The smell of Kopan masala spices is up there with frangipani, gardenia, daphne flowers, Nature’s Garden Lemongrass incense and rain after hot weather in my list of all time favourite smells. Maybe because the smell usually announces the arrival of momos-that delicious Nepali delight. For a while, I couldn’t eat momos and I certainly can’t eat them in restuarants as they are not good for Coeliacs but at home, I make them using spring role wrappers to make them gluten free. Obviously they are not quite as delicious as using the proper wrappers but look, you take what you can get and they are still pretty amazing!
The recipe for Kopan masala comes from a cook book produced by Betty Jung and the resident chef at Kopan monastery to raise funds. I think it is only available in Kathmandu? Or maybe here? The vital ingredient that I love is alaichi, black cardamon. And lots of it. Grinding the spices is almost meditative and making momos is such a community event. On our Colourful Journey tours, our gorgeous Chaita and Bishnu teach us how and we all have a go at making the dainty crescent shapes. Or not.
We shared them with friends from the Hill including a couple of wandering Nepalis who advised us on how much salt to add. So we added half that amount. Ekdam mitho thyo!