I asked her for a recipe.
She giggled as if I asked for the moon.
Then she shook her head sideways…
By then I understood that head wobble.. it’s a yes in Nepal , shaking her head side by side.
(Donkey Express at the Annapurna Region)
We decided to stop at Meera’s Guest house , by 3pm the temperature was dipping .
I could feel it was going to snow overnight, the chill was gnawing my bones, my very tropical bones are struggling with the Himalayan coldness.
So I asked if she can make momos.
Meera is of the Pun clan and has a lovely Mongoloid facial feature. When she smiled her eyes smiled widely too.
(My first attempt at making momos, not so bad.)
Luckily the inn was not yet busy. So I followed her to her kitchen where she started preparing the dough.
I asked for chicken momo though I would have preferred the buff momo. Buffalo meat is actually very tasty.
So with her hand chopping like a hand blender, the chicken was mixed with cilantro, onions, bit of chilli, garlic, graham masala, salt.
This was when I asked for the recipe and she giggled. But first she and her son had to teach me how to roll the dough and fill it , this was when the tricky part came in. the creative crescent shape, the folding and the pinching.
½ kilo flour
1 tsp baking powder
and a half cup water (she did not measure) but she said just add water slowly until the dough is pliable.
Finely chopped the chicken breast and add chopped coriander, onions, crushed garlic, graham masala and salt.
Put a dollop of the mixture and seal.
Boil water and put a steamer on the top, wipe it with a bit of oil so not to stick.
Steam for 5 mins .
(Meera’s mother peeling garlic)
Meera still thought I asked for the moon and it was not till hours after we left her inn the next day when I actually went through my bill.
She only charged me for 100rupees ( €1, yes a euro) for the room instead of 200 rupees.
Momos are dumplings of Tibetan origin and one my favourite Nepali food.
In Kathmandu I found a place in Patan run by Tibetans where I would order buffalo momos and lemon teas with honey from the Himalayas.
I would eat them with such gusto while I contemplate how beautiful life is indeed.
Khana Khanu Bhayo in Nepali means , ” Have you eaten?”. This is much more a greeting not merely a question.