Khawa Karpo

There’s this shanty of a restaurant right across from Jyothi Niwas College in Koramangala where you get some very cheap and pretty mean Tibetan food. Khawa Karpo. You cannot miss it.

On some days you don’t get a lot of stuff on their menu. And that’s quite a bummer. I, for one, have never managed to eat the thukpa there and I’ve been there a half dozen times in my eight months in Bangalore.

But on the days you do get what they have to offer, the place is a treat. Imagine four people with large appetites eating there for Rs 425/- and there’s still food that can be taken home in a doggie-bag, that’s saying something, isn’t it?

There’s this something called a la phing that is served either vegetarian or with your choice of chicken or pork. It comes in two colours, white and yellow. Khawa Karpo, in Koramangala, serves the yellow variation. It is a jelly made from moong beans and spread into really thin sheets, after which it is rolled and then cut. It is garnished with an extremely spicy powder (mixed with garlic and salt) before serving.

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They have pork momos and chicken momos that they serve with a fabulous red chutney.

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And then, they have these steamed buns called ting-mo and I was really really lucky to get the last piece on one of my visits to Khawa Karpo. They may not look appetizing, but paired with a spicy pork gravy, they are absolutely divine. I’ve been tempted to find a recipe online and try making them myself, but somehow, I’ve never gotten around to doing so.

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On other occasions, I’ve almost invariably had more momos. I’ve also had whatever noodles they were serving that evening, for the lack of thukpa and other such delicacies.

It’s dirt cheap. It is run by East Indian (or perhaps even Tibetan) men who’re the sweetest people ever when it comes to taking orders and being apologetic about not having a bunch of the stuff they have on their menu in the kitchen. It’s most definitely worth a visit. But best of all, I like it for the cheap, college feel it gives me when I go there with friends from a decade ago.

[updated on: September 15th, 2013]
[original draft: July 21, 2013]

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