Momos and Nepalese both are inseparable from each other. Even not being originated from the land of Nepal, Momos have become the semi-national dish of Nepal. It’s really fascinating to know how Momos have become so popular across Nepal. Let’s have quick look at the Momos in Nepal.
Describing Momos is quite simple. It is a steamed stuffed dumpling native to the Northern part of the Indian Subcontinent.
Although many types of dumplings exist all over the world, the Nepali Momos is said to have come from Tibet with the Tibetan people. It is popularized among other Tibetan dishes, major of which are the Laphing and Thukpa.
Opening Up A Momo
The stuffing that goes into the Momos can be mutton, chicken, buff, pork, fish, cheese, and different type of veggies. You name it and that filling will stuff itself inside the dough (expect well beef).
Cheese can be cottage cheese, tofu, or soft yak cheese. Vegetables include carrots, cabbage, soy granules, beans. I have eaten Momos with fillings of mushrooms and unripe bananas too.
The meat used needs to be in-ground form and vegetables should also be cut in very fine pieces so that it is easy to stuff inside the dough. The dough should not be thick but either too thin.
Chicken Momos seems to be everyone’s favorite. This has come due to the inexpensive chicken meat and the Nepali families (especially Brahmin and Chhetri families) being open to eating Chicken.
Personally, I am a vegetarian so when I have my Momos there is no chance that meat fillings come inside my dough. My favorite is the paneer filling. I recently heard about the Momos from chayote (Iskus) and I am looking forward to eating that.
Onion, garlic, ginger, little oil/fat, and several other spices like coriander, cumin accompany the fillings of meat and veggies to enhance the taste of Momoss and pacify the tastebuds.
Cooking Momos In Nepal
To prepare this dish, you need to mix the filling with the spices together. A spoon of this filling mix is placed on small roti made of flour (maida) and then sealing of the filling is done by the same roti. The closing of the Momos is also a skill, not everyone can do it right.
The Momos are now kept inside a steamer and left to cook. Although this is the traditional style of cooking a Momos, nowadays cooking methods have diversified. Due to the diversification of stuffings and the cooking ideas, the menu for Momos is table-like, with rows showing the cooking style and columns showing the major filling.
Today, Momos can be steamed, deep-fried, or pan-fried (Kotey Momos). C-Momos is another variation in which the fried or steamed Momos are again cooked with capsicum, tomato, onion, and hot sauce.
Watch This To Know How Momos Are Made In Nepal
How are Momos even possible without the tangy chutney or achaar???
The base ingredient of the chutney is tomato.
Tomato is cooked with Indian spices and served in a blended smooth form. Ground sesame is also added. A notable spice in the tomato chutney is the Sichuan pepper.
A form of Momos called Jhol Momos is served with achaar which is more in liquid form and has ground soybean or peanuts.
Urban life and Momos
Here is how urban life is influenced by Momos?
From my seven-year-old nephew to a person in his forties, when you ask them their favorite food, their answers will be identical and the answer will be obvious MOMOS.
If there is a gathering between friends in a restaurant, they will order Momos for sure before looking in the menu for ordering other dishes. They will scour through the menu items but at last end up ordering Momos. Some don’t need to look at the menu to find what to eat.
The affordability of the restaurant is determined by the price of the basic steamed Momos. People will judge the restaurant by the quality/taste of the Momos they serve.
Momos are easily everyone’s favorite. If it wasn’t for the tediousness and time-consuming nature of Momos’s recipe, it would also challenge the Daal Bhaat. But in fast-food restaurants, Momos is easily the most selling dish.
Momos are preferred hot. But in a hurry to satisfy our tastebuds we often dive upon the hot steaming Momos and burn the roof of the mouth. Every Nepali will have time to tell about the time when it happened.
Momos are the thing people say they missed in the period of the lockdown. People miss Momos for one more reason other than the taste. It brings people together as so many people love it. So, whether you eat Momos at home with family or at your favorite place with friends, never stop loving Momos.