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A love of dumplings

I have spoken to a lot of people lately about the things they see, taste and experience in the Tea House.  How did we get into tea?  Where did the inspiration for our logo come from? {more on that another time} Why British Teaware?  We love all of these conversations - & thank you for tolerating our stories.  Most recently however I have spent a lot of time talking about dumplings.  Which is great because I LOVE dumplings.

As with everything at the Tea House there is a story.  So on this rather grey afternoon I thought I would share a story of momos, darjeeling {tea is always in there somewhere} and the hot stimulating cafe.  So now I have your on.... 


Darjeeling seems to have been the starting point for many things that you see today at Comins Tea House and it was here, on a gloriously clear day that we somehow quite randomly found out about a momo making class at the Hot Stimulating Cafe (!) which is on the way to Observatory Hill.  Having tasted momos throughout our trip {hunting down the best ones can take you to some weird and wonderful places} and more recently at the hotel we were staying at in Kurseong we were keen to learn how to make these delicious steamed dumplings which can be found throughout the valleys in the region {they are native to Nepal, Tibet and the bordering regions of Bhutan and NE India}

Under the watchful eye of the team at the HSC we had a momo masterclass in what must be one of the most picturesque cookery schools in the world.  We learned that preparing momos was a labour of love in itself with the ingredients needing to be meticulously chopped and mixed - it was a very social experience - not unlike the act of preparing and taking tea together - and often involves family groups coming together to man the various stations in the process.  There was no British politeness.  It was made very clear to us when the results of our chopping and preparation was substandard and we were sent back to our bowls to take corrective action

Once the contents were passed we were allowed to attempt the pleating.  Now this is an art.  Certainly complex, quite frustrating at times but in the end very satisfying.  It was not made any easier by the fact that the contents dictate the pleat.  Full moon for meat filling, half moon for vegetarian and a special pleat for fish {which Rob can still master easily but to this day requires me to be in a quiet room with full concentration!}.  Last of all is the chutney which needs to be great for a memorable momo experience - prepared from fresh tomatoes and some other secret ingredients....
Finally, after cooking, we enjoyed.  Sitting on the terrace with a cup of steaming tea we enjoyed our efforts and decided that, when we finally opened our Tea House, dumplings would be on the menu.
Since this trip we have continued our tea travels and were, in our time in Japan, firmly won over by the pan-fried style Gyoza called Yaki-gyōza.  Our pleating masterclass in Darjeeling served us well and you can find us making these daily in the Tea House - from scratch to our own recipe {they are just perfect with a bowl of steaming Japanese green tea}.
But what about Momos?  As winter draws and we start to find comfort in delicious bowls of our Indian favourites {Assam, Darjeeling} I just have a feeling that momos may be joining the this space.

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