A Love letter to Momos, the staple food of many Delhiites, and a look at some experiences built around Delhi’s momos and momowallahs.
To many of us, the first word that comes to our lips when we are hungry and the wallet is light is chal momos khaate hai (lets go eat momos). Momos have become so ingrained in Delhi’s culture that every student you ask can give you the name of their favorite momo shop, and a list of experiences they have had while eating momos. Dolma Aunty, Hunger strike, Majnu Ka Tila, Yashwant Place, and the momo stalls close to our colleges may just feel like a second home to us.
When one talks about momos, how can we forget the loveable momowallahs who pile steaming goodness along with lipsmacking chutney on our plates. Those who eat momos regularly probably see their momowallahs and know their habits better than those of friends. Faizan, a second year student from Jamia Millia Islamia talks about his college momowallahs habit of being friendly with some of his customers. He says “ If you are in college and you need to grab something for your hunger, Momos are your best option. Hundreds of students at my college grab momos between lectures from the Hygienic Mark Cafe, the owner of the place is an interesting person although he gives preference to girls for some unknown reasons. People wait in queues for getting their plates but not the girls. Hygienic’s momos are an integral part of life at JMI.”
Momos have also led to some amazing memories for people with many small dates being planned around momos or including momos. Chhavi, a DU student, says “One of the greatest dates, I’ve ever been on just included chai, hugs and momos. Being a cold winter evening, momos are such a relief. Specially when served with Mayo. It must be remembered, that the best momos are chicken and steamed.” Delhi and momos, a romantic connection indeed and momos have also given the citizens of Delhi some romantic moments of their own. Anandi, a DU student, says “In the streets of Dilli Haat, sharing a plate of chicken momos with my partner, as the chilly Delhi air engulfs us and the momos chutney hits you; tell me something more romantic than this.”
Momos have formed the basis of many small traditions among old friends. Samaksh, a second year DU student says “ After all of us got into college, me and my friends really didn’t have the time to meet each other that regularly with everyone getting busy with their new lives. We made it a tradition to drive down to Yashwant Place once or twice a month at night to eat momos and smoke. It is probably one of the only times I see all my friends together now.”
These silly little anecdotes describe what momos mean to us broke young college kids trying to enjoy even the little moments of our lives, in something as trivial as going out to eat this Tibetian delicacy from our staple momo stalls. Momos in a way define the student culture in Delhi.
Feature Image Credits:
Prabhanu Kumar Das
Feature Image Credits: Little Black Book