[In this series, we tip our hats to some of our favourite dishes available in the restaurants, cafés, and cabins of Calcutta. Our purpose in doing so is to document their existence, and give people a way to recreate them if they happen to live away from the city. Make these at home, or hunt them down from the source—irrespective of how you get your hands on these items, we hope you enjoy them.]
Tingmo or ting momo is one of those breads that is extremely satisfying to get right. The distinguishing feature of this steamed dumpling is its layered appearance. Once properly proofed and steamed, all the layers of the bun seem to open up like a flower. In this recipe, we show you how to knead, roll, and shape the dough in order to get a perfect tingmo.
A note on the yeast: Yeast will need to be used depending on its type. Check the box/packaging to determine whether yours is an ‘instant’ yeast, ‘active dry’ yeast, or ‘fresh’ yeast. Instant yeast doesn’t need to be separately activated. It can be mixed directly into the flour and kneaded along with the other ingredients. Active dry yeast and fresh yeast need to be activated before they can be added to the flour. To do that, disperse the yeast in lukewarm water (in this case, about 145 g) along with the sugar (10 g). Cover and set aside for about 15 minutes, at the end of which, if your yeast is active, the mixture should take on a frothy appearance. Add this mixture to the flour and proceed as instructed.
- 250 g maida (all-purpose flour)
- 5 g salt
- 10 g sugar
- 3 g dry instant yeast
- 145 g warm water
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil (for greasing)
- In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt, sugar, yeast, and water. See the note above to correctly activate your yeast. Once the ingredients have come together, transfer the dough to the work surface.
- Knead the dough for 15 minutes, repeatedly folding the dough over itself to develop gluten. Round the dough by tucking all the edges at the bottom and return it to the mixing bowl, now greased with oil, to prevent the dough from sticking.
- Cover and proof the dough in a warm place for 1 hour, until the dough doubles in size.
- Dust the work surface with flour and transfer the dough to it. Flatten the dough into a rectangle with your palms. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a thin sheet, 40 cm by 45 cm in dimensions, maintaining its rectangular shape as much as possible.
- Apply oil on the sheet and fold its longer side into thirds.
- Use a knife to divide the folded dough into four equal parts. Divide each quarter further into 6 long strips.
- Stack the strips in pairs of threes such that you now have four sets of strips.
- Form the tingmo as shown in the video and place it on a greased steaming dish.
- Once all the tingmos have been formed, cover the dish and allow them to proof for another 30 minutes before setting them over boiling water to steam.
- These buns take no longer than 10 to 12 minutes to cook perfectly. Do not over-steam or the bread might become rubbery.
- Serve immediately they are still warm.