Tibetan Momos: Humanity, Where Art Thou?

| January 26, 2011

The radio announced that a woman froze to death in the same breath he announced the score of a game. This happened in the city I call home in North America. It is believed that people heard her cries as she lay on the sidewalk, injured, suffering from dementia, and steps from her home. No one called 911.

Has the city that I take so much pride in calling my home; become as cold as the freezing weather?

Dough for momos

What would you have done if a stranger called for help? Yes, circumstances may dictate what your immediate response should/would be. But when you can help a stranger without any harm caused to you, why cannot we just lend a hand?

Boiling the bone

I teach my child of stranger danger, but I also teach them that we live in a world where our differences have led to war, intolerance, marginalization, and hate.  I would like my children to be smart and aware but also want them to live in a world of inclusion, hope and faith in humanity.

Using my daughter's water bottle to cut dough (yes, that's Tinkerbell)

Just two days after I heard about the news about the woman, another extreme cold alert was issued, and I had to take my daughter for an emergency dental check up. My daughter had slipped on a patch of black ice outside the clinic, but she picked herself right up like little kids do so easily. I though the dental clinic should have the sense to mark it as being unsafe, but when the dentist descended on my daughter, that thought slipped my mind.

On the way out of the clinic, I could see from afar (I wasn’t wearing my glasses), a black thing near the same patch of sidewalk that my daughter had slipped on. As I moved closer, I realized it wasn’t a thing, but an elderly lady on the ground in pain; she had slipped and definitely had broken her shoulders.

Waiting spinach

I immediately called 911, and was told four others had called before me. I covered the lady with my shawl and told her we would wait until the EMS came. People driving by called to check if we called for help. A lady driving with her children stopped to help. Strangers took their jackets to keep the lady warm, as the EMS had advised us not to move her.

With sadness, I think of the stranger who has passed away in the cold with no one by her side just days earlier. But knowing the woman by my side would be taken care of, I know that the city I call my home still has love and compassion.

The stuffing

As individuals we are unique and different, and we should celebrate our diversity, but what makes us all very similar is that we all want happiness, good health and love. My dear friend Zomppa B and I were strangers thrown together as roommates at school; if we had led our differences dictate our relationship, we just couldn’t be friends. But our common values, beliefs and hopes took precedence over our differences, which we respected and always made sure to talk about.

In this post, I celebrate humanity, strangers, and strangers who become your best friend. Zommpa B, this one is for you – Happy Birthday. (PS Your birthday gift is waiting to be picked up by you!)

Momos getting ready to be steamed

If we want to discuss differences, we may call these in Tibetan, “momos,” in Chinese, “dumplings,” in Russian, “pelmeni” or “pot stickers,” but in the end, it is flattened dough, stuffed with minced meat of your choice and steamed!!!

Tibetan momos

Tibetan Momos

Tibetan Momos
1 kilo of ground beef/chicken (2.2. lbs.)
1 medium onion
1 garlic clove
2 handful of baby spinach
1 cup of stock
1 tsp of soya sauce
½ tsp of black pepper

7 cups of whole wheat or regular flour
1 pinch of salt
4ish cups of water (the dough needs to be just right not too soft or too hard)
OR you could buy readymade dumping

2 ox tails or any bone that
1 pinch of salt
1 pinch o f black pepper

Hot Tomato Sauce
1 medium onion
1 garlic clove
2 large tomatoes
2 spoons of hot chilli powder

1. Boil the ox tail or bone with water , salt and black pepper
2. Make sure it boils for ½ hour

1. Mix all the ingredients for the filling properly
2. Roll the dough flat and cut them into round shapes
3. Put the fillings in on one side, an easier way to make the shapes is to just pinch the corners and prop them up
4. Oil the bottom of each dumpling and place them on the steamer
5. Once you have made all the dumplings place them over the hot boiling broth for 15 mins.

Hot tomato sauce
1. Boil the tomatoes
2. Chop the onions and garlic and sautee them
3. Peel the tomatoes and add them to the onions and garlic
4. Add salt, coriander and cumin to taste
5. Puree the mixture

Serve the momos with soup and a dash of the hot sauce.

Check us out on Tip Day Thursday and Simple Lives Thursday!

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Category: Asia Pacific, Featured Articles: Travel & Culture, Main Dish - Land and Sea, Recipe Vault, Travel & Culture, US & Canada

About the Author (Author Profile)

Our Tsering is not even fully aware of her true inner strength. Born and raised in exile, she is one of the most grounded and gracious individuals. She will tell you like it is if it is in your own best interest and will drop everything to come to your aid if you need it.

Comments (16)

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  1. Patty says:

    Tsering, I have been WAITING for, what feels like, a century to obtain this coveted momo’s recipe from you. Thank you so much for offering up a family recipe, but more importantly, for interweaving the recipe with a reminder to extend ourselves when another human being NEEDS help.

  2. Belinda says:

    Tsering, you know I have been waiting for this FOREVER. Folks, I travel once a year to freezing cold Toronto JUST TO EAT THIS (Tsering is just an added plus). This is the BEST STUFF ON EARTH. Mine never turn out this pretty. You are raising your kids to be exceptional, thoughtful human beings. And you know I’ll be there to get my present. You’re the best. =)

  3. Miriam says:

    Touching post. It saddened me, then gave me hope. Thank you. Miriam@Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

  4. Amy says:

    oh my! These are so pretty. Mouth-watering recipe. I love the soup/meat juice in these dumplings! 🙂

  5. April says:

    This is a very touching post – life can be so cruel sometimes, and yet thankfully something always comes along to restore our faith in humanity.

    Thank you for the recipe as well.

  6. The momos look terrific, a little similar to the Siberian pelmeni that I make. Love the spinach in the filling. Thanks so much for sharing this touching post!

  7. Miz Helen says:

    Your post has brought tears to my eyes what a beautiful soul to share with us. Your Tibetan Momo’s look amazing, of course I will have some on my plate today, and can’t wait to taste them. Thank you so much for coming to Full Plate Thursday and please come back!

  8. Candace says:

    Thank you so much for the beautifully written post. You’ve touched my heart and you’ve touched my tummy, as well. I could eat a dozen or more of those right now. I’m going to have to give them a try. blessings, Candace

  9. Tsering says:

    Thank you all for your comments. 5 Star foodie, yes the momos are very similar to the Siberian Pelmeni.

    Please try the recipe, knowing me, my measurements are always a little off. Tell me how it taste as I am vegetarian!


  10. rebecca says:

    great post so sad about that lady at least your daughter learnt a valuable lesson to care for the other lady and wow these look amazing

  11. Melynda says:

    Thank you for this heartfelt post. I have worked with all mankind and womankind, rich, poor, angry and happy. There is one common thread, and you are right it is the desire for happiness. Happiness might mean something different for me, than you, but the desire is still strong and the same. Again, I thank you.

  12. Simply Life says:

    ugh, that is just heart breaking – glad to see you’ve done what you can to help others…

  13. Wendy says:

    What a heartbreaking story. Just stopping to say thanks for linking up to Tip Day Thursday last week. Sorry that I’m a bit late.

    Around My Family Table

  14. Heather says:

    I love your way of thinking…I try be the same way and teach my kiddos the beauty of humanity, as well. These sound amazing 😀

  15. Tanvi says:

    I love this post..good writing..good food..good people..what more do we want from blogs..I am a die hard fan of tibetan momos-they are a popular delhi street food too.Thanks for the recipe.