Uncontrolled Denomination – The Mombuus’ Perspective. At Khoj, Delhi.

“Uncontrolled Denomination” is originally a lecture-performance and a food choral action conceived in London during the residency program The Politics of Food at Delfina Foundation, in January 2014. The source of this project is a paradoxical Italian-Chinese hybrid dumpling created during a series of community based projects carried by Leone Contini in Tuscany since 2011, involving the local Chinese migrants, investigating their self-sufficient agriculture and their food practices in the context of Diaspora. “Uncontrolled Denominations” was recently developed in Milano at DOCVA Careof, and eventually carried in Delhi, at Khoj residency.

On April 5 the dumpling action “Uncontrolled Denomination – The Mombuus’ Perspective” will be enacted on the rooftop of Khoj. Mombuus is the merging of the Tibetan-Nepalese dumpling called Momo and the Somalian Sambuus, a fried stuffed pastry similar to the Indian Somosa. The food action will be carried together with Ashish, one of the initiators of Momo kiosks in Delhi, and with young men refugees from Somalia who live in Khirki, Delhi. Momo, from being an “obscure” recipe enclosed in the Tibet refugees’ and Nepali migrants communities, successfully rooted in the fertile and receptive urban environment of Delhi, transforming its original features to make it common street food in the city. Food traditions are always in transition and Sambuus (or Mombuus, its hybridized version) could be the next hot street food Delhites enjoy. Or it will just be an occasion to question identities and boundaries, and play with them.

A special thanks to the Delhian-Somalian rapper Hassan, and to his aunt.


Picture by Alessandro Nassiri

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