Dumplings are universal comfort foods, and in 2016 a small stall in one of Columbus’s international groceries became a phenomenon with its specialties — the Tibetan and Nepali staples called momos. Saraga International Grocery, on Columbus’s northeastern side, sells produce, meats, dairy, and packaged goods for cooking cuisines from around the world. The market also supports a few small food counters, including Momo Ghar run by chef-owner Phuntso Lama.
Lama makes both steamed and fried variations of momos; her most popular version is jhol momo, ground chicken with cilantro among its seasonings in a wrapper shaped into pleated rounds and steamed. Lama stuffs other momos with pork, or mild potato curry, or cabbage and other vegetables, either steamed or shaped into crescents and fried. The menu veers into other territories — a ramen-style soup known as thukpa, a pancake made with lentil flour — but the momos are the clear draw.