Steaming momos on a platter

Steaming momos  on a platter

Steam poured out of the tiny red cart that stood unassumingly on the pavement of Commercial Street. The smell of freshly steamed momos wafted into the air but it was the pictures of the steamed dish that were pasted on the cart that attracted the eye of the customer.

Darjeeling Hot Momos popped up in the vicinity two months ago. “Commercial Street didn’t have any other momo joint so I decided to open one here,” says Pallab Kanwar, the owner of the small stall.

He says he never planned on selling momos but it just happened. “I didn’t have this plan. I used to work in this building and the owner encouraged me to open the stall. He said he would give me the place for reduced rent and advance. So I thought I’d try it out; I went to malls and checked out momo joints. Then I went to the market and looked for the items I needed. Once I found them, I decided to go ahead,” he says.

He sells four items, vegetarian and chicken momos and vegetarian and chicken momo burgers. “I saw pictures of the momo burger in Phoenix MarketCity and I wanted to make those at my stall. I never tasted it but I got lots of burger buns in Shivajinagar so I started experimenting. At first, it didn’t taste nice but then it came out good. Now it sells out,” he says.

He steams the momos for a few minutes and adds a spicy sauce before handing it over to the customer.

He says he buys the momos from a Nepali family on Bannerghatta Road. “They supply the momos and sell them. In the first month, I went under a severe loss and lost almost Rs 16,000. Business has been picking up in the last 15 days.”

He says he had employed someone else to look after his business but then decided to take over himself. “People liked the food, the stall, the place...I wondered why they weren’t coming. Then I found out that the salesman was being rude to the customers so I fired him,” he says.

Pallab has been in the service industry for the past seven years. “I used to work for many companies before I decided to open my own business.” He starts his day at 11: 30 am with the momo stall and goes to bed at 4 am, after wrapping up his other food stall at a media house.

“I like food because everyone can enjoy it. If I were to have opened up a clothing store, only few people would have come, but everyone would want reasonably priced food,” he says.

 Having come all the way from Assam 13 years ago, he has settled down in Bangalore nicely. “There are no jobs there so I decided to come here. Now I want to make some money before I settle down,” he says.

He has already made preparations to open a chaat and sandwich shop right next to the momo stall. “On Saturday, I will be opening another stall right next to this one. It will be run on a token system.” It is his love for sales and food that draws people to his stall. “I love sales and I’m very interested in business.”

He never has unkind words for his customers and tries to do his best to comply with their wishes. “It has the authenticity that a momo should have, that is very important. The sauce that he gives is very authentic.

The momos he gives take a little longer to cook but are worth the wait. And the filling should be a little more,” said Saurabh, who was visiting the stall for the first time. For details, call 8453922002.

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