Tag Archives: tomato achar

Jhol Momo Soup Recipe

Jhol momo is very famous and much loved steamed Nepali dumplings served with jhol achar (soup). It is an easy find in any restaurants and street hawkers in Kathmandu. The jhol achar is in house specialty of momos that you get in Kathmandu.

As I was born and raised in Kathmandu, I grew up eating momos for khaja (afternoon tea) almost everyday. These momos came swimming in a liquid (tomato soup) laced with powdered soya or sesame. This is perfect accompaniment for momos as this soup enhances the meatiness of the dumplings and also gives it a nice kick of chilli and tanginess. Depending on the kind of eateries, the taste and consistency varies. It was not always the healthy choice if you buy it from local eatery as they normally use lot of fat in the mince meat, but it sure was very tasty.

Every now and then I crave for this authentic taste of jhol momos. I make momos at all the time, be it for dinner, or for family get together, momos always gets a nod. I’ve been trying to recreate this jhol momos for a while now. I’ve tried few combinations of spice and consistency, it’s been a hit and a miss. But the recipe of the jhol (soup), I’m about to share comes very close to the authentic taste. When I tasted it, it took me straight back to those steaming stalls of Kathmandu street.

I will be posting recipe for momos very soon. Here’s my take on the jhol achar for momos

Ingredients

5 medium tomatoes (grilled or roasted)
Half onion finely chopped
4 cloves
2 green cardamom
1 black cardamom
1 cinnamon stick
4 bay leaves
1 tablespoon of garlic and ginger paste
Chillies as per your taste
2 tablespoon of oil
Salt as per taste
3 tablespoon of sesame (roast sesame with 2 dry chillies and 3-4 szehuwan peppercorns and grounded into a powder)
1 litre of chicken stock (or soup made from bone)

In a pot, heat oil and fry onion until soft and has slight colour. Add cardamom, cloves, cinnamon stick, bay leaves and let it infuse with sautéed onion for a minute.

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Add garlic/ginger paste, turmeric powder, salt and chilli powder. Fry it for a minute or two, till oil seperates.

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Add roasted tomatoes and cook until for 5-7 minutes by covering the pot.

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When tomatoes are soft and mushy, add chicken stock and bring it to the boil. Turn the heat to low and let it simmer on a gentle heat for 10 minutes ensuring the liquid doesn’t reduce.

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After 10 minutes turn off the heat. Let it cool.

When the soup is cool, take bay leaves, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom out of the soup. Pour the soup in a blender and add sesame. Blitz it until it’s creamy and fine.

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Serve it with steaming hot momos. Enjoy.

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Golveda ko Achar (Grilled Tomato and Coriander)

Achar (pickles) are integral part of nepali and newari cuisine. It’s served with every meal as it always add that extra punch and flavour hit to rice, daal and curry.

There are so many varieties of achar. Some are made on daily basis with fresh produce meals, others are pickled and preserved as per my previous post of daikon radish pickle.

Nepali cuisine is all about celebrating fresh and organic produce. It’s simple cooking with best fresh vegetables, herbs and meats.

We go and buy fresh produce twice a day in the local market. The best seasonal produce (fruits and vegetables) are brought straight from farm at the market by farmers and they sell it direct to consumers. There are no stalls, vendors just lay their products in the basket in designated area of the market. It’s an instant pop up market for few hours in the morning and night.

Most people didn’t have fridges and buying and cooking fresh produce twice a day was norm.

I remember when I was about 8-9 years old, I used to go to these market in the mornings with my sisters. We used to bargain and buy all these beautiful produce. Even the memory of these markets enthralls me. The sight, sound and smell used to lift my spirits. I still cherish those memories.

The recipe I’m sharing today is a very simple yet it celebrates the fresh produce and brings out the best.

I made this achar for last night’s dinner along with black lentil daal, cauliflower curry and rice. It’s a classic flavours combination that I love to eat during cold winters in Kathmandu.
Here’s a nepali vegetarian meal I had last night.

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I will share the recipe of cauliflower in future post but try this achar. It’s dead simple, rustic and goes really well with meat or vegetable curry and steamy hot momos.

Ingredients
5 small sized tomatoes
1 cup of chopped of coriander
4 dried chillies
Salt to taste
10-12 sichuan peppers

Heat oil in the pan and fry dried chillies until it’s black. Remove it from the pan and set aside.

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In the same pan, put quartered tomatoes skin side down. You can use grill to roast the tomatoes or even open fire or charcoal. For added flavour char the skin of tomatoes.

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Once the skin is charred, reduce heat to low and cook tomatoes for 10-15 minutes. The prolong cooking of tomatoes will extract water and concentrate tomatoes to enhance the flavour.

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In a mortar and pestle, add fried dry chillies, salt, sichuan peppers, coriander and pound it to make a rough paste. ( you can use blender but I’m very old school and believe that grinding in mortar pestle gives it more flavour).

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Add tomatoes and grind it with the mix to make a thick paste consistently. It’s ready to be served with your favourite meal even pasta.

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