|A view of Wow! Momo at RDB Boulevard. Picture by Sanat Kr Sinha
The humble momo — one of Calcuttas favourite roadside snack foods — has acquired brand value. Chances are that you have spotted the Wow! Momo name by now. Started by friends and business partners Sagar Daryani and Binod Kumar Homagai, about 18 months into the business, eight Wow! Momo outlets have sprouted in Calcutta. Spencers in South City Mall, Rashbehari Avenue, Avishar and Tollygunge; Pantaloons Gariahat; Ecospace in Rajarhat; Big Bazaar Sealdah and now a standalone quick-eat stop at RDB Boulevard in Sector V, Salt Lake.
After graduating with B.Com degrees in 2008, we planned to open a bakery in Mumbai. But then Binod knew a good momo chef and we got into this business with Rs 30,000 and two employees, says Sagar. The gamble paid off, with the chain now selling about 1,500 plates of momos on weekdays and about 2,500 on weekends.
They have served up the steamed treats at the DLF IPL 2010 at Eden Gardens Block G, selling 600 plates of momos in 20 minutes. And regulars like Bhaichung (Bhutia) and (Jose Ramirez) Barreto like coming to their Avishar outlet.
Though the chicken and vegetable steamed classic versions of the dumpling are the hottest sellers at Wow! Momo, there are also variants like the Fish Steamed Momo, Mushroom Steamed Momo, Paneer Steamed Momo and Prawn Fried Momo.
You can also zing up your pan-fried momo with a Schezwan or tomato garlic sauce. To add a desi touch, the momos are served with coriander chutney along with the classic chilli dip.
You will see more of the Wow! Momo name soon, with an outlet coming up on the ground floor of Mani Square. We will also open the citys first Momoteria soon, where you can eat gourmet as well as healthy momos, promises Sagar.
Prices range between Rs 40 and Rs 70 for a plate of five momos. Thukpa, chicken pakora and fish fingers are other items on offer.
Steamed Chicken Momo with OlivesServes 2 (10 pieces)
200g chicken mince
50g onions, chopped
65g Spanish olives, diced
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp garlic paste
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper powder
20g chopped coriander
For the filling, add the onions, olives, coriander, garlic and ginger to the chicken mince.
Mix well and add the salt and black pepper.
For the dough, mix flour well with warm water and let it rest for five minutes. Make balls of 2.5 cm and roll as thin as you can, with a rolling pin. Form a cone in your hand and stuff with filling and seal.
Grease the steaming container with vegetable oil so that the momos do not stick to the surface. Carefully place the momos in the container and steam for 15 minutes. Serve with any dip of your choice.