Nepal is rich in culture. One of the fun things to do while your visit to Nepal is buying yourself some nice food. The first dish that comes to our mind when we talk about the Nepali food list is Momos. Its surely one of the top 10 Nepali food items that have gained massive global popularity.
Momos are a national dish of Nepal. Also known as dumplings, they are indeed world-famous cuisine. Momos are made, served, and relished in every clan of Nepal. Asian people can relate to Momos as they are like samosas but Momos are more of a nouvelle cuisine.
The temptation of dumplings is hard to resist but first let’s talk about
History of Momos
Momo is the heart of Nepali cuisine and represents Nepali culture in every way. The triangular shape of the dumplings depicts the great Himalayas. Every family in Nepal holds Momo as dear as fish is to Bangladeshi people.
The roots of dumplings get back to the 14th century in Khatamandu Valley. It is a dish of Newari people who were initial and actual inhabitants of the Himalayan zone. The word “Momos” originally means steamed dumplings.
Maybe people living in mountains and hilly areas adopted the steamed version because it suited their weather and environment. Imagine the hot and steamy Momos in heart of the Himalayas. Simply delicious!
At first, the dish traveled to Tibet through cross-culture marriage when a Nepali princess married a Tibetan king. With time, the dish was passed outside the Asian boundaries and now Momos are ruling the hearts and conquering taste buds wherever they reach.
Why are Momos so loved?
As Nepal is a major tourist attraction so its food is gaining popularity day by day. Tourists from all over the world eat various Nepali food items and take beautiful memories with them. You will find Momos cafes everywhere in Nepal.
They can be eaten both as snacks and as a whole meal. Dumplings are easy to make and taste yum.
Many people claim that dumplings are like samosas. However, this is not true. Samosas are also tasty but every foodie knows that Momos and samosas are very different dishes both in terms of taste and making. The only thing common is “stuffing”.
Usually, Samosa is stuffed with boiled potatoes and Momos with chicken or red meat. However, with changing taste preferences chefs have invented recipes that use variant ingredients. Also, chefs make Momos in steam and samosa in oil.
Dumplings are widely loved because of their unique and delicious taste, cute shape, and easy-to-make recipes. Also, they are inexpensive and easily available.
Nutritional values of dumplings
The original momos recipe includes ” steamed dumplings”. This oil-free part makes them healthy. However, many people prefer fried Momos too. This increases the number of calories in a dish. Normally one steam dumpling can contain up to 100 calories.
Originally Momos were made with beef so the calorie count was more but keeping everything in mind, the dish is healthy. Vegetables and meat in dumplings increase the health benefits of this food.
So unless you are not frying them in tons of oil and keeping the recipe original, Momos are a healthy dish. The frying makes dumplings junk food which is not very good for health.
How are Nepali Momos made?
Momos are very simple and easy Nepali dish to make. This is one of many reasons why the world has adopted this cuisine so fast. The basic ingredients are white flour, veggies, and, meat. You can choose veggies of your choice to customize your recipe.
Mostly Nepali people prefer chicken momos but you can stuff them with beef or mutton too. However, don’t forget to boil the meat at first to soften it.
Here is a step-by-step recipe for savory and delicious momos.
- First, To make dumplings simply knead the flour and leave it for half an hour to set down. This will reduce any lump formation.
- Chop the meat and mince it. Add salt and spices. (Don’t use MSG).
- Some commonly used spices are mustard powder, ginger juice sesame, green chilies, and pepper.
- Add garlic and onion to the meat. This gives a beautiful aroma to food when cooked.
- Mix veggies and herbs in meat and knead well to make a uniform stuffing.
- Now mold the kneaded flour into a small thin disk or square shape.
- Add stuffing and close the corners. Make any shape of your choice.
- Mostly Nepali dumplings are made in a triangular or semi-circular shape.
- Use a multi-layer pan to evenly cook the dumplings. In the first layer add water. Mix spices, salt, and garlic. Add momos to the upper layer and steam for approx 10-15 minutes.
- Momos are best served with sauce. The sauce is made with tomatoes, spices, chopped onions, and garlic.
- Add sauce in Momos and let it seep.
- Enjoy the savory dumplings.
- For the veg Momo recipe, exclude the meat part.
- Chicken Momos are the most common dumplings however, you can also use beef, pork, or other meat.
- As they are prepared in steam so they are light on the stomach.
Where to find the best Momos in Nepal?
Nepali people proudly flaunt their culture and dumplings have a great share in that. A platter full of dumplings tops the Nepali food list. You will find them everywhere. However, the best dumplings are the ones that they serve in Fresh element restaurant in Pokhara.
The dumplings served there is so delicious and finger-licking good that you will want to order again. Also, they don’t use MSG which is another plus.
As Fresh element restaurant is one of the top-rated restaurants, you should try going there. Enjoy a fine meal with wine or cocktail and experience Nepal in a new way.
Momos and weight-loss
The idea of replacing a bowl of salad with a platter of dumplings is so flavorful that the diet seems appealing.
Well, little dumplings can make your clothes lose. If you will eat the steam version, they will help you to shed some extra kilos.
Amongst all the diets, dumplings are the best fit in portion control diets. They contain carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, and minerals.
In the end, all we have to say is
Momos are simply MOMOLICIOUS!