Momo – a never say no delicacy for all northeasterners during any time of the year is fast taking over as an integral element of street food in most parts of the country.
Non-vegetarian or vegetarian, the mildly spiced and seasoned filling with a tender soft covering layer can make you hungry any time of the day. Especially in chilling winter, a plate of momos with the red chilly chutney and a steaming bowl of plain soup can be the best dose to beat the cold.
But many may not be aware of the fact that momo has its big brother which primarily migrated from Tibet to the northeastern India like its younger brother and became patented in Sikkim. It can be three times bigger the size than the regular momo, tastier and filling.
These are popularly called Thaipo in Sikkim. Thaipo is known by different names such as – Thypo, Taipo or Typo depending upon the region. Originating all the way from Tibet, Thaipo is mostly made in the North-eastern Indian belt. The great migration of Tibetans into the North-east region led to a scattering of their prominent dishes, Thaipo being among them. Communities and people across this belt enjoy Thaipo in their own way and with fillings that vary. The Nepali, Bhutia, Tibetan and Lepcha people of this region may have different fillings but they are bound by their love for this dish.
The Thaipo is like a steamed momo, yet there are some prominent disparities. The dishes are related, apart from that baking soda is appended to the dough when preparing Thaipo and the base remained plane. Thaipo are also available in both veg as well as non-veg editions but it’s coating is quite stiff as against the regular momos.
Geometrically talking, Thaipo resembles a fat steamed momo with a smooth back, which can fit on an open hand.
So, a visit to Sikkim next, one should ensure to go beyond momos and indulge in the pure pleasure of a thaipo or two.