Dolma Tsering, a native of Tibet, started the first momo stall in Delhi in 1994. Today, 26 years later she runs three shops and employs over 20 people.
The steamed delicacy that we call momos — often filled with lightly garnished meat or vegetables, might well be comfort food to every and anybody. While today they can easily be found at every street in Delhi, there was a time when these yummy delights were little known in the national capital. Dolma Tsering, a native of Tibet, is believed to have started the first momo stall in Lajpat Nagar in 1994.
When Dolma first arrived in Delhi in the ’90s, there were hardly any takers for momos among the locals as they thought the dish was ‘kaccha’ (raw) in comparison to other street food. Along with dealing with misconceptions around the dish, she had to also face challenges of being one of the few women selling street food in Delhi at that time.
Initially, customers were sceptical but when they tasted her lip-smacking momos paired with her famous chilly garlic chutney, the orders started pouring in. Dolma Aunty recounts, “I was the first one, there was no culture of momos in Delhi before me. They all looked at me suspiciously like — ‘Who is this woman selling this undercooked ‘maida’ (flour) dish’. They didn’t know what momos were.” Today, Dolma Aunty has three shops across Delhi with over 20 employees. While her son, Ramu, now manages the main business, she personally ensures that her traditional recipe is still used in all the outlets.
Watch this video to know more about the life and culinary skills of Dolma Aunty.