Before we start this blog- let us take a moment to appreciate the national hero, the national diet, the savior. Momo is basically dumplings, said to be originated in Tibet, and then gradually influencing around the Tibetan diaspora, including Nepal, Sikkim region of India. While in Nepal, it is said to be introduced by Newar community of the Kathmandu valley, hence it is slightly modified according to the spice and the choice of meat, as fillings, prevailed in this area. For now, it is not just a favorite for Nepalese, but also is liked all around the globe, most interestingly in mega-cities of India.
A plate of momo, as you get it here in Nepal, consists of 10 dumplings filled with buff meat usually. The fillings may vary as per the choice and availability from mixed vegetables to chicken, or potato and cheese to pork. The meat or vegetable is minced and mixed with home spices, diced onions, garlic, ginger, spring onions; subsequently filled in a thin flour-made wrapper, and then steamed for some minutes. While this is the basic rule of preparation- the taste of still varies from place to place and restaurants to restaurants, due to their diverse (and secret, in most cases) way of preparing and spicing up the filling. It also depends upon the choice of meat, as for meat that contains more fat makes the juiciest and the tastiest momo.
Momo is accompanied by tamaatar ko achaar (tomato pesto), or jhol (soup), or piro achaar (chilli paste), or all; as per the shop’s desire. The jhol or ahcaar are usually spicy and hot, for a contrasting flavor to the momo. There even are some cases where people go to certain places, for they prefer the jhol or achaar more than the dumpling itself. Funny, but true!
With time, the way of eating momo has changed too. From Fried to Kothey, chilli momo(C-momo) to Sandheko, Choila, and what not!!! But the best and most loved way, always, has been the steamed ones. Piping hot dumplings, brought down right from the cooking utensil, topped with jhol or achaar is your best savior from the hunger, and also a savior for your wallet. And, oh the happiness and satisfaction it brings after you lick finishes that plate!
What- Local buff momo.
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