Sorry to break it up to you guys, but momos and dim sums are not the same.
I was just about to share my experience of sui mai recently, that I have realized that most of us are confused between momos and dimsums. Well, both the food items are dumplings, i.e, a small dough stuffed with some fillings but are different from each other. In Kolkata, I have grown up in a colony filled with vendors selling stuffed chicken dumpling that we call momos. As years passed, the city is filled with various dining stations and restaurants specialized and selling only momos ranging from a large number of varieties from baked, tandoor, steamed, fried to chocolate, mango and even between the burger. Dim sums, on the other hand are not usually popular among the street vendors. Thus, we mistook any dumpling, steamed / fried / pan-fried / baked or otherwise, stuffed with any filling as momos. We often believe that Dim sum and momo are the same things while, in Chinese cuisine it is called dim sum and in Nepalese cuisine it is called momos. Well, we are completely wrong.
Let me simplify it to you guys. All momos are dim sums, but all dim sums are not momos.
I have further summarized a few basic difference between dimsum and momos.
1. Difference in origin
To be politically correct in terms of origin, dim sums are originated from China, where dim sums are usually made bite sized and are accompanied by tea.
Where on the other hand, momos are originated from Tibet.
2. Difference in preparation style
Momos are made of dough (either maida or wheat for the healthy option) stuffed dumplings that are stuffed with either vegetables or meat and steamed. With the innovation of various new momo joints in Kolkata, momo has found its way of preparation through frying, baking and even barbecued. But, in most of the cases, the momos are initially steamed an then used for frying or marinated for barbecued.
But, on the other hand, dim sums are not limited to dough stuffed with vegetables or chicken. You can find more than two thousand varieties of dim sums. Some of the traditional Chinese dim sum includes cha siu bao where barbecue pork is stuffed inside bun, rice noodle rolls, egg tart, sui mai, steamed sausage rolls. Other dim sum that might be surprising are sticky rice in lotus leaf (Nor Mai Gai), Glutinous rice dumplings (Hom Sui Gok), Pan Fried turnip Cake (Lohr Bakh Go), Stuffed Eggplant (Yeung Cay Djee) and even spring rolls (Cheun Goon).
3. Difference in Dining Style
You can often find dim sums at any fancy brunch but never at a street side vendor. Dim sums are considered as a fine dining affair that requires significant amount of time and expertise to make. Where, momos are rather quick and easy to make thus are often found at fast food centers, stalls and various food courts.
I hope you find this informative and entertaining. So next time, if you find someone calling a fine dim sum as a momo, do apprise him/her. 🙂