In Nepal, momo -- the small, white-flour dumplings that represent the Nepali contribution to world dumpling culture -- are used as currency. Goats and yaks can be bartered for on the streets with buckets of momo. A fine woman is said to be worth her weight in momo. There's a folk tale that relates how a man traded his wife for three magical momo and was, forever after, thought of as the wisest man who ever lived. And the best momo-makers in any city are numbered among the most wealthy, blessed and handsome in all the land.
Okay, none of that's true. But it should be. When made well -- with skill and care and an eye toward beauty - momo are among my favorite foods. And I could totally see these dumplings being used in place of a less degradable currency, being weighed on scales in the local markets as a trade-good: ten momo for a pair of sturdy snowshoes, twelve for one of those crazy fur hats, twenty-five for a rifle with which a brave man could go out and hunt Yeti among the frozen crags of Sagarmatha. There have been days when I would've gladly traded my good boots for a dozen momo dressed in smoky, sweet and spicy tomato achaar, times in my working life when I might've considered taking my pay in momo -- spooned out on a Friday evening and kept warm as I ran home, barefoot, through the snowy streets, in a Yeti-skin bag pressed close to my heart.
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SHOW ME HOW
Believe it or not, that's the start to this week's review of Nepal Cuisine, a great Nepalese restaurant that makes the best momo around.
I love momo, and so got a bit over-excited by the opportunity to spend a week eating a whole bunch of them for...research. Unfortunately, getting my hands on said momo was not as easy as simply sitting down and asking for them. In order to see why this was, you'll have to read the review of Nepal Cuisine.
But in case you don't feel like reading 2,000 words about dumplings, have no fear. I also made a trip out to India's in its new location in Tiffany Plaza, and write gushingly about its saag and tandoori chicken.
It will all be here tomorrow, waiting for you.