The Nepali Momo, a local variety of dumpling, is a traditional delicacy which consists of a variety of fillings such as chicken or vegetables, stuffed a tender steamed casing. Nepal’s cuisine reflects the lands riveting history and tradition.
The momo is one of the most popular dishes in the nation and a fascinating example of Tibetan influence in Nepali cuisine. It is believed that the recipe arrived in Nepal with the Newar merchants after the influx of Tibetan Diaspora. It was initially popular among the Newar community in Kathmandu Valley but soon caught on to the mainstream. The seasoning was modified to give it a more Nepali undertone.
The traditional Momo is prepared by using refined flour, water oil and salt to make the succulent dough for the casing. The filling comprises finely chopped onions and cabbage to give a pungent yet aromatic flavor. Minced garlic, fresh ginger and red chilies provide a well-balanced, mellow taste to the dish. Scallions are added to bring forth a mild yet lasting flavor. A sweet and earthy flavor is brought out by using cumin and coriander powder. Freshly ground pepper, turmeric and cinnamon are used to bring about a savory sensation by making it mildly spicy.
The dish will include five to ten pieces of Momo. A momo can be steamed or fried, served up hot with a traditional sauce. Variations in sauces and filling are the key to the Nepali momo’s delectable appeal. It is a must for anyone longing for the true Nepali experience.
Shiamak Ali is a university student from Bangladesh studying in Malaysia. He is an intrepid traveler with an eye for the unusual
Pictures: Bablu Chowdhury