Momo is a very popular food in Nepal. It is steamed meat or vegetables wrapped in flour dough. Momo is a type of South Asian dumpling, popular across the Himalayan regions of broader South Asia. Momos are native to Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan, Northeast Indian regions of Sikkim, Assam, and Arunachal Pradesh, and Darjeeling.
In Newari, one of Nepal’s oldest languages, ‘mome’ means cooking by steaming. ‘Momo’ is to Nepal what pizza is to Italy, and is available in every restaurant, hotel and household of Katmandu and other parts of Nepal. Momo is like Mount Everest – one of the symbols of Nepal. Now its popularity has spread beyond national boundaries and, thanks largely to Nepalese communities living abroad, it is growing popular in other parts of the world, too.
Nutritional information in Momos:
- Carbs: 10.94gm
- Fats: 10.1gm
- Cholesterol: N/A
- Protein: 1.7022gm
- Fiber: N/A
- Calories: 145.4 Kcal
- Calcium: 49.9 mg
- Sodium: 1943.5mg
- Potassium: 120.8mg
Production process of Momos:
- Cut the red chilies and soak them in water for about two hours. Cut up into small pieces and soak in the vinegar for one to two hours. Put all the ingredients in a mixer and grind to a smooth paste.
- In a bowl mix all the ingredients of the chicken or vegetable filling, according to your choice. Keep aside.
- Knead the refined flour, baking powder and salt together into firm dough. Cover and keep aside for 30 minutes.
- Roll the dough into very thin 4-5 inch rounds.
- Take each round piece and place some filling in the center.
- Bring the edges together and twist to seal it.
- Steam in a steamer for about 10 minutes and serve hot with chili sauce.
There are various reasons for Momo’s increasing popularity. First, it is cheap. A plate of momo is enough for a light lunch. Second comes the taste. Momo is prepared with special spices, which add unique and original taste to suit the Nepalese palate. The third reason is momo’s long history. Momo has figured on Nepalese menus for centuries and it has become part of the national culture. The fourth is its availability. It is found in every corner of the country and every restaurant and hotel, big or small.
There are usually many varieties of Momos you can find on Nepal. So let’s take a round on this flavorful delicacy.
1. Steamed Momo:
Usually, the momos are steamed and are found in every other restaurants and cafes in Nepal. These scrumptious juicy momos are filled with minced veggies or meat and are put in dumpling steamer. Everest momo, Sandar momo and Magic momo are few of the most popular momo places in Kathmandu.
2. Kothey Momo:
Kothey momo are half fried and half steamed momo which are made in an elongated shape. The filling can be either veg or various kinds of meat; chicken, buff and pork are mostly available.
3. Chilly Momo:
Commonly known as C. momo is your regular momo dipped in a hot and spicy sauce. If you are willing to try something hot and spicy then, C. momo is your best answer. Try this once; we bet you won’t regret it. Okay, you may, but that will solely depend upon your ability to consume spicy things.
4. Fried and Steam-fried Momo:
These crunchy versions of momos are made by deep frying the momo or frying after steaming the momo. Although, a bit oily, the taste will totally make you forget about your health-conscious thoughts.
5. Jhol Momo:
Jhol basically means liquid or having a liquid-like consistency, and Jhol momos are the momos that are drowned in a bowl full of sauce called jhol achar. The sauce or jhol achar is thin in texture and have a bit of a hot, spicy and tangy twist. I believe, Le Trio and GG Machhan are two of the best places to have Jhol Momo in Kathmandu valley.
6. Open Momo:
Ghangri Sui Mai, the pioneer of open momo is one of the most preferred places for momo fanatics. The momo wraps have four openings which make it easier to pour their famous assortment of distinctive momo sauce.
7. Tandoori Momo:
This lip-smacking combo of momo and tandoori is one to watch out for. It has a rich texture, and your taste bud will definitely drool over it. You can eat these at Best Food Cafe at Gwarko, near B&B hospital.
8. Green Momo:
Remember hating spinach as a kid? Well, hate no more! The dough for this spinach or green momos is made of spinach blended with flour and kneaded with the water from the spinach. Hence, the name and the color of the spinach. These momos are now available at many places but Alice restaurant at Gairidhara have one of the best green momos in K-town
9. Buckwheat (Phaphar) Momo:
Available at Alice restaurant in Gairidhara, this momo can be a safe pick for the health conscious folks as the buckwheat momo packs in more protein and nutrients than its regular counterpart momos. The texture of this momo is incredibly light and is very tasty. Remember to eat them piping hot, as they tend to be a bit dry when they get cold.
10. Paneer/Khuwa/Cheese Momo:
The dough of the momo is stuffed with Paneer, Khuwa or Cheese and is served with achar. Although, it sounds a bit unusual, consuming dairy product in the form of momo is always an option.
11. Fish Momo:
Served at The Bakery Cafe, fish momo have an unusual flavor and are unusually light than of the regular momo; perhaps that explains the white meat. Nevertheless, it’s a must try for everyone.
12) Dhapu Momo:
These giant momos are a bigger version of a regular momo. Some refer to them as Tibetan MoMo, and they are a close version of Chinese Da Pao. As big as child’s fist, they as good as other types. The thickness of dough is not something many people are used to, but hey, it is filling and tastes great. Such momos are more commonly available in places with many of ethnic Tibetans, hence the name, probably.
Dreaming bigger than my imagination could handle.