Ghana and Nar Sharma, frequent contributors to the Concord Multicultural Festival, share their love of momo with a hungry audience.
Momos. Delectable delicate wrapped morsels from the Himalayas. You could watch a video online to learn how to make them… but why do that, when you could sit back with other Concord foodies and watch the experienced hands of Ghana and Nar assemble them, while they counsel you on ingredients options and where to buy them?
When our audience arrived at Concord’s Local Baskit last Monday, the first of the evening’s samples were already quietly steaming away. As Ghana and Nar explained, you can assemble momos up to several days ahead of time and even freeze them if you are getting ready to host a feast but they must be freshly cooked, which takes 45 minutes. While they are a relatively economic way to feed a large number of lucky guests, they are time consuming to prepare, involving much grating of cabbage (a food processor is ok, but Nar opted for the quieter box grater), salting, then squeezing out excess water before adding onion, butter, mozzarella, and spice mix. Add the ground meat of your choice if you wish, then scoop a small amount of filling into its wrapper and twist. While Ghana was flexible about the various ground meats that could be used (or the type of cheese, or the sauce or dipping chutney to pair the momos with) he was stern on one point: you MUST use momo masalla NOT garam masalla! Fortunately this is available in local Asian markets.
Beth Richards, founder of Local Baskit who kindly hosted the demonstration, provided her guests with an enjoyable white from Summit Winery in Keene, pressed in NH with California grapes.
Once strictly cooked at home for guests or for family to enjoy together, these days you can find momos 24 hours a day in large cities in Nepal or northern India. If you are making them in bulk to please a large crowd, a frame to hold the wrapper and a moktu for steaming (Ghana and Nar have one that will cook 60 to perfection) will simplify your life. If you don’t want to make that kind of commitment to crafting momos, a bamboo steamer works fine as well.
The presentation was a collaboration between Making Matters NH and the Concord Multicultural Festival. MMNH hopes to eventually provide a commercial kitchen for the community as part of its planned makerspace, which would provide opportunities for hands-on learning for larger groups and support for new food businesses in Central NH. (*More momos would be just fine with us!*).