Food entrepreneurs and food lovers across the globe share a love for piping hot momos served with hot sauce. From street vendors to posh five-star eateries, momos have had an effect of time, geography, and various cultures heavily change their taste and popularity.
The Northeastern India and its Momos
While many here believe that momos are a gift of the Northeastern culture, the truth is, the roots of this heavenly food can be traced back to Tibet, Nepal, china, and Bhutan.
In India though, you will find some of the most mouth-watering dumplings, with delicious meaty stuffings in creamy, light shells, served with spicy chutney, on the streets of Shillong. It’s the Khasi cuisine, that most people give credit to. But, it’s the Chinese community, who’ve made Shillong into their home, who should be credited for introducing momos.
If you move on to Arunachal Pradesh, you will find the Sherdukpa and Monpa tribes having momos as part of their daily diets. That’s because they live in Tawang and West Kameng districts, that have their borders shared with Tibet. Their momos, though, are stuffed with minced pork along with mustard leaves and some other green veggies.
Sikkim presents a yet again different story when it comes to momos; for across its various Nepali, Lepcha, and Bhutia communities, have momos as part of their comfort food, their soul food. Having an aluminium steamer that cooks momos, is an almost undetachable part of a Sikkimese kitchen, just as these delectable dumplings are like a permanent fixture in Sikkim’s culture. Momo has even pushed Hyontoen, the state’s very own traditional dish, off the plate! People rejoice in preparing batches of momos with pork or beef fillings traditionally, or even chicken, veggies, as well as cottage cheese, these days, and serve it with cucumber salad or radishes.
The Makings of a Delicious Momo…
It is the ingredients you use, and the way you prepare, that makes a momo irresistible. You have to make sure you use the best quality dough, knead it using warm water, stuff it with vegetables or meat that has been properly minced, and flavor it carefully with garlic or ginger. Especially the dough for a dim sum or a momo holds great importance; as you steam the dough, instead of getting thicker, it gets finer. That’s the real trick of a momo!
The aroma wafting off of a juicy momo cooking, along with a portion of sauce made from green chillies, tomatoes, and garlic, while having a bowl of soup to accompany it – that’s the kind of food that revs up one’s appetite as well as soul!