May 22, 2010

Mom (o)

The craving for Momo is increasing by leaps and bounds. Craving for a food, she didn’t touch for 15 years after that fateful day. She used to feel a strong resentment towards Momo. She often thought the food as the reason for her tragedy. And therefore she kept herself away from it. But now suddenly she is feeling the strongest urge to have it. Initially she tried to fend off the craving, but it slowly overwhelmed her. Throughout the day she was only thinking of Momos.
Then one day she thought of ordering Momos from the nearest Tibetan delight. She picked up the phone and dialled the number but the repulsion crept back and she kept the phone.
More than anything she was scared of her father’s prying. Ever since that incidence she deliberately abstained from Momo, and her father always felt her abstinence illogical. No doubt her father would be happy to see his daughter forgetting the past, but she was too embarrassed to answer any of his questions.
Finally she abandoned the idea of buying it and decided to secretly prepare it at home when the others would be away. The very next day she clandestinely went to the nearby mall and bought all the ingredients. She kept them in the freezer behind other stuff, safeguarding them from peeping eyes.
Throughout the night she was unable to sleep. She was having a strange feeling. She was feeling guilty although she had no reason to feel so, but still she felt culpability. For the last 15 years she had always held this particular food responsible for her misfortune and now all of a sudden she was dying to have it. Throughout the night she felt uneasy and memories of that unfortunate day came back like a movie flashback.

She could see and feel that fateful morning when her mother was preparing ingredients for Momo. It was she who had requested her mom to prepare Momo. From early morning her mom started chopping onions and garlic, kneading the dough, making small balls. She was served steaming hot Momos before she left for school.
Her mom promised Thukpa and Momo after she returned from school.
Even in school she was not able to concentrate. Her mind was only thinking of Momo and Thukpa. Just after the English period she was excitedly discussing the prospect of having momo after school with her friends, when the school office bearer came and asked her to come along to the Princapal’s room. She was surprised with this sudden summon and also scared. Even after thinking a lot she was not able to think of any recent misdeed that could lead her to the Principal’s room. She silently and anxiously followed the bearer.
After entering the principal’s room she was surprised to find her neighbour Mr.Tandon sitting in front of her Principal. Immediately she thought that this man has come to complain about her to the principal. She recollected that the previous week she had not taken Mr.Tandon’s daughter in the game of “chor police”. May be that has irked this man, and he has come to complain.
After she entered the room her principal called her and held her hand very politely, she saw no anger in the principal’s face. He very politely asked her to go home along with Mr.Tandon. She was surprised. Why was she being asked to go home? For a moment she thought maybe her mom wanted her to have the Momo right then. Maybe her mom was as excited as her and couldn’t wait to serve her.
With great anticipation she started for home. When she entered her home’s lawn she saw almost all her neighbourhood people waiting. She was surprised and thought that maybe her mom has called all of them to have Momos.
Mrs Tobden, came and hugged her. She was taken inside. Mrs Tobden was walking very slowly and carefully as if not to disturb anybody.
Slowly they entered her parent’s bedroom; she saw her mother lying on the bed. A plateful of momo was getting cold in the side table. She wondered why her mother was sleeping when there was houseful of guests. That was the day she last had Momo.

15 years later, today she is going to have it once again. Throughout the day when her husband and father were away she made the Momos. In the evening she sat in her veranda and had the first bite of Momo after 15 years, and with the first bite she felt her baby kicking inside her. She became sure that it is going to be a girl. She now knew that her mother is coming back. Her mother was signalling her to get back to her favourite food and not blame it.

Recipe for Momo

Ingredients for Momo
250 grams minced chicken/mutton
2 cusp flour
2 onions chopped
2 cloves garlic chopped
4 green chillies chopped
1 inch ginger chopped
2 shallots chopped
Coriander leaves
1 tsp soya sauce
¼ tsp vinegar
2 lemon juice
2 tsp pepper
Salt to taste

Ingredients for the chutney
2 tomatoes chopped
2 cloves garlic chopped
1 inch ginger chopped
4 red chillies
1 tsp olive oil

How to prepare Momo

Marinate the chicken with lemon juice and vinegar and refrigerate overnight. Take the marinated chicken and add chopped onions, garlic, ginger, shallots, chillies and coriander leaves to it. Mix thoroughly and add salt, pepper and soya sauce. Keep the filling aside.
Take flour in a bowl and add salt to it. Add water and knead into dough. Make small balls from the dough. Roll the balls into small round and put 1 tsp of filling in the middle. Fold the round into a semi circular shape and seal it. Steam it for about 20 minutes.

How to prepare the chutney

Put tomato, garlic, ginger and red chillies in mixer and blend it into a fine paste. Pour olive oil in a pan. Pour the paste into the pan, add salt. Simmer the paste for sometime. Serve the Momos along with this chutney.

Spending a considerable part of my childhood in Gangtok I naturally developed a liking for Tibetan food although, I never tried preparing them at home. This food fiction encouraged me to prepare momo for the first time at home. With all humility I admit it tasted awesome. This is my entry for the second edition of Chalks and Chopsticks hosted by Bong Mom. The first edition of chalks and chopsticks was hosted by Aqua.


  1. Momota toh enjoy kortey parlam na tai tomar lekhatai enjoy korlam

  2. Thanks Balaka for the entry. Lovely story and I love Momos too

  3. The story touched my heart... nice one.. and i am sure momos were also very tasty

  4. The story touched my heart.. nice one..

  5. Wow Tina! favorite...janish kodin dhorei bhabchilam banabo....ebar tor recipe tai amar momo khawar icche ta bhalo kore jagiye dili....very touching story...u r gr8

  6. @mishmi..remember amar ar tor sei mahamayatalar tibetan delight e giye momo khawa...they used to take ages to serve them..i miss u mishmi..

  7. Wonderful Tina! Lovely piece of writing...very emotionally tugging...And I must tell you I absolutely love loved it all the more....BTW is there any good news waiting for all of us???

  8. Momo aar Thukpa ta tor kachei prothom shunechilam (tor Gangtok connection...). Tarpor obossho fell in love with it when I had it for the first time.
    Recipe is good but the authentic one is where you use Pork instead of Chicken or any other meat.

    2 yrs back I was in Darjeeling for a day and I remember walking at least a kilometer into the village to source out a good Pork momo.

    Chutney ta te 1 to 2 tsp vinegar will adda lot of tang and give it an urban taste.

  9. 'momo' and mom - both are close to heart things :) golpotao :)

  10. @AK true that pork momo is the authentic one...and next time will def add vinegar to the chutney

  11. a touching story! have stopped trying any recipes for quite sometime now... maybe i should beging with this now

  12. a touching story! have stopped trying any recipes for quite sometime now... maybe i should begin with this now

  13. i love momos, steamed and fried both ..have made couple of times in home but it lacked that restaurant quality..will try your way someday..Recipe goes well with the flow of story :)..
    hugs and smiles

  14. What a touching story- very well-written. Your words gripped me.

  15. @Jaya and @ Nupur...Thanks a lot for dropping in

  16. I lost my mom when I was 21 and I am expecting now and I am hoping it would be a girl and my mom would come back to us. Your story brought back all the memories

  17. Interesting story.. nice buildup and quick, unexpected climax. Look forward to more!

    Btw, thanks for visiting me! :)



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