Nepal | June 03, 2020

Momo: That’s what we miss and crave

Jessica Rai
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Kathmandu

His favourite restaurant was closed along with other restaurants due to lockdown. So were supermarkets. Siddhartha Ghimire had no way to get momo. And this food blogger thought he would make momo himself at home after three-four days into the lockdown.

“I bought this whole chicken from a local store. But the mince didn’t turn out well and so I had no other choice but to make a curry,” he recalls. “Everything else from the dough to achaar was ready, but I couldn’t mince the meat as required for the momos and the plan was ruined.”

He then went to Bhabhateni to get frozen momo but to no avail. And finally, when restaurants started delivering, he was finally able to taste his favourite dish — momo. He had to wait for “10-15 days”. Now, he snacks on momo everyday.

It hadn’t been two days since the lockdown was implemented and Rajiv Rinchen Palzar, Proprietor of Aambo Momo in Thamel, started getting calls for momo. People
were asking him if they had momo, some even telling him that they could come to get momo if the dish was available.

“I would get calls from 5-15 people a day for momo,” he recalls on how people went crazy for momo in the first few days of the lockdown. Luckily there was a cold store near his house in Naya Bazaar to buy the needed meat, so he started catering to the cravings of momo lovers beginning with some neighbours and his regular customers who would come pick the momo. “We catered to 10-15 people initially.”

Then a mart approached Palzar to sell their momo, and now their frozen chicken momo are also being delivered through an online supermarket.

Before the lockdown was relaxed a bit about 10 days ago, other competitors emerged in the market. “We were making 1,000-1,200 pieces a day,” Palzar shares adding that a team of three were making momo for 12 hours a day. “We nearly broke our backs,” he jokes.

There is a demand for momo during the lockdown, shares Raja Ram Nepal, CEO of thulo.com and “momo are being sold in good numbers”. He observes that people were enjoying momo in eateries and in each chowk before the lockdown. “It is obvious lots of people still want to enjoy momo,” he shares adding, “The number of momo delivery has increased. This is not just a case of my venture.” According to him, there is an order for momo in 60-70 per cent of orders they receive.

Some buy frozen momo, while other make it at home. Pratima Ramtel and her family made chicken momo a few days ago.

“I finally had momo,” the 21-year-old reveals. She shares it was a different feeling to make momo and have it during the lockdown. “I was actually happy.”

And they couldn’t do it earlier as shops to buy meat were closed.

Many have satiated their momo cravings. Some have not as yet. But there is no doubt, Nepalis simply love momo.


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