My Indian Bucket List Cookbook: 60 Bold, Authentic Dishes Everyone Needs to Try, written by Neha Mathur, features a wonderful variety of Indian recipes perfect for the home cook. A few highlights include Handi Paneer, Coconut Milk Fish Curry, Onion Kulcha, Tandoori Chicken, and Pista Kulfi. I will also be sharing her recipe for Veg Momos following the review.
Disclosure: I received this book from Page Street Publishing in exchange for my honest review. All opinions and statements are my own. This post contains Amazon affiliate links. If you purchase something through the link, I may receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.
Neha Mathur was born and raised in Uttar Pradesh and is currently based in Pune, India. She studied to be a dental surgeon before changing careers to focus on travel and her passion for food. She created Whisk Affair in 2012 as a way to share this passion and her experiences with others.
Her work has been featured by HuffPost, Taste of Home, Elle Décor, and more. This is Neha’s first cookbook.
My Indian Bucket List Cookbook
Neha begins My Indian Bucket List Cookbook with a short introduction before jumping straight into the recipes. She has put together this book to share her love of Indian cuisine and its incredible range of regional flavors. I especially love the variety of helpful tips and notes along the way.
Chapters are divided according to group: My Favorite Vegetarian Curries, Meat- and Fish-Centric Curries, Staple Rice Dishes, My Most Loved Indian Breads, Appetizers and Soups for Special Get-Togethers, Standout Desserts for All Occasions, and Must-Have Accompaniments with your Indian Meal. The contents page has a list of the included recipes with page number for easy reference.
All of the photos are by Neha too! Every single recipe is paired with a beautifully styled, full-page photo of the finished dish. There are also a handful of step-by-step photos to demonstrate techniques such as rolling Lachha Paratha and folding Potato Pea Samosa.
Each recipe has a headnote with background information, serving size, ingredient notes, and menu ideas. Measurements are listed in US Customary and Metric. Titles are written in English or the original language.
Everything I have tried so far in My Indian Bucket List Cookbook has turned out wonderfully, but these Veg Momos were my favorite!
Momos are a type of dumpling popular in Nepal, Tibet, and Northeast India. There are many filling options and variations. While the dumplings do take some prep to assemble, this vegetarian filling comes together so easily with simply a food processor.
A combination of garlic, ginger, onion, cabbage, carrot, green onion, and cilantro are pulsed in the food processor to form a coarse mixture, then seasoned with soy sauce, salt, and white pepper. The filling is set aside for a few minutes before squeezing in a cheesecloth to remove excess moisture.
About a tablespoon of the prepared filling is placed in the center of a thin round of dough and pleated closed to seal the edges. After preparing all the dough and filling, the Veg Momos are steamed for 15-20 minutes, until glossy and heated through.
Serve the Momos hot from the steamer with a hot and sweet dipping sauce.
A Few Tips
Add just enough water, a little at a time, to create a soft and smooth dough. If too sticky to handle, add a little more flour. If too dry and crumbly, add a little more water.
Make sure to squeeze the vegetable mixture in a cheesecloth well after resting for 10 minutes. This will help remove excess liquid and prevent the Veg Momos from getting soggy or breaking.
Do not overfill or let the filling touch the edges or the wrapper. This can cause some difficulty when sealing the dumpling closed.
I also made the Mughlai Egg Curry, Saffron Basmati Pulao, Lachha Paratha, and 5-Minute Cucumber Mint Raita.
The Mughlai Egg Curry pairs boiled eggs with a rich and creamy curry. I absolutely loved the combination of mild spices with saffron and yogurt. Neha recommends serving the meal with naan or Cumin Peas Pulao.
The Saffron Basmati Pulao was another incredible use of saffron and so easy too! Basmati rice is simmered in a vegetable broth with onions, saffron, and spices until tender. It was perfect alongside the 5-minute Cucumber Mint Raita.
There are so many different breads I want to try in the book, but decided to start with the Lachha Paratha. This crisp and flaky bread uses a combination of whole wheat flour, all purpose flour, and semolina to create an incredible texture. Each piece of dough is rolled into a thin sheet, then folded and twisted to form the individual layers before cooking until golden on each side.
It may be winter, but the temperatures last week were nearly 90˚F here in Southern California. This 5-Minute Cucumber Mint Raita was a refreshing accompaniment to the Saffron Basmati Pulao. As the title states, it also comes together in about 5 minutes! A yogurt and milk base is combined with grated cucumber, fresh herbs, spices, and a little green chile.
My Indian Bucket List Cookbook is a great pick for those interested in Indian cuisine. Neha has developed the recipes with the home cook in mind with plenty of tips and notes for beginners. There is an incredible range of recipes from appetizers and snacks to vegetarian options, meat, fish, desserts, and drinks.
Having a market with South Asian ingredients will be helpful in locating items such as ghee, cardamom, Kashmiri red chile powder, kasuri methi, dried mango powder, asafetida, chickpea flour, saffron, tamarind paste, kewra water, and more.
Veg Momos Recipe
Excerpt from My Indian Bucket List Cookbook. Reprinted with permission from My Indian Bucket List Cookbook by Neha Mathur Page Street Publishing, Co. 2022.
- 2 cups (240 grams) all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons (45 milliliters) vegetable oil
- 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
- 2 teaspoons (7 grams) chopped garlic
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh ginger
- 1/4 cup (30 grams) chopped onion
- 1 cup (20 grams) shredded cabbage
- 1/4 cup (20 grams) shredded carrot
- 1/4 cup (20 grams) chopped green onion
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 1 tablespoon (15 milliliters) vegetable oil
- Hot and sweet dipping sauce for serving
Make the Dough:
- In a medium-sized bowl, combine all the dough ingredients.
- Add water little by little to make a soft dough. Do not add a lot of water in one go; otherwise, the dough may become sticky. Cover the bowl with a damp, clean cloth and set aside for 10 minutes.
Make the Filling:
- In a food processor, combine the garlic, ginger, onion, cabbage, carrot, green onion and cilantro, and process to a coarse mixture.
- Transfer the mixture to a medium-sized bowl and add the soy sauce, salt to taste, white pepper and oil, and mix well.
- Set the filling aside for 10 minutes. The vegetables in the filling will release water.
- Transfer the filling to a piece of cheesecloth and twist to get rid of all the liquid. This process will make the filling dry and the momos will not break while filling. Set the filling aside.
Assemble the Momos:
- Knead the dough for a minute, or until it is very smooth and pliable. Divide it into about two dozen equal-sized pieces.
- Roll each piece in between your hands to make a smooth ball. Now, take one ball and roll it out, using a rolling pin, to make a very thin circle. Cut the circle, using a 4-inch (10 centimeter) round cookie cutter. Using the cookie cutter will make sure the shape of the momos is very neat and uniform.
- Place 1 tablespoon (15 grams) of filling in the center of the circle and brush the edges with water. Bring the edges together and pleat them. Seal the ends nicely. Prepare all the momos in the same manner.
- Now, heat 4 cups (960 milliliters) of water in a large steamer.
- Line up the momos in the steamer basket and steam for 15 to 20 minutes, or until they are glossy on the surface.
- Remove the steamer from heat and transfer the momos to a plate, using tongs. Serve hot with a hot and sweet dipping sauce.