After Alma my Iranian neighbour left the apartment in moved Prashanti. Nepali, just out of college and into her first job, she makes for yet another wonderful neighbour. True to her name she is calmness personified. Meeting her and her friends and family, all the Nepali women seem to me to be very charming and delicate. Along came the parents a-visiting and before long Yagya aunty and Ganesh uncle were performing poojas at our place! We were so blessed to have them around for Ganesha Chathurthi as well as for Deepavali. How often do you have people of the same faith move next door? In a place like DC!! Ever since of course, my eating habits have been pampered by aunty's cooking. Momos with tangy accompaniments are delivered hot-hot almost daily at my doorstep. After a long work day, this is welcome respite with Mint Tea.
Yagya aunty with Sandhya after a hard day's labour! Cooking Aloo and Tomato Achaar, Making Momos and Sel....
The single most important aspect of Momo making.
Wet the circular wrapper with water all around the edges, fill with filling.
Hold Momo in your left palm.
Join the fag end of the right side by wetting the edges, put your left thumb between the layers and with your right thumb and index finger create frills on one side, stick the inside edges.
Close the Momo.
Let the sides droop a bit, like a basket so that the Momo can sit in the steamer.
Steam in steamer for 5 to 10 mins. Remove, Cool, Serve.
Not just food, there was great entertainment too! We played Dumb Charades with other cousins who had come by to say bye to aunty-uncle who leave soon. Here the talented girls sing 'Dream Dream Dream...Dreeeeeeam'
Pouring Red Hot Chutney over Piping Hot Momos is one of the greatest blessings of life....
This is how they should look when they are done, a bit shiny and translucent. Common, make a few and impress your friends now!
Prashanti is making all the right poses in the kitchen with the steamer, picking on Momos to see if they are done.
As for the Aloo Achaar, it has Til/Sesame paste with Lemon juice and Timul - a fragrant black Pepper found ONLY in Nepal and in the Schezhuan province of China.
The Tomato chutney is hot and tangy more so because of the special kind of souring agent - a Lemon ie Lapsi - is used, that is found ONLY in Nepal.
The grated Choyote is mixed with grated Cheese/Paneer, Onions, Garlic, Ginger, Salt and Oil but you could substitute with grated Cabbage and grated Carrots too.
The Choyote filling has some water in it, it is alright to fill the Momo with that, don't be afraid of making it wet!
The Hong-Kong wrapper from the Korean market is thinner, the Shanghai one is thicker, it is generally found in the freezer section next to ready-made Momos.
Ingredients: Salt, Oil, grated Ginger, grated Garlic, grated Cheese/Paneer, grated Choyote, grated Onion