Monday, September 22, 2014

Food Post: Mouth-Watering 'Momo' -Traditional Delicacy Of Nepal

In my last blog post I mentioned that the tales of Nepal would remain incomplete if I don't write about Momo! So here I am with my first Food Post.
Hope you will enjoy!

How " Tasting MOMO" Became A Part Of My Bucket List!

Delicious Momo

If you visit Nepal, you must not come back without tasting Nepal's one of the most traditional delicacy "MOMO", also known as Tibetan food. As soon as my trip to Nepal was finalized, 'tasting Momo' was one of the things of my bucket that I tagged as "must to do". 
You can ask why! 

The Book, "Joto Kando Kathmandu Te"
Well, that enthusiasm would work for every single Feluda (ফেলুদা) fan who has read "Joto Kando Kathmandu Te"*. Feluda is an eternal and evergreen creation of the Greatest Satyajit Ray (1921-1992), who is mostly known as an Indian-Bangla Film-maker and also regarded as one of the greatest auteurs of world cinema. Though my first encounter with Satyajit Ray happened through his writings and novels. Yes, those evergreen Feluda novels, classic detective stories, enriched with the presence of Topshe (তোপসে) and never-failed-to-make-me-laugh character Jotayu (জটায়ু)! 

Through the novel "Joto Kando Kathmandu Te", when Feluda, Topese and Jotayu visit Kathmandu, Jotayu tastes Momo, one of the traditional foods of Nepal, as I already mentioned. Later, he tells Feluda about Momo and describes it as something very much delicious. Here comes the point of my interest. 

Before vising a new place I always research on three things and according to it I make my plans. 
1. Place to see
2. Food to taste
3. Culture to maintain

According to number 2, Momo made its place to my bucket list at once!

Different Types Of Momo

However, I knew from the very moment I landed in Nepal that I was not going back to Bangladesh without Tasting Momo! And my determination did not go in vain. I tasted Momo for twice during my Nepal trip.
Chicken Momo, with Dipping Sauces

First time I ordered Momo while we went to Mahabir's Restaurant. In the Feluda Story, Jotayu was informed that Momo is a kind of 'meat ball in sauce'; but actually it is different than meat ball in many aspects. It is mainly a kind of dumpling; Steamed bun or dough of flower with filling. Momo could be of two kinds
> Normal Momo 
> Green Momo

Different types of meat fillings are used in different regions but in Nepal the famous and favorites are chicken and buffalo. In Nepal they call buffalo as "buff" in short. They call it 'buff momo' and my friends from Nepal, whenever they saw buffs taken to Kathmandu they shouted "milk or momo" :P. It means either those buffs are taken to produce milk or to be cooked for Momo!

Recipe Of Momo

I tasted normal chicken Momo at first day. Later I asked the recipe from the waiter and he was very enthusiastic to fill me up with information! It was plain dough of flower with the filling of piece of chicken, onion, chili, salt, spices and momo masalla (momo spice) and after they mix the filling, they steam up the momos with boiled water. When it is cooked they serve it with two dipping sauces (locally known as achaar or chatney )

And yes, they have special spice called "Momo Masalla" to specially cook momo that definitely adds the special flavor and taste to Momos. You can buy Momo Masalla from the street shop or any super market of Nepal.

The day before I left Nepal I tasted Green Momo which seemed more tasty than the normal one. The Momo is green because they boil spinach first and they filter the water and mix it with the dough of flower and then repeat the whole process. 

Green Momo

How Momo Should Be Eaten

You have to take a little amount of dipping sauce with every piece of Momo and then you take the bite. But remember, you cannot get the full taste of Momo if you eat it with short bites. Momo has a kind of juicy filling inside which enhances the taste of it. You have to take the whole piece in your mouth at once and then enjoy its spicy and juicy flavors while chewing it slowly.

Where To Find Momo       
Momo can be found in any restaurant you would hit in but to enjoy a good piece of Momo you must hit a good restaurant. Though local street food shops are also famous for serving tasty Momos as they are traditionally running the cooking business for centuries.  

Eating Momo has certainly made my trip! though I regret not tasting buff Momo but in future, if I get a chance again, it is not going to be missed! 
But for now, I would say if you are planning to get a trip to Nepal, you must not miss Momo which taste is representing the flavor of Nepal for generations!

*(Watch full film "Joto Kando Kanthmandu Te" here)

Keep your eyes on!