Recipe - Thukpa

Rice is the staple of South Indians and Rotis that of the Northerner.  However, in the North East Region of India, Sikkim, Tibet and Nepal are influenced by neighbouring China and we we have a fusing of cultures noodles cooked in spicy broths.  One of these wholesome soups is Thukpa.  It is usually made with chicken.  For a vegetarian version replace the chicken with mushrooms to provide that unmistakeable umami flavour.  This dish is fairly easy to make and don't worry too much about the unusual ingredients like Asafoetida and Szechwan Pepper (we substituted Tellicherry pepper).

1)  Prepare the veggies - finely slice:

  • 100g finely chopped carrots,
  • 50g finely sliced beans,
  • 50g green beans,
  • 50g red peppers,
  • 100g cabbage.

2)  Boil the noodles

  • Check instructions then cook 300g Rice or Chowmein noodles
  • Drain
  • Divide into 4 serving bowls and set aside.

3)  The soup:  

  • Heat a heavy based casserole dish then add 2 tbsp vegetable oil and 1 finely chopped onion.  Fry till translucent.  
  • Now add in 2 tsp crushed garlic, 1 tsp grated ginger, 1/4 tsp Szechwan pepper, 1/4 tsp Asafoetida1/2 tsp Turmeric powder, 1 green chilli and 300g chicken thigh filets.  Stir-fry on high heat till the meat is sealed.
  • Now add 200g chopped tomatoes and 1.5 litres chicken/vegetable stock.
  • When the stock comes to a boil, set the timer for 10 minutes and when it rings fish out the cooked chicken onto a plate. 
4)  Cook the veggies:  
  • Strain the broth into another pot
  • add the prepared veggies and cook till soft, about 10 minutes.

5)  Shred the chicken and place over the noodles in the 4 bowls.

6)  Serve:    

  • Pour the vegetable soup over the noodles.
  • Garnish with fresh coriander and a squeeze of lemon (optional).