to rest for half an hour.

Chilli sauce – In a kadai add the oil and finely chopped garlic. Fry till the smell of raw garlic disappears and then add the chopped tomatoes. Stir for a minute and add the two types of chillies. Add a cup of water and allow to cook till the chillies also become soft. Add the required amount of salt, some sugar and the vinegar and grind to a smooth sauce when it cools down.

Spinach tofu filling – in a kadai add the oil and chopped garlic and fry well. Add the chopped spinach  and stir till it wilts. Add salt to taste, black pepper powder and the soy sauce. Stir well and then add the grated tofu and stir till it comes together. Set aside to cool.

Cabbage and carrot filling – in a kadai add the oil and fry the chopped garlic. Add the chopped onions and fry till it becomes translucent and then add the grated carrots and chopped cabbage. Stir well and add salt, pepper powder and the soy sauce. Mix well and set aside to cool.

Making the momos – knead the dough some more and pinch off a tennis ball sized piece of dough. Using wheat flour, roll it into a thin, flat chapati like shape and cut a circle from it using a lid or any small cup. Carefully lift the round piece onto your palm, add a teaspoonful of the filling and fold the momo. There are many shapes that the momos can be folded in. Most often you find them in a pleated Kozhukattai like shape. A simple semicircular shape is also fine but make sure the edges are sealed well so that the filling doesn’t come out when it is being steamed.

Place the momos on an oiled flat colander or idli steamer and steam it over a pot of boiling water for ten minutes.

Eat them hot with the chilli sauce.

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