The very first memory if having a steaming hot dimsum was in a restaurant in Bangalore just after I was married. I remember that I really loved the taste of the filling, combined with the soft elastic outer cover, almost stuck with the filling, and dipped in a red fiery sweet sauce in a teeny white ceramic cup, I was transported to heaven. It always strikes me as to why appetizers always taste way better than the main course, and the reason why we only get to sample one or two??? The next time around, it was at Mainland China, Chennai. I remember the plate of steaming hot dumpling served with the fragrant Black Pepper Sauce. This time around I had been craving for this dish as usual and I decided it was really time to try it on my own. It is a slightly labour intensive procedure but the end result is definitely worth the effort. As a starter for a small party or at a dinner for friends, it is better to make the stuffing ahead and simply assemble it before hand. Easier said than done right???
INGREDIENTS FOR OUTER DOUGH:
2 Cups All Purpose Flour/ Maida.
1 Tsp Sesame Oil.
1 Tsp Salt.
INGREDIENTS FOR FILLING:
( I grated all the veggies in a mini food processor so the filling was very finely chopped. )
1 Cabbage julienned.
1 Carrot grated finely.
1/4 Cup fresh Sweet Corn kernels.
1/8 Cup Shredded Paneer.
6 Garlic Pods chopped finely.
2 Inch Ginger chopped finely.
1 Bunch Spring Onions chopped finely.
1 1/2 Tsp Pepper Powder.
Salt to taste.
3-4 Green Chillies Chopped very fine.
1 Tsp Sesame Oil.
Finely Chopped Cilantro.
- For the outer dough mix all purpose flour, sesame oil, salt and water to make a pliable dough. Keep covered until assembly.
- To prepare the filling, take a wok and allow to heat. Add the sesame oil and the chopped ginger, garlic and green chillies.
- Allow a few minutes for the oil to get perfumed with the ingredients in it.
- Now add the thinly chopped cabbage, carrots and the sweet corn. (I was out of paneer to I made my dumplings without them.)
- Optionally you could run the veggies through a food processor and mash them up roughly to get a homogenous mass. I am guessing the guys at Mainland China do that!!!!
- Allow all the veggies to mix in with each other. They should not be overcooked at this point as they will anyways getting steamed inside the filling.
- Add pepper powder and salt and finally the shredded panner. Mix thoroughly.
- Garnish with finely chopped cilantro.
- This step alone could be prepared ahead and stored in an air tight container.
ASSEMBLING THE DUMPLINGS/DIMSUMS.
- Roll out 4-5 balls with the all purpose flour dough and take out one. Keep the rest covered.
- With a rolling pin make in to thin chappatis dusting with the flour.
- Using a round cookie cutter or a steel tumbler, cut out rounds from the chappatis.
- Flatten and roll out each little circle to make them thin and elastic.
- Transfer the cover on to your left palm and spoon out some of the filling on to the centre.
- Use sesame oil to line the inside of the top semi circle of the dumpling.
- Use your fingers to pleat and pinch the edges together to form a closed dumpling.If this is too challenging, simply make the dumplings in to “half moons” ( bring the edges together) or “big hugs” ( almost like a kozhakattai.)
- As you make each dumpling, transfer them directly to the idli plates generously brushed with sesame oil and arrange on them neatly so they do NOT stick to each other.Keep these dumplings covered too.
- Once you have completed making the little dumplings, steam in medium heat for about 8 minutes.
- Switch off and transfer to a casserole and serve HOT with Tomato Sweet & Spicy Dipping Sauce.
- Keep the dough and dumplings covered at all times as they dry up very fast, as its the quality of maida to harden with exposure.
- While making the fillings, you can also try stretching the little dough circles that you have cut up. If the consistency is just right, you might be able to make them a little longer just by stretching. Else you can always use the help of the rolling pin.
- I served them up in Manchurian Sauce as a gravy side dish with Indo Chinese Fried Rice.