Held recently at Assam Engineering Institute Chandmari field, the momo festival promised a culinary display of flavourful momos from different parts of Guwahati and the neighbouring states of Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Meghalaya.
I chose to visit the festival one afternoon, I had hoped for pleasant weather but I had to put up with the scorching sun. I had assumed that the venue will only have momo vans, which are very popular among young people across the city. But after paying an entry fees of Rs 30, I entered the venue and was pleasantly surprised. The venue was dotted with colourful stalls and soothing music was playing in the background.
Once inside, we needed to exchange our money for paper notes which were considered as momo currency. After a quick look at the stalls and their products, I decided to exchange the amount I would need to sample a fair share of momos on display. It was great to see that diverse varieties of momos were available. Many known restaurants from Guwahati opened up stalls to lure local momo-lovers. At the time I went, only a few stalls were open because of the heat. But it was more packed during the evening.
People enjoyed the DJ and the rock show along with the mouth-watering momos. Young people in school and college uniforms thronged the stalls in search for their favourite flavours. I settled for a mixed platter of both sweet and savoury momos. In one stall, I saw fish dhaniya momo which caught my attention but sadly I couldn’t taste it as it was not ready. From Chicken Cheese Momos to Chocolate Momos, you could taste it all. It was indeed a display of creativity, competition and food diversity. I personally enjoyed the Afghani Momos, Soy Pepper Momos and Tandoori Momos.
One of the stall owners explained that momos originated in Tibet and Arunachal Pradesh and now people have experimented with taste and flavours. It was a delightful food experience. At the festival, some looked for authentic momos while others experimented with exotic flavours. The prices ranged from Rs 60 for 6 pieces to a whopping Rs 300 for 9 pieces. There was one counter which even taught foodies how to make fluffy momos in 30 minutes for Rs 100.
This was a great festival where locals could indulge in unique momos and good music. If the weather hadn’t been such a spoilsport, it would have made every bite even more memorable.
By Samhita Barooah
Food lover and Travel Writer