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
5 medium tomatoes (grilled or roasted)
Half onion finely chopped
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.
Add garlic/ginger paste, turmeric powder, salt and chilli powder. Fry it for a minute or two, till oil seperates.
Add roasted tomatoes and cook until for 5-7 minutes by covering the pot.
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.
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.
Serve it with steaming hot momos. Enjoy.