MOMO: Pronounced with the same “o” sound as in “so-so.”
Whether you are planning to visit Nepal as an international traveller or you are actually a Nepali In need of some Nepali inspiration, be sure to check this blog.
This blog is an answer to the question of ….so what actually is Nepali dish/cuisine?.
I get it, we may not have a fancy name like-“pizza, burger for our dishes but we do have some pretty mouth-watering dishes of our own.
Ask any Nepali what their favourite food is, you will likely hear Dhal-Bhat but, we are not here to talk on Dhal-Bhat.
We are talking about “MOMO” yes, MO:MO does that sound familiar? you’ve seen them, eaten them MOMO can’t be lacking on the Nepalese table. It’s safe to call MOMO a Nepalese dish.
म:म: or मोमो (Dumplings) – History of MOMO
The MOMO is probably the only dish that has travelled farthest of all foods & it has evolved over the years.
Pretty Much every restaurant offers MOMO on its menu. Be it a village or the city MOMO is there.
Digging Down on the MOMO & its history, turns out MOMO was originated in Tibet but later improvised in Nepal.
It was Chinese who influenced them, Tibetan invented them & Nepalese perfected them. Yes, you heard it Nepalese perfected them. How?
Well, taking a casual sneak on history, MOMO traces its roots to Nepal from very beginning. Several speculations are there on MOMO & its journey to Nepal.
Here’s the popular one, MOMO initially made its way into Nepal with traders of Kathmandu who regularly travelled Lhasa for business amid the 19th & 20th centuries.
After the uprising of 1959, the Tibetan migrated to Nepal as refugees right then, the journey of MOMO started. Tibetan refugees brought the recipe & later the recipe got into the hands of Newars.
Quick info on Newars
Newars are the popular community probably the oldest community of Kathmandu where food is an integral part of their culture.
Newars are known for sumptuous feasting. There are 200+ Newari cuisine. Over time, Newars switched the recipe with various condiments and replaced the yak meat with the water buffalo, which is commonly found and consumed in Nepal and remains the same name.
Buff…..Buff…Buffalo is the local delicacy for Newars thus, a variation of buffalo meat becomes buff MOMO.
Later people started adding vegetables, chicken, potatoes & so on. Variations are endless-MOMOs can be meat, vegetarian, steamed (the most popular), fried, and cooked in soup. MOMO’s are usually served with chutney-a spicy dipping sauce locally called as “achaar”
By now, this local food took many forms and styles. Sold at Rs. 100 at local diners to Rs. 500 in the hotels/restaurants, it is widely enjoyed food. As a tourist, you should consider tasting the dish at least once during your visit to Nepal.
How to make a Nepali style MOMO Dumplings?
Ingredients 5 cups of flour 1 tablespoon of oil (any) The water as necessary A pinch of salt
Filling 2 pounds. lean ground lamb / pork / chicken / beef (buff) 1 cup red onion, finely chopped 1/2 cup green onion, finely chopped 1/2 cup fresh coriander, finely chopped 1 tbsp fresh garlic, chopped 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, chopped ¼ teaspoon Timur (Sichuan pepper) ¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg 1/4 teaspoon turmeric Curry powder 1 tablespoon masala meat or MOMO masala 3 chopped fresh red peppers, or as desired 3 tablespoons of cooking oil Salt and Pepper
Usually, they are cooked on a steamer for 10-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the wrap and the number of fillers. You can choose to fry them too.
Chutney serves as a sauce to dip the dumplings. It is basically tomato based and usually mixed with cilantro, sesame seeds, cold green, ginger and garlic paste, cumin seeds and vegetable oil. You can grind the spices completely and mix in the tomato puree + mix of water and heat