Hello World! Momo – A Himalayan Dish

Momo – A Dish from the Himalayas

Momos have been introduced into the Indian plains by the Tibetans who left their homeland after China’s occupation of Tibet. Now, it is a hugely popular dish in India, where numerable varieties have cropped up, accomodating the taste of the Indian palette. Although it resembles the Chinese Jiaozi and Central Asian Manti, Momo must not be confused with either – it is a typical dish of the Himalayan terrains that encircle the northern extremities of South Asia, spreading over the vast expanse of the Himalayas covering Himachal, Laddakh, Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, Sikkim and the North-Eastern states of India. Thus, it is truly a Himalayan dish. However, in places such as Delhi and Dharamshala, where it has been brought by the Tibetans, Momo has become symbolic of the Tibetan people’s struggle for the release of their homeland.

The Momo is basically a steamed dumpling made of refined wheat flour filled with minced meat, fried with diced onions, salt, ginger and garlic. The fillings may vary widely depending upon the availability of the material – meat may be of chicken, lamb, buffalo, turkey, yak, goat, or any other animal readily available in the Himalayan terrain. Because of the non-agrarian nature of this terrain, filling is usually non-vegetarian. However, now with its growing popularity in the mainland of India, it is being filled with diced vegetables, cheese and even boiled potato. To suit the Indian tastebuds accustomed to eating chilly and spices, fillings may use green chillies, coriander leaves, spices or even tomato puree to make it hot and spicy. Various kinds of sauce e.g., soya sauce, chilly sauce, mustard sauce and tomato chilly sauce may be poured over the momos, alongwith a sprinkling of black pepper!

There is a variety of momos that is eaten by immersing the steamed dumplings in meat broth or soup. In higher altitude, yak bone soup forms a delicious broth for dipping the momos in. There is another variety that involves deep frying the momos, or shallow frying them on pan, before being  served with sauce. The fried momos are usually crescent-shaped and the edges of the crescent are turned inwards in an artistic manner like in Gujhia – an Indian sweet.

However, the true lovers of Momos like to eat them steamed, without spices and with a little bit of soya sauce. The more exotic meat inside, the better for them!

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Comments
One Response to “Hello World! Momo – A Himalayan Dish”
  1. Sandstorm says:

    Thanks for enlightening us that Momo is really Himalayan and not Chinese as many people seem to think.

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