I get happy when I have to talk about food, extremely happy. Like I have said repeatedly it’s purely inherited from my family. I heard about momos for the first time when I was in junior college when there were hawkers all around the city selling this steamy affair. It became popular amongst youngsters instantly. Firstly because it was very affordable, it tasted and smelled healthy and it was not too filling. From the name momo everyone presumed it had something to do with the Chinese folks. Well the name is derived from Chinese but it is an authentic Tibetan and Nepali delicacy, ofcourse very similar to Chinese dumplings. I have momos in my city quite often but I always wondered how the authentic ones differed. So when I went to the hills in the north of India where this delicacy is a favorite, I realized it was more to do with the place than the delicacy itself. It is unique; having a momo on a traffic jammed street in our dear cities and having them staring at the grand shy Himalayas.
|The several local stalls along the Jogiwara road offer a treat for vegetarians|
Mutton/lamb momos are popular in the north because mutton in general is more preferred. The authentic ones somehow manage to complement the silence and serenity that the place has to offer. The momos look silent, they look bland but when you have them, they are succulent and intriguing. Punjab and Chandigarh being quite in vicinity, one finds lot of influence of Punjabi spices in some of the momo stalls owned by Punjabis. It’s commendable how they have incorporated their tastes into this preferably less spicy creation. The concept of fried momos works well for a scrutable Indian, who loves everything fried. Trust me it’s delicious.
You will find lot of hidden café’s all around selling momos in Mcleodganj and Dharamsala. You would think all of them taste the same but, I advice that while you are there, you try each and every place because it will have some hidden recipes to enchant your taste buds.
My personal favorite was the ‘Triund café & German’, a small shop on the uphill road to Dharamkot from Mcleodganj. This shop is run by a father-son pair and their chai perfectly complements their mutton momos. Don't miss the garlic red chillies sauce with it. You could ask for an extra rice soup too. As you sip and eat, you could dream away looking at the robust mountains from a symmetrically grilled window in the shop. The father usually never smiles but he is a nice man.
‘The Momo café’ (above in the picture) is on the Bhagsu road and offers a variety of momos. I found their sign board quite amusing; also it had a tiny board hanging saying that it opens at 7.30 am in summers and 8 am in the winters!
Hope you are having a weekend pampering your taste buds, more later!