Momo Crave

Instagram Post 10/25/2018

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At first, basing my expectations solely on a text menu sans pix, I anticipated a plate of typical momos but with a filling of sukuti (Nepalese dried meat) or perhaps some kind of chili instead of regulation beef, chicken, or veggie. A few minutes of explanation from Jyoti, the chef/owner, and a few photos later, I realized that these are not your mama’s momos. Momo Crave, 38-07 69th St in Woodside, Queens has come up with a set of fusion variations that are a must-try. The fillings are indeed the prevailing big three (all nicely seasoned, by the way) but the treatment is what sets them a world apart. The list includes unique varieties like chili, sandeko, tandoori, sukuti, chaat, and kothey (in which the bottoms are crispy fried) along with a respectable number of other items. You can order any of those adaptations in beef, chicken, or veggie although they’re happy to provide recommendations to assist with your mixing and matching fun.

Shown here are the sukuti with beef filling and the sandeko with chicken. The spicy sukuti (on the left) boasts chunks of the Nepalese jerky as the accompaniment. The sandeko has a kicky mustard oil overlay reminiscent of Bangladeshi cuisine and is topped with a dry bean garnish. Both variants are fried and all are beyond clever. And yes, I intend to go back to try the rest.
 
 

Bajeko Sekuwa – Part 3

Instagram Post 8/31/2018

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One more from our Nepalese dinner at Bajeko Sekuwa, 43-16 Queens Boulevard in Sunnyside, Queens:

[1] Paneer Pakoda. Paneer is a fresh (unaged) cheese that doesn’t melt when subjected to high heat. Battered and deep fried for a delicious crispy coating, it was accompanied by two chutneys, cilantro and tamarind.
[2] Chicken Chhoila (you might see chhwela, choila or other spellings). Chhoila is a dish of heavily seasoned grilled meat, in this case chicken marinated in soy sauce with onion, tomato, bell pepper, garlic and hot sauce. Flattened dried rice flakes on the side.
[3] Sekuwa Bandel. Chunks of marinated, grilled, wild boar. Good stuff!
 
 

Bajeko Sekuwa – Part 2

Instagram Post 8/30/2018

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More from our dinner at Bajeko Sekuwa, 43-16 Queens Boulevard in Sunnyside, Queens:

[1] Eggplant Curry. Spicy, deep-fried baby eggplant touched by ginger, garlic, and coriander, bathed in a traditional Madras style sauce – a welcome respite from this otherwise meat-heavy cuisine.
[2] Hyakula Sekuwa. Sekuwa, from which the restaurant takes its name, refers to marinated, grilled cubes of meat, in this case hyakula (mutton); puffed rice on the side. Tasty.
[3] Sukuti Sandheko. Sukuti is Nepal’s answer to jerky: dried, highly seasoned strips of meat; sandheko refers to the spice blend that permeates it. It’s a delicious snack, but the texture may be a challenge for some: imagine the driest, hardest jerky you’ve ever encountered, almost like chewing on softened bones, but not quite. Personally, I loved it.

Stay tuned; still more to come from Bajeko Sekuwa….
 
 

Bajeko Sekuwa – Part 1

Instagram Post 8/28/2018

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Sekuwa refers to seasoned meat that’s been roasted over a wood fire and Bajeko means grandfather, so we headed off to grandpa’s Nepalese grill! Bajeko Sekuwa, 43-16 Queens Boulevard in Sunnyside, Queens, is a restaurant chain that has its roots in Nepal so they clearly know their way around this hearty, meat-heavy cuisine. Here’s some of what we had:

[1] Bengoli Fish Curry cooked with mustard (a Bengali giveaway 😉), tomato and spices. Excellent.
[2] Haas Ko Choila (you might see chhwela). Choila is a dish of heavily seasoned grilled meat, in this case duck enhanced with tomato, garlic, ginger, coriander, dry red chili, and lemon juice. On the side, that’s beaten rice, flattened into dry, light flakes.
[3] Jhol Momo (you might see the word as mo:mo). These were filled with chicken but they’re available in goat and vegetable versions as well. The dumplings themselves were delicious, but the key here is jhol, the Bengali word for broth; the steamed dumplings arrive swimming in a pool that lies somewhere along the sauce-soup continuum, and the two complement each other perfectly.

Stay tuned; more to come from Bajeko Sekuwa….
 
 

Bhanchha Ghar

Instagram Post 11/7/2017

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If you’re going to enjoy a Nepali 🇳🇵 feast, Jhol Momo would certainly be the ultimate comfort food; as a matter of fact, we were even mo’motivated to do it because of the encroaching cold weather. At Nepali Bhanchha Ghar, 74-06 37th Rd, Jackson Heights, Queens, winner of this year’s #momocrawl 🥟, we tasted a bit of many dishes, specifically:

• Chicken Choila, grilled chicken marinated in a blend of spices.
• Buffalo Sukuti, dry meat, like jerky.
• Achar, a pickled dish, here half fish and half mula (radish).
• Bhuttun, organ meats; tasty indeed.
• Sel Roti, a ring of fried rice flour, traditional in Nepali cuisine; get at least one!
• and last, but certainly never least, Jhol Momo, chicken and pork, each with its own characteristic shape. The steamed dumplings swim in a pool that lies somewhere along the sauce-soup continuum, and the two complement each other perfectly. The word jhol means soup and here it was delicious in its own right.

Tip: When you enter, you’ll see two tiny tables. Don’t be discouraged: go downstairs and you’ll discover a much more capacious dining room. Warmer too! 😉