Himal Chuli's momochas, steamed vegetable
dumplings flavored with peanut sauce and
served in a tomato-coriander sauce, was
named one of the nation's 75 best food buys
in the March issue of Food & Wine. The
mention of this unique culinary asset set
us on a dining course for State Street.
We picked a table by the counter in the
rear under a smiling portrait of the Dalai
Lama. Service was prompt and courteous and,
despite luncheon plans to the contrary,
we wound up having a Nepali feast.
The menu is simple, with both vegetarian
and non-vegetarian columns. The lunch specials
trade heavily on varieties of dal, a mixed
bean soup that's a staple of the region.
The dal that came with our meal was a viscous
blend that was pea-soup green and laced
with beans and onions. The spice mix in
the broth gave it significant character
We definitely needed to try the momochas
($6.50), but knew those wouldn't be enough
to hold us. We set a course that soon had
us eating our way up a mountain of food.
We started with mango lassis ($2.75), billed
as a "refreshing yogurt drink"
on the menu. It was very much like drinking
a much more liquefied yogurt, dressed with
enough mango to give it a tropical freshness.
Thinner than a malt and thicker than whole
milk, the lassis were pleasant but not remarkable
We also ordered a side of whole-wheat roti
($1.25), partially leavened bread also made
with yogurt. The single, saucer-sized slice
divided into four wedges arrived hot and
seemingly fresh from the oven. It had a
wonderful flavor, presumably from the yogurt
in the mix, and we found ourselves eating
far too much of it.
The momochas did prove to be excellent.
Four arrived in the aforementioned sauce,
a light, almost watery compote laced with
coriander. The dumplings themselves were
filled with ground vegetables and chickpeas
and enough cilantro to provide a spark of
For the main course we ordered the daily
tarkara ($7.50), a stew of fresh vegetables
cooked in turmeric, coriander, cumin, fresh
garlic and ginger. The tarkara du jour was
"Cauli," a blend of cauliflower,
carrots, green beans, potatoes and onions.
The vegetable chunks were large and the
blend of spices formed a curry that was
flavorful and interesting. The dish also
came with rice (white or brown) and roti
(white or whole wheat.)
Our other choice was hyala ($8.95), slices
of organic bison meat blended with ginger,
cumin and turmeric. Unfortunately, the bison
was out of stock. Instead we ordered Beef
Buff ($10.95), lean beef sautéed
with green peppers, mushrooms, onions and
sliced cherry tomatoes.
The beef, thinly sliced, was lean and satisfying,
but the dish was less distinctive than we
would have hoped. Next time we'll double-order