Dumplings are universal – every great food culture has their own.
The Japanese make gyoza, Koreans mandu, Vietnam has banh bot loc
There’s coxinhas in Brazil, empanadas in Argentina
Khinkali in Georgia, kroppkaka in Sweden and knish all over Eastern Europe
Puerto Ricohas Pasteles, Poland pierogi and pastizzi in Malta
The Italian love ravioli, Portugese relish rissóis, Indian’s savour samosas.
(There’s a dumpling musical in this.)
In China alone a hungry person could go missing for years in a galaxy of fluffy cha siu baos, classic steamed zhēngjiao, pot stickers, wontons in soup, soup-filled xiao long baos, glutinous rice zongzis and a thousand variations to tantalise the dumpling-curious inbetween.
There is, however, one dumpling that arouses a passion and fervour perhaps more than any other….the Tibetan momo (sorry Nepal – it’s yours too).
A YouTube search for “making momos” reveals an endless parade of devotees desperate to share the momo message with the unenlightened.
Just roll the word momo around your mouth several times and it sets off a trance-like automatic hunger response.
This week on our own dumpling odyssey (check out Dan’s empandas here) we began selling fresh momos from the much-loved Himalaya Tibetan Tent.
Born in Tibet and raised in India, tent co-founder Tashi fled repression in his country, crossing over the Himalayas to find refuge in Dharamsala in Northern India.
When he moved to Melbourne 10 years ago he found work in hospitality.
Tashi met partner Anj while chefing in an aged care home. Together in 2015 they started the Himalaya Tibetan Tent selling the momos Tashi had grown up cooking.
Tashi and Anj’s farmers market stand has developed a cult following with regulars including many momo-addicted celebs lining up at the Tent for a fix.
Tashi’s dream is to open a cafe serving his own food and tea for Tibetans to connect with each other and the wider community.
The couple has committed to supporting farmers filling their momos, which take two days to make, with organic and locally grown ingredients.
Super simple to prepare at home Tashi says you just steam or panfry his momos for 5 to 8 minutes, dip in chilli sauce and eat.
We’re delivering Tashi and Anj’s organic tofu and veg momo’s everyday – you can find them here.
Have a great week
I am a momo maker with darjeeling flavours.