You may have heard that BJP leader Ramesh Arora is particularly steamed about momos. In fact, he has started a campaign against this beloved snack. According to the legislator from Jammu and Kashmir, momos “have been found to be the root cause of several life-threatening diseases, including cancer of the intestine.”
He’s so serious about his anti-momo platform that he would like to see it banned across the state of Jammu & Kashmir.
We asked some of India’s most prominent chefs what they think about this proposed ban. Here’s what they said.
Chef Vicky Ratnani
“I think it’s a completely bizarre reason! We all definitely like to support health, but what about those energy drinks and aerated water then? How healthy are those? Momos are not eaten throughout the day for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I think they should be talking about more relevant topics than the ban on momos!”
Chef & Food Stylist, Sadaf Hussain
‘’Momos are a quick and easy meal for a lot of us. It’s also one of the most loved street foods in a lot of states in India. What people want to eat and what they don't is none of anyone's business. Why is this government trying to mandate and come up with a menu for the citizens? I can’t help but laugh. Did we elect them to decide menus and open up restaurants or to actually run and govern the economy?
They are arguing that ajinomoto is problematic for people, but it's the same ingredient that the Chinese use in a lot of their dishes and they never complained about it. People's food habits are personal, they eat what they feel like and not what they are forced to.’’
Chef Ripu Daman Handa
“The government says their main reason to ban momos is ajinomoto, but I feel the ban is completely pointless. If an ingredient is something that could cause health issues, only because some people think that way, then it isn’t a valid enough reason to discontinue the sales or completely ban a dish which is loved by Indians. Momos need merely three ingredients to be cooked, flour, water and the filling and they could still taste just as good. The use of ajinomoto is not necessary for making Momos.”
The chefs we’ve spoken to seem to agree that the dangers of momos are nothing but hot air. But will the proposed ban become law? We’ll just have to wait and see.