‘Mountain food for mountain people’

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‘Mountain food for mountain people’

Himalayan Kitchen chef finds passion in cooking
Karma Bhotia, right, Wanzhhe Sherp, left, and Nanda Pun, center, demonstrate how to make dumplings, or momo, at the Himalayan Kitchen.
Karma Bhotia demonstrates how to make dumplings, or momo, at the Himalayan Kitchen.
Patricia Harrison, left, and Cherry Miloe, right, of Bayfield, eat at the Himalayan Kitchen. The friends were there to celebrate Harrison’s birthday. “It’s our favorite eating place when we come into town to shop,” Harrison said. “The price of the buffet is absolutely great,” she added.
Sunil Shrestha, a waiter at the Himalayan Kitchen, carries a mixed-grill platter with chicken, sh rimp and lamb to a waiting customer.
A plate of momo sits on a table ready to sample while employees of the Himalayan Kitchen make more of the chicken, onion and garlic dumplings.
Pay it forward when you buy drinks at Bhotia’s restaurant

Tashi Delek and Namaste are the greetings you’ll hear when you walk in the door of the Himalayan Kitchen, on the corner of Ninth Street and Main Avenue in Durango. The complex aromas of Masala, Makhani and Korma, plus the toasted fragrance of platters from a sizzling grill or tandoor oven, set this restaurant apart from the pack. So does the fine print on a section of the beverage menu: 10 percent of the profits from all beverages go to a nonprofit in Nepal. It’s owner Karma Bhotia’s way of paying it forward.
In its early days, the Bhotia Education Foundation helped orphaned children get an education. That was back in 2008, when Bhotia joined forces with his cousin, Kingson Lama, the only teacher in a nine-village region, to see if the focused efforts of two could make a difference.
“For all, for everyone, education can change the world,” Bhotia said, pointing to the difference it made in his life.
Turning mirrors into windows is the purpose of the Bhotia Education Trust, he said. Families in this farming community barely survive under harsh conditions. Education must take a back seat when families struggle for food and provisions.
Three short years after it began, the children of the Chepuwa DV ward No. 3, Lengan, Sankhuwa Sabha, tucked in the northeast corner of Nepal, have a high school – Aruno Daya High School. Enough money has been donated that a library within its walls will open in April. Much of that is because of the generosity of Durango Himalayan Kitchen devotees. Their dollars, pooled with the efforts of Nepalese volunteers with equal-sized hearts, indeed will make a difference, Karma said.
kbrucolianesi@durangoherald.com

Karma Bhotia’s Chaana Tarkari (Garbanzo Bean Curry)

2 16-ounce cans garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
3 medium boiled potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 onion, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced ginger
½ teaspoon crushed chili (adjust for desired level of spiciness)
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cups vegetable broth
½ cup diced green onion
½ cup chopped cilantro
Heat the pot and add oil.
Add the onion and sauté until browned.
Add garlic, ginger, chili, turmeric, tomatoes, salt and curry powder and simmer for 2 minutes.
Add the garbanzo beans, vege-table broth, green onion and cilantro.
Cook for 5 minutes, then add the boiled potatoes and cook for 5 more minutes.
Serve with basmati rice or naan.

‘Mountain food for mountain people’

Purchase
Karma Bhotia, right, Wanzhhe Sherp, left, and Nanda Pun, center, demonstrate how to make dumplings, or momo, at the Himalayan Kitchen.
Purchase
Karma Bhotia demonstrates how to make dumplings, or momo, at the Himalayan Kitchen.
Purchase
Patricia Harrison, left, and Cherry Miloe, right, of Bayfield, eat at the Himalayan Kitchen. The friends were there to celebrate Harrison’s birthday. “It’s our favorite eating place when we come into town to shop,” Harrison said. “The price of the buffet is absolutely great,” she added.
Purchase
Sunil Shrestha, a waiter at the Himalayan Kitchen, carries a mixed-grill platter with chicken, sh rimp and lamb to a waiting customer.
Purchase
A plate of momo sits on a table ready to sample while employees of the Himalayan Kitchen make more of the chicken, onion and garlic dumplings.
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