India is a melting pot of different ethnicity and cultures, sharing with each other the tastes and attires of different regions each flaunting a unique identity and flavour it’s proud of.
On such a note we hop across India’s North-Eastern border to bring to our platter one popular dish creating a buzz all over India. Yes, you guessed it right!
It’s none other than the proverbial momos! The soft crescent-shaped dumplings with a spicy stuffing that melts in your mouth! Queued up in the fast food race with burgers, chowmeins, golgappas, Chaats, and samosas, momos are one healthy fast food option that’s taking the nation by storm.
We don’t mind digging into a platter of momos once in a while in our favourite momo corner in the town with a choice of stuffing to pick from.
The finely chopped veggies sautéed with the chicken, meat, mushroom, (or simply veggies) tossed with mild flavors of ginger-garlic and chillies, tenderly stuffed and shaped into dumplings and steamed later, to be relished with the spicy red hot momo sauce.
One can pick their own version of momos besides the stuffing which is either steamed, pan-fried or dipped in schezwan sauce.
The health and taste quotient of momos has earned them the top spot among the eateries and also a value for money you can count on.
Today many food entrepreneurs in take-outs, restaurants or roadside shacks take bulk order and supply to their customers.
Originally Tibetian dish momos have travelled across the borders have made their way into Indian diaspora. There was a period when momos were prepared and eaten only by the North-Eastern or the Nepalese people, but with an increase in the population of Nepalese and the people from Sikkim, Manipur, Meghalaya, and Arunachal Pradesh the dish has gained popularity among other communities as well.
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As we just can’t have enough of this quintessential dish that has won many hearts, we are about to walk into one of the most popular momo shacks located in Mumbai city we visit the Dadar area where we find a quaint shop bustling with preparation for momos with aluminium vessels, and cooks chopping vegetables and serving piping hot momos to customers in queue.
We come across the owner of the shop, Eam Thapa a momo seller of Nepalese origin who has migrated all the way from Nepal to make ends meet, so it’s more than just the art of making momos that have pushed him into this profession.
Eam has earned the tricks and skills of momo making from his family members back in Nepal where it’s a household dish people love to devour. He is in this profession for last two years and finds survival in Mumbai much easier given the number of customers who flock to his shop.
While we chat with Eam Thapa we love to drool over the sight of freshly spread momos packed neatly in aluminium foil boxes with a splatter of racy hot momo sauce.
On being questioned on the authenticity of momos, Sam candidly takes into account the variation of momos at different places and secret recipes which add the needed punch to its flavour.
Another assistant cook in Dev’s momo’s hut as the shop is called feels that other than three regular versions of momos made of paneer, chicken, and veggies, one can improvise other version based on the customer’s demand. He claims that it’s the schezwan sauce served with the momos which line up foodies at their shop.
Whether it’s popular in Nepal or Sikkim we don’t care as long as this popular street food satiates our taste buds and leaves us craving for more.