Every once in a while, when I was staying in Kolkata I often wondered whether the street side vendors that were selling momo were actually correct in calling it momo. I never saw the term in any posh restaurant menu that I visited; Often I would get the same thing but it would be called dumpling. So I decided to do some research and found some facts.
There are some very basic differences between them.
Dimsum is a word associated with the Hong Kong vocabulary and it means any bite-sized food.The unique culinary art dim sum originated with the Cantonese in Guangzhou. So basically dim sum is the umbrella which contains dumplings as well as things like boiled chicken feet, a small filling of an egg. Usually, a dim sum is consumed with tea.
A dumpling is a type of dim sum; It is a semi-transparent mould usually filled with pork or chicken and is made of rice. Dumpling originated in China and is actually categorised as Jiaozi and Baozi. It is extremely soft and is usually steamed.
Jiaozi is usually served with soya sauce or chilli oil.
A baozi, on the other hand, is always served in a basket and is steamed. The most notable difference is the shape of the dim sum. Jiaozi are smaller than the baozi. Baozis are also sometimes referred to as buns. Baozi is also not served with any sauce, unlike jiaozi.
A wonton is like a dumpling but served in soup. This is more common in the southern parts of China. Typically it is a jiaozi served in soup. Rarely one can find a baozi served in a soup. They are supposed to be cooked in a manner to make it extremely soft and be fit in one tablespoon. Other than that there is no difference.
Finally the momo. Momo is indigenous to Tibet. As the northeast part of India is close to the Tibetan border, hence we derived the name momo. Momos are a mix between the Jiaozi and the Baozi. Some differences are from the fact that the momo is made from millet flour, unlike rice. This is because rice does not grow on the hilly plains of Tibet. As for the size, a momo is made larger than a Jiaozi but smaller than a Baozi. Also, momos can be steam or fried. However, the steamed momo is more of a popular delicacy. Momo is usually served with either a chilli paste sauce or a hot schezwan sauce.