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The M-word that unites and satiates

world Updated: Feb 13, 2011 23:53 IST
Utpal Parashar

As a native of north-east India, I am gastronomically programmed to love momos like most brethren from the region, but even a diehard fan like me didn't expect what I witnessed this Friday in Kathmandu.

The venue was Bhrikutimandap, Nepal's mini-version of Pragati Maidan, and the occasion the 10th annual Momo-Mania festival, celebrating the Himalayan nation's most popular snack.

It seemed most roads in Kathmandu Valley led to the venue where thousands went wild over these dumplings said to have originated in Tibet. For those who love momos---it was like being in paradise.

Forgetting the numerous problems plaguing the country like 14 hour daily power cuts and an ongoing political crisis, Kathmanduites dug their teeth into 22 varieties of momos on offer. Besides those made with usual fillings like chicken, pork, mutton and buffalo there were others like tandoori chicken, fish, Thai momos, Dapao from Bhutan and traditional Newari Momocha. Taste buds of vegetarians were also satiated to the fullest with momos made with fillings of mushroom, cheese, spinach, kidney beans and South Indian momos dipped in sambar.

For those with sweet tooth there were momos made with gajar ka halwa and gundpak, a local sweet. Nine kinds of dipping sauces, free drinks, tattoos and music added to the festive spirit. Organised by Bakery Café Momo-Mania has become part of Kathmandu's food calendar and eflects the immense love residents have for momos.

Having momos in the evenings is part of many Kathmanduites daily routine and hundreds of outlets, from the fancy ones to those in street corners cater to this demand.