Friday, February 18, 2011

Of Momos and Mountains

Of all the mouth-meltingly tongue-tinglingly lip-lickingly delicious Bhutanese foods I have tried so far, momos are the greatest. Momos are stuffed dough envelopes rather like perogis but while perogis are boiled or baked, momos are fried or steamed:

Meat momos are available but the simplest and best contain just light cheese and little flecks of cabbage. They are served with red chili paste that is sometimes toned down with additional ingredients like cilantro.

As of 2006, Cookie Monster says that cookies are a "sometime snack" and I have tried to adopt that motto about momos but I can't. I am Classic Cookie Monster: "Me want momos! Nom! Nom! Nom! Nom! Nom!". I have now compared the offerings of four Trashiyangtse hotspots. Two of them outyummed even my beloved Fresh Bite Restaurant in Thimphu. My favourite are these succulent suckers from a tiny little bar up the hill. William thinks they are too oily and prefers the ones from the rainbow-lit restaurant by the post office but we both concede that both are amazing:

The aforementioned "tiny little bar up the hill":

Anyway, the whole point of this expose on momos was to remind you of the modern monster's mantra. There is a lot of wisdom in "cookies are a sometimes snack." Bhutan is teaching me that when you can't have something whenever you want it you appreciate it so much more. When electricity comes and goes, you notice when you have it. When water takes an hour to heat, a warm bucket bath is sublime.

To my great surprise, the same principal applies to mountains. Trashiyangtse is surrounded by them but the highest and most impressive ones are almost always covered in cloud. On the rare days that they peak their peaks out from behind the puffs, they take my breath away:

Now for the big surprise ending that ties the two disparate strands of this blog entry together: momos ARE like mountains. They, too, are not always available when I want them. A full half of the time I have sought momos I have been told, "too late for momos." And I weep.


  1. So glad to hear that you have found some food that you are both enjoying so much. If you learn the recipe and get the ingredients you cound make them yourself when they are sold out at the bar. Plus you will need to know how to make them back here. Love Dad >

  2. Sounds delicious (Momos) and delightful (Mountains)!

  3. sounds very delicious glad to hear you are both enjoying the momos
    love mom B

  4. Great post, Kendra. Love the comparison of a deeper philosophical topic to diet/food.

  5. Yum!! We love momos too! Looking forward to eating some authentic ones in April :)