Recipe of Thukpa – Recipe
I was introduced to Thukpa more than a decade ago at New Delhi’s Dilli Haat, which was the then home for cash-strapped food lovers. There was something remarkable about this special, humble, soupy noodle – its medley of flavors, strong aromatic seasoning and bright coloured vegetables that pulled me towards it. What more can I desire from an almost wintery lunch? Over time, I travelled to places and was recently confronted with a Thukpa again; this time in a more authentic avatar – a Tibetan’s kitchen at Mcleod Ganj. Localised versions of Thukpa have been spotted in various parts of Himalayas, though Thukpa finds its origins in the Eastern part of Tibet.
Thukpa is a kind of exotic soupy noodle that has a characteristically complex and warm flavour. It is fairly simple to prepare and can be adapted according to the location; for eg. In some parts of Nepal and India, people use cumin seeds and bay leaf in their Thukpa. Thukpa is also cooked with several varying proteins – beef, chicken, yam, vegetables, momos, wontons and eggs. Its ingredients are most easily available and it can easily become a part of your staple diet. This soupy noodle is not only healthy, but scrumptious and filling too. The recipe below is created to conveniently accommodate your variations too, so go ahead and make one today!
- 1 bowl cooked noodles (egg/flat/wontons/momos)
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 3-4 dried shiitake mushrooms (soaked in warm water for one hour)
- 1 cup cabbage, chopped
- 1/2 cup carrots, julienned
- 1/2 cup red bell peppers, julienned
- 1/2 cup celery, julienned
- 2 medium Japanese radish
- 2 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
- 1 inch ginger, minced
- 4 cups of vegetable broth
- 1 tsp yellow curry powder
- 2 tablespoon chilli-garlic sauce
- 1 tablespoon light soy
- 3 tablespoon tomato Sauce
- 1 tablespoon vinegar or fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp szechwan pepper
- 2 tbsp canola oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 bowl chicken breasts, sliced (optional)
- Precook your preferred noodles in boiling water and drain when they are slightly undercooked.
- Prepare fresh vegetable/chicken broth.
- In a saucepan, heat oil and add onions and sauté till golden brown. Stir well for a minute or so. Sauté all the vegetables on high heat for a minute. (If you are using chicken, this is a good time to put the pieces of chicken and brown them well).
- In the meanwhile, prepare your paste by combining crushed Szechwan peppers, chilli-garlic, ginger, garlic, yellow curry powder, tomato sauce, vinegar and light soy. Run the mixture in a blender untill well-processed.
- Add Thukpa paste in the saucepan and fold the paste for a minute with the vegetables. Pour in the broth and mix well. Add in salt and pepper.
- Cook on simmer for 5 minutes.
- To serve, pour soup broth into a serving bowl and add the cooked rice noodles. Serve immediately.
- Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro.
Written by Sakshi Mithal, Founder and artist at The Kitchen Connect. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org