I hate packing.
It is right up there with washing a pressure cooker and house lizards *shiver*. If left up to me I would leave packing for the last minute. Or outsource it to someone. But the problem with being a Capricorn is that you never think anybody else can do half as good a job as you can. So I never let anyone else pack (the only exception being my dad). And that means I am always packing at the last minute. My dad who knows this habit and how I panic right at the end, has been reminding me since three days that I should pack. I, being me, of course only heeded that advice today. I leave tomorrow early morning.
I don’t know why I hate packing so much. Maybe because I always make it such an elaborate affair.
So this is how I do it. I take out all the clothes I have in my cupboard and put it on my bed. Then for each piece I’ll ponder for 5 minutes whether I really need to pack it in. There are always three piles made- one with the definites, the other pile with the maybes and the third with the not necessary’s. (Sometimes to decide which cloth should go in which pile, I try them out as well. That takes additional ten minutes per item.)
Once each item from my cupboard has been put in its respective pile, the definites are put in the suitcase. Then, I go through the maybes. The maybes are again looked at, pondered over, occasionally tried on and then either put into a new pile which is called the close-to-definite maybes. The rest that don’t fall into the close-to-definite maybes (let’s call them the CTD maybes, shall we) go to the not necessary pile. The CTD maybes are looked and then either put in the suitcase or decided that they should be put in the not necessary’s. The not necessary’s are then given a quick look to see whether anything important has been missed. After that, they are put back in the cupboard. Then the stuff that has been put in the suitcase is packed shut and weighed. If overweight, everything is taken out and put through the whole process of definites, maybes, close-to-definite maybes, not necessary again. If not overweight, then the not necessary’s are taken out, looked at, tried, pondered upon and then piled up into definites, maybes and not necessary. I am sure by now either you get the drift, or are absolutely confused and can’t be bothered about it.
Either ways the bottom line is I hate packing! I follow the same strategy for my shoes, and then I also travel with my cookbooks (although I hardly used them this time- yes, my packing system has its flaws). The cookbooks come with the added problem of me being distracted easily by them. So half way through the packing (or actually ten minutes into my whole packing system), I start flipping through them and waste another half an hour on them. Anything to procrastinate packing.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t always leave packing for the last minute. There have been many times when I have packed way ahead of time. But then what happens is that at the last minute I realise there is just too much stuff I am carrying. So I take everything out and repack again, right at the last minute. After this happened a couple of times, I realized there is no point packing ahead of time, and leave all my packing for the last minute. This system only takes place when I am coming or leaving India. For one or two day trip, generally I am quicker and its not this big a pain.
Anyway, today since I was constantly told to pack ahead of time, I did. I am itching though to repack everything, because I feel that I am carrying too much stuff even though I am within the weight restrictions. It did not help that I left the diary with today’s GMT’s recipe in one of the packed suitcases. The urge to repack was strong when I opened the suitcase to find my notebook but so was the desire to manage a post today on GMT. Eventually the desire won.
Now I have never been a fan of vegetarian momos. In fact few weeks back one of my friends was asking whether I knew a good recipe for vegetarian momos and I told her no such thing exists. But since then, twice I have had the chance to have pretty good vegetarian versions. Today I am going to share the version that the cook at my parents’ house makes. Did I tell you, he is an awesome cook?! Sigh I am going to miss him.
The recipe is fairly straightforward. A little technique is required in the folding and wrapping of the momos, but once you figure out one, the rest will follow easily.
Momos or what many know as dumplings, am aware and as one of my friends pointed out today, aren’t originally Indian. But they have become a traditional delicacy in Ladakh and many of the Himalayan states of India. So that is why I thought it would not be an issue to post them under my GMT series.
And following on the lines of last week’s post, I am going to post step by step pictures of making momos. I really wanted to make a video while I was there in Allahabad since I had the cook to star in it, but somehow it did not happen. So for now, I will just leave you with step by step pictures.
P.S: I am aware I am not posting the chilly garlic chutney that is served with momos. The reason being our cook makes a slightly different version than what I generally make. Since I do not have the proportions with me right now and go by feel, I thought I will update this space with the recipe once I get the actual measurements down.
- ½ kg all purpose flour
- 200 ml milk, or as needed
- 2 tsp oil
- salt, according to taste
- 1 cabbage head, grated
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 4-5 green chillies. finely chopped
- 3 tbsp ginger chopped
- 1 cup cilantro, finely chopped
- 1 tsp ajinomoto (optional- see note )
- salt, according to taste
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Make a tight dough by kneading the flour, milk, oil and salt. Gradually add in the milk and adjust quantity to make a tight dough. Let rest covered for at least 30 minutes. Make ¼th inch thick 4 inch circles.
- Grate the head of cabbage. Add some salt to it and leave for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, squeeze the water out.
- Add in the chopped onions, green chillies, chopped ginger, cilantro, ajinomoto*, olive oil and mix well.
- Fill each dough circle with 1-2 tsp filling. Around the edges, dab the the circle with some water. Water acts as a glue for the edges to stick. Pinch and twist to seal or fold the momo in half (into a semi-circular shape) and pinch the edges shut. You can get as creative as you like with shapes, as long as you make sure to seal the edges well. As you shape them, put them under a wet towel till ready to steam.
- Place the momos in a steaming dish and cook for 10-15 minutes. Serve with chilli-garlic chutney.