Love The Viral Popcorn Momos? 4 Hacks To Perfect Them At Home

If you love the compact size of dim sums and the tenderness of momos, South Delhi’s new street food trend should be right up your alley. Popcorn momos have impressed the foodies of Delhi and they’re amazingly bingeable. These small, long-ish momos are approximately 2 inches big and are only slightly bigger than a piece of gnocchi. Momo lovers who don’t love super doughy momo bases or want smaller dumpling options at accessible rates have been loving the popcorn momos which are priced anywhere between Rs 50-100.

The trick to making momos that are compact and yet flavourful is getting the ratio right between the filling and the dough. They also have to be less greasy than regular momos so it doesn’t make you feel bloated. Moreover, avoiding water-rich veggies is ideal if you want the momos to be compact for longer periods. These basic hacks will help you make small, popcorn momos at home.

Prep the dough right

The foundation of any great momo lies in its dough. To make smaller momos, achieving the perfect dough consistency is crucial. Start with high-quality, finely milled flour, preferably a mix of all-purpose and semolina flour for added texture. Gradually incorporate water into the flour mixture, kneading until you achieve a smooth, elastic dough. 

The key to smaller momos is rolling the dough thinner than usual to ensure a delicate bite-sized parcel. Use a rolling pin to evenly roll out the dough, periodically dusting with flour to prevent sticking. Aim for a thickness of around 1 to 2 millimetres for smaller momos, ensuring the dough remains sturdy enough to hold the filling yet thin enough to cook through evenly.

Stick to drier fillings

The filling is where you can truly get creative with your momos. While traditional momos often feature a blend of ground meat, such as lamb or chicken, mixed with aromatic spices and herbs, smaller momos provide an opportunity to experiment with different fillings and flavour profiles. 

For a vegetarian twist, consider a mixture of finely chopped vegetables, tofu, or paneer seasoned with ginger, garlic, and a hint of soy sauce. Alternatively, for a seafood variation, opt for a combination of shrimp or fish mixed with fragrant herbs like cilantro and lemongrass. Make sure you don’t go for water-rich veggies which can mess with the consistency of the dough.

Perfect the Pleating Technique

The pleating technique is what gives momos their signature shape and ensures the filling remains securely encased within the dough. For smaller momos, mastering the art of pleating is essential to achieve uniformity and aesthetic appeal. Begin by placing a small portion of filling in the centre of the rolled-out dough circle. Using your thumb and index finger, gently pinch and fold the edges of the dough, creating pleats along the circumference and sealing the momo shut. Aim for smaller, more frequent pleats to accommodate the reduced size of the momos, ensuring they cook evenly and maintain their shape during steaming or frying.

Explore Cooking Methods

While steaming is the traditional cooking method for momos, smaller momos lend themselves well to alternative cooking techniques that offer unique textures and flavours. Experiment with pan-frying or deep-frying smaller momos for a crispy, golden exterior that contrasts beautifully with the tender, juicy filling. Pan-frying in a lightly oiled skillet creates a crispy bottom while maintaining a soft, steamed texture on top, offering the best of both worlds. 

Alternatively, deep-frying smaller momos yields a crunchy, bite-sized snack reminiscent of potstickers or wontons, perfect for dipping into your favourite sauces. Whichever cooking method you choose, be mindful of cooking times and temperatures to ensure the momos are cooked through evenly without becoming too greasy or overcooked.