Thukpa

Tibetan vegetable noodle soup

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Serves

    2

Appears in

Lands of the Curry Leaf

Lands of the Curry Leaf

By Peter Kuruvita

Published 2018

  • About

Possibly introduced in the distant past via China, this Tibetan soup is now a staple in Bhutan and Nepal, and very popular in the north-eastern states of India as well, with subtle variations depending on what is locally available.

Easy to make, this no-frills soup will help you stay a little warmer on those cold days.

Preparation 15 minutes
Cooking 30–35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
  • 1 tablespoon crushed garlic
  • 1–2 Indian green chillies, chopped (vary the quantity according to taste)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 75 g ( oz/1 cup) chopped cabbage
  • ½ teaspoon chilli powder, or to taste
  • teaspoons Chaat masala
  • 300 ml (10½ fl oz) vegetable stock
  • a splash of mushroom soy sauce
  • 5 coriander (cilantro) sprigs, chopped, plus extra to garnish

Noodles

  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 150 g ( oz) Tibetan noodles, or any noodles of your choice
  • 1 teaspoon rice bran oil

Omelette

  • 2 eggs
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon rice bran oil

Method

In a pressure cooker or heavy-based saucepan, heat the grapeseed oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and green chilli and cook for 30 seconds. Add the onion and cook for about 3 minutes, or until translucent, stirring frequently.

Stir in the tomato and cabbage and cook for about 5 minutes, until the vegetables are soft. Add the chilli powder, garam masala, and salt to taste, mixing well, and cook for about 30 seconds. Stir in the stock, soy sauce and 750 ml (26 fl oz/3 cups) water.

Seal the pressure cooker, if using, and cook on low pressure for 10–12 minutes, or according to the manufacturer’s instructions for making soup. Remove from the heat and allow the pressure to release. Once safe, remove the lid. Just before serving, stir in the chopped coriander, then adjust the spices to suit your taste.

If making the soup in a saucepan, cook the mixture for 20–25 minutes, stirring now and then.

Meanwhile, for the noodles, bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Add the salt, then add the noodles and cook for the length of time recommended on the packet instructions. Drain, return to the saucepan and mix the rice bran oil through. Set aside and keep warm.

Just before serving, make the omelette. Crack the eggs into a bowl and beat well. Add the salt. Heat the rice bran oil in a small frying pan over medium heat. Pour in the egg mixture, swirl it around the pan and allow it to set underneath. Flip it over and cook on the other side, taking care not to overcook it so it doesn’t become rubbery. Quickly turn out onto a chopping board, then cut the omelette into strips.

To serve, divide the noodles between two deep bowls and ladle the hot soup over them. Top with the omelette strips, garnish with coriander and serve straight away.