For The Love Of Momos In Delhi
For The Love Of Momos In Delhi
One of the things Priyanka Naik loves about staying in Delhi is the almost endless access to a huge range of rich foods, which she can gorge on whenever she feels like it. Her love for food means she’s game to try every amazing tid-bit that comes her way. Here she talks about the Momo Festival held on December 17-18th in the Garden of Five Senses. Read on for more about all she loved and what she hated about the second edition of this annual event.
Delhi has a large range of cuisines and an ever larger number of food connoisseurs. The many festivals held through the year allows me to indulge my obsession with food, and this happens far more often than is considered healthy. This past weekend, I joined the second edition of the two-day Momo Festival, arranged by Gobuzzinga and Delhi Food Walks. Yum!
Now, I’m normally not a great fan of momos. Just put it down to the fact that I’ve had a mixed experience so far. When prepared well, momos can be a delight in every bite, but when they’re not, they can be quite a disaster! I’ve eaten lumpy masses of under-cooked flour or, in the absence of proper filling, been left with a mouthful of bland, squishy coating (yuck!). So, I had my reservations about attending this event. But the impulse to try something new, and possibly magical (their promotional menu seemed way too tempting), forced me to attend the festival and boy, am I glad I made that decision.
Until this past weekend, if anyone ever mentioned momos, I would imagine little white domes, served with chilli and schezwan sauce. But the Momo Festival made me realise that we’ve come a long way in reinventing the traditional momo (the name we’ve given to a dimsum, outside China). The humble momos have been replaced with new-age recipes, different flavours and exceptionally tasty versions.
Momo Mania: Spicy, Sweet & Everything In Between!
I was ready for a culinary treat and I wasn’t disappointed. The first varieties I tried was Heaven on Earth Veg and Butter Chicken by 2 Bros Kitchen (Noida), both of which were amazingly soft and juicy. While the chicken-stuffed dumplings were dressed in rich, creamy buttery tomato sauce, the vegetarian option was a complete stunner. Its unique mix of minced veggies (I think there were carrots and beetroot among others) served with a slightly sweet, yet tangy sauce and sesame seeds, made it a winner through and through!
The butter chicken momos were an obvious crowd favorite. Despite the fact that I reached the venue soon after the festival started (around noon), there was a long wait and they were sold out well before I left for the day. And the wait was well worth it because the butter chicken momos were lip-smackingly good. If I had to nitpick, and I’m sure most people would disagree, but I’d have liked smaller portions at the food festival, so that I could try more options. The size of the momos and servings were so big that I felt full after eating just three of these.
Next, we tried the Vodka Veg by Queen’s Boulevard (Amar Colony), another crowd puller. I was quite excited about this one, even ordering a veg version so my brother (a vegetarian) could try them with me. However, this was one big disappointment. Not only was the stuffing unoriginal, the sauce (the source of the vodka) barely packed a punch. At the end of the day, these were just normal momos, with some spiked sauce. Not that they were bad, mind you, but they were far from inventive when it came to taste.
Another variety worth mentioning is the Tandoori Momos by Hunger Strike (Amar Colony). We pretty much stumbled across this stall and since the servings looked so much like my favourite Dahi Bhalla chat, I couldn’t resist a taste. The fantastic stuffing and the tandoor’s smoky flavour made these darlings super popular with the crowds; the vegetarian version was an absolute hit! Thankfully I had ordered at the start of my tasting experience, because this stall soon had long queues of people waiting to be served.
An offbeat variety was the chocolate brownie-stuffed Choco Bomb Momo by Momo-tarian. I had to wait quite a bit for this one since it wasn’t available till after 1.30pm. This was the only sweet dumpling I’d tried and it tasted a bit weird. I guess we’ve yet to acquire a taste for sweet momos, because the individual ingredients were made pretty well. The brownie was sticky and sweet, the outer covering (first steamed, then fried) was thin and soft, and the chocolate sauce topping wasn’t overly sweet. But despite my love for chocolate, this was far from my favorite!
Two other drool-worthy momo flavours I tried were the Italian White Sauce Veg by Poku and the Chicken Pataka by Flirty Momos (Rajinder Nagar). While one embodied classic Italian tastes (I LOVE white sauce), the other was chicken tikka-flavoured and fried.
A word of appreciation for New Zaika (Chanakya Puri), the only stall which sold Pork Dumplings (as far as I could see). I love pork, and wanted to taste it but full to the brim with all the food I’d had. Still, I walked up to the stall and requested a tasting, which they readily agreed to, free of cost. However, it wasn’t as good as the absolutely mouth-watering pork dumplings I had on my recent visit to Taiwan.
Amazing Food, Not So Amazing Festival
I wasn’t expecting such a crowd at a momo festival. The venue was swarming with people, and by 2.30pm, there was barely any space to stand. Massive crowds queued up for momos, and it was absolute chaos. The way the event was organised was disappointing (they probably didn’t expect such a crowd either), and some basic things were missing:
There were no dustbins placed around the stalls and we were forced to keep holding our waste till we found one, which was quite a pain.
The drinking water supply dwindled and was over by 3pm, which forced us to survive on soda drinks and shakes.
There were no proper queues anywhere and people were impatient and refused to stand in line, even at the coupon counters.
The signage placement was all wrong. The menus were hidden by people standing outside the stalls, so we couldn’t really make out which momos were available where.
Overall, there was a general sense of excitement and happiness at having eaten some of the best-tasting momos available in town. And that made it worth the effort. I would have loved to try some more versions, including the Afghani, Peri-Peri and Burger Momo, but my appetite let me down. Finally, I look forward to next year but hope it’s better organised though!
Fact File On Delhi
Official Language: Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu
Currency: Indian Rupee
Food & Drinks: Kebab, Biryani , Butter Chicken, Chhole Bhature, Lassi
Time zone: UTC+05:30
Check out our Inbound Travel packages!
About The Author
Priyanka believes life is an endless collection of new experiences, with a story born every moment. Every time one sets eyes on something new or reviews something with a fresh view, the narrative changes. A marketing & PR professional, she strives to live and share her experiences with food, travel and dance, by penning down her stories, and relive those priceless moments.