|Despite accidentally flinging a clove under the table in an |
attempt to peel it, no garlic was harmed in the making of these momos
This morning the monastery had another puja and didn’t need us to teach classes, so Anna and I joined our housemate Rosanne at her volunteer site, Sasane, for a lesson in cooking a Nepali dish, momos. Momos are essentially dumplings that can be prepared steamed or fried.
Sasane is a great organization that works with survivors of human trafficking. Human trafficking is a huge problem in Nepal, with children and young women being stolen, sold, or tricked and forced into the sex trade. The young women at Sasane are survivors/former victims who are currently receiving vocational training to be paralegals and will soon begin internships with the local police departments.
It is a great program that is giving these women the skills they need to financially support themselves so that they don’t need to return to a life of prostitution. Thanks to a $25,000 grant Sasane received last week, the women and girls will now also have the option to train as tour guides and local cooking instructors for tourists. It reminds me of an organization I’m affiliated with back at home, iSanctuary, which also works with survivors of trafficking to help them learn handicrafts and/or office skills so that they can support themselves.
|So proud on my momo|
Today, we had the chance to learn from the staff at Sasane - a happy, smiling group of women who were more than willing to introduce us to their Nepali kitchen. What a great opportunity to learn to cook a new dish in the home of local women using ingredients from local farmers and merchants. We made vegetable and buff (buffalo) momos with garlic, cilantro, red and green onions, ginger, cabbage, masala and other spices, and the most delicious tomato dipping sauce.
While our momos looked deformed compared to the beautiful, delicate dumplings created by our hostesses, all of them tasted fantastic in the end. I’ve had momos at several restaurants since we’ve been here, and I can say without exaggeration that these were by far the best.
|The women of Sasane proudly show off the finished product|
Rosanne organized the morning lesson and has been working at Sasane for several weeks. She is an attorney in the US and has been using her skill set to help the organization apply for grants and funding. I really like her - she is friendly, interesting, and passionate about her travels and work. Rosanne is 53-years-old, has run 18 marathons, and decided to take a 6-month break from work to travel the world. She rented out her house, picked several destinations, and set off bravely on her own to do all the things she wishes she had been courageous enough to do before now. Before coming to Nepal, she spent several days in Africa climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. She is proving to herself (and all of us!) that she is fun and fearless, and I’m so glad to have met her.
|Rosanne, far left, makes momos with Anna and others|