Of kheers and paneers: Bagmati Sweets is a local joint serving many vegetarian optionsIt took a mouthful of cottage cheese momos with spicy tomato pickle for Prashant Dhungana from Patan to change his mind about vegetarian momos.
It took a mouthful of cottage cheese momos with spicy tomato pickle for Prashant Dhungana from Patan to change his mind about vegetarian momos. The avid meat lover who would otherwise actively avoid momos with fillings other than chicken and buffalo meat is now a regular at Bagmati Sweets, Tripureshwor, Kathmandu, where he first tasted the dish.
Located right behind the temple on the right-hand-side corner on the stretch from Tripureshwor Chowk towards Thapathali, Bagmati Sweets has been satiating the cravings for vegetarian dishes and Indian desserts since the last three decades. It hosts around 500 customers on regular days.
“We are the pioneers of paneer momo in Kathmandu,” Shivaram Khatri, 52, the proud owner of Bagmati Sweets, shares with the Post. Khatri himself has an interesting story on how he decided to open this establishment. After he failed his school leaving exams and had no interest whatsoever on studies or giving re-exams, he joined his father’s breakfast stall where he sold milk and bread. “I did not want to stick to just milk and bread, but bring in something more,” says Khatri about his beginner days. His efforts of revamping his father’s small shop is the Bagmati Sweets that stands today.
This eatery can only host around 50 people at a time but there is a busy flow of customers round the clock. Bagmati Sweets is also very popular for its vegetarian take-aways.
Ashmita Joshi was initially attracted to this joint for its broad range of vegetarian options. “Originally, it was the paneer momos but since becoming a regular I have indulged myself with chhola bhatura, parathas and lalmohans as well,” she says while waiting for a take-away for her family. Since tasting the momos at Bagmati Sweets, she has had them at other places as well but they didn’t taste as good as her favourite place, she says.
Khatri remembers the time when they were the only ones to serve the paneer momos in Kathmandu. He says that owners of other restaurants used to come to his shop and stay there for hours to see the process of momo making. When he started the trend, momo shops normally used to sell momos with chicken and buffalo meat fillings, only a few had started selling vegetable momos.
Although known as the momo place, Indra Prasad Ghimire, Khatri’s partner in the business for almost five years now, says that kheer, a sweetened rice pudding, is what they sell the most per day. “Nowadays, people only make kheer during special occasions and it is not made readily at homes. So whenever they have a craving for the pudding, they come at our place,” he says. The partners claim that they are the only ones to sell the rice pudding on a daily basis in Kathmandu.
As it is the busiest vegetarian joint in Kathmandu, Khatri says that he struggles to give time to his family. He works more than 12 hours a day and when he reaches home, he starts planning for the other day. He claims that he has not taken a single day off since starting his business.
If you plan on visiting and tasting their famous paneer momos, kheer or any other dessert items, you need to grab any empty seats available. If you take time savouring the taste a little longer, you are likely to find a number of customers asking you to finish up fast. The other option you can go for is takeaways.