Food

Momo is the new dumpling in town in Thiruvananthapuram

Momos from Big Belly Momos

Momos from Big Belly Momos | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Move over steamed momos. How about chocolate momos or pizza momos? Or burger momos and momo wraps? Maybe, your choice is momos in gravy? It is raining momos in Thiruvananathapuram.

The humble steamed dumpling is trending big time in the city, that too in interesting flavours. Over the last two years, momos have been added to the menu of eateries, big and small. In addition there are places such as Klassic Momo, Big Belly Momos and Wow! Momo that are dedicated to momos.

Afghani chicken momos from Klassic Momo

Afghani chicken momos from Klassic Momo | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

“Restaurants did have momos as one of the dishes on their menu. We wanted to start a venture that is all about momos and that’s how Klassic Momo started its operations in 2020,” says the eatery’s owner, Allen Dipu, who has been running his milkshake joint, Kuppi, since 2018. Klassic Momo now has a franchise outlet near Lulu Mall.

Over 150 varieties of momos in Big Belly Momos

Big Belly Momos also arrived in 2020. With a menu that has “over 150 varieties”, they have two dine-in restaurants – at Panavila Junction and Pattoor – and a takeaway counter at Kowdiar. Sharukh Khan who runs the brand with his wife, Neha Sujahudeen says: “We sell at least 10,000 momos daily through our outlets and food delivery platforms. We introduced momos in our restaurant, Mankalam, on a trial basis and it was such a success that eventually, we launched the first outlet with 15 varieties.”

Girija S, Jayalakshmi T and Shobha S making momos at Burger Band’s central kitchen

Girija S, Jayalakshmi T and Shobha S making momos at Burger Band’s central kitchen | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Momo fans say it was Burger Band that made momos popular in the city, back in 2016. They sold momos, chow mein and momo burgers in a food truck parked at Shanghumugham beach. “It was a huge success. We went on to open four more outlets and kiosks. Then the pandemic forced us to shut shop but we restarted an outlet at Kuravankonam. Three homemakers — Girija S, Jayalakshmi T and Shobha S — make the momos at our central kitchen at Plamood. We also supply half-cooked momos with vegetarian or chicken fillings to several restaurants and cafes in the city,” says Mahesh Kumar, one of the partners. Steamed, fried, grilled and Schezwan varieties are available with fillings of vegetables, chicken and beef.

Viplavam Food Labs (VFL) is a major player in the ready-to-cook momos market with its brand, Momoji, which has some of the popular restaurants and cafes on its client list. “VFL delivers the food a restaurant wishes to serve in a ready-to-cook format. We started off with momos because there were few places serving it at that time. After extensive trials with the recipes and technique, we launched Momoji,” says Jose Mathews, who started it with his friend, Abey Antony last year.

Ready-to-cook momos of Momoji, a venture of Viplavam Food Labs

Ready-to-cook momos of Momoji, a venture of Viplavam Food Labs | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Momoji sells a pack of 40 momos. They are 80% cooked and has four types of fillings — vegetables, paneer, chicken and mutton. Jose adds that three companies, two of them outside Kerala, are regular suppliers of ready-to-cook momos in the city. “We have been able to get enough clients in spite of the presence of these brands. We plan to get into the retail segment soon,” he says.

Abey Antony and Jose Mathews, founders of Viplavam Food Labs

Abey Antony and Jose Mathews, founders of Viplavam Food Labs | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Originally from Tibet, momos are made from flour, usually maida. Many places have chefs from the North-East supervising the making of the dumpling and the stuffing.

While vegetables or chicken are the staple fillings, new varieties have paneer, mushroom, soya, corn and cheese, beef, mutton and prawns. You can have the dumplings steamed, fried, pan-fried, deep-fried or grilled with a spicy chutney as the side. With so much experimentation, one is spoilt for choice.

Momos from Klassic Momo

Momos from Klassic Momo | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Try pizza momos from Klassic Momo

Klassic Momo’s hot seller is pizza momos, which are ‘mixed vegetarian momos loaded with mozzarella cheese, onions, capsicum, tomatoes and herbs’, while burger momos (veg or non-veg momo is the patty) is their latest launch. “There are a lot of takers for our dips that come in 15 varieties. We also sell momos made with wheat flour,” Allen adds.

Momos from Big Belly Momos

Momos from Big Belly Momos | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

At Big Belly, there are Kerala special momos (fried momo in a sauce of curd, curry leaves, peanuts and spicy chutney), Thai momos with Thai green curry or red curry, tandoor momos with mint chutney and momo sizzlers served with noodles or rice.

Dessert momos are also in trend

Momos come as desserts as well. Try chocolate momos loaded with dark chocolate, choco chips, roasted cashew or almond. We have banana momos and fried icecream momos too, adds Sharukh.

Crystal momos from BAO-TAO

Crystal momos from BAO-TAO | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Among the 25-odd varieties at BAO TAO, Kowdiar, are crystal dumplings and soup dumplings. “Crystal dumplings are made with opaque white wrappers. Our recipe uses wheat starch and corn starch. The soupy momo has a paper-thin wrapper covering a seasoned meat filling and hot, flavourful soup,” says Nandu Prasad, owner of the eatery.

Sharukh Khan with his wife, Neha Sujahudeen. They run the brand Big Belly Momos 

Sharukh Khan with his wife, Neha Sujahudeen. They run the brand Big Belly Momos  | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Although momos are yet to be sold as street food in the city, a food cart of Shop SEWA Livelihood park near Kowdiar has already started it. An initiative of the Kerala chapter of SEWA (Self Employed Women’s Association), the cart offers chicken, paneer, vegetable, prawns and mushroom momos. Take your pick


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Printable version | Jul 8, 2022 10:29:04 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/food/momos-trending-in-thiruvananthapuram/article65575163.ece