The North East Frontier Provinces are beautiful,almost untouched and divine parts of India where waterfalls flow with all their fervour,myriad birds chirp with different songs,where unknown and utterly delicious fruit trees have made their home only to be available to the best of us who go there to discover unparalleled beauty.Each journey is a joy and each experience unique.
The Indian North East Provinces are Assam,Arunachal Pradesh,Tripura,Mizoram and Meghalaya.Various tribes live there each having their own different culture and cuisine.The food in these areas is influenced from surrounding parts like West Bengal,parts of Bihar(where the State border ends),Nepal,Burma,China and Tibet.Recipes like Momos,Dim Sums,various kinds of dumplings,rice items and Noodle Soups form the basic diet for the populace.Apart from that Fish,Pork and other meats,game and some Insects are also had by the people there.
Thukpa is a vegetarian Noodle Soup which is hearty,refreshing,filling and nutritious.Being a vegetarian I have skipped any form of meat but if you want you can add boiled,shredded chicken(or fried and shredded chicken),boiled flaked fish,cured pork or beef,cooked mutton/lamb or even leftovers to the broth.
You can include other vegetables you like,mushrooms,Brussels Sprouts,bean sprouts,artichoke hearts and even canned beans to the broth.This recipe was sent for the Shhhhh Secretly Cooking Challenge where my partner for the month was the talented food blogger Sasmita Sahoo Samanta who blogs at :
Sasmita gave me 2 ingredients – Pepper and Lime Juice while I gave her Yogurt and Cabbage.
Presenting Thukpa – the Quintessential North Eastern Treat for cold,gloomy winter days when the body needs warming up!
You can use Soba Noodles,Lo Mein and Chow Mein noodles for this.If you have a noodle and pasta maker and can make fresh noodles then the taste is unbeatable!You can use Ramen noodles but I do not prefer them for this absolutely delicious recipe!
Recipe taken from a dear friend Losa – this is her family recipe!
The Vegetable Broth poured over the boiled Noodles….
For the Noodles :
200 gms (pack) noodles – soba,lo mien or chow mien are best
1 tbsp salt
2 tbsp Oil
For the vegetable broth :
2 medium Onions – sliced
2 big Tomatoes – pureed
1 cup finely sliced Cabbage
1 small Carrot – peeled and diced
A small piece of Radish – peeled and sliced into rounds
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 green Capsicum/Bell Pepper – sliced
2 cups water
1 tbsp Soy Sauce
1 tbsp white Vinegar
2 tsp corn syrup/honey/sugar
1 tbsp Red Chilli Sauce (optional)
2 tsp Ginger Garlic Paste
2 tsp Salt
2 tsp White Pepper Powder
2 tsp Oil
2 tbsp Parsley/Green Onion (for garnishing)
Prepare the Noodles :
Heat water in a large stock pot and add salt.Bring to a boil and add noodles.Boil till al-dente – they must be soft but not fully cooked.This will take approximately 2 – 3 minutes.Do not make them too soft else they will dissolve in the soup as dough which will not at all taste good!
Drain in a colander and immediately immerse in ice water to stop cooking.Drain in the colander once again and add Oil.Mix gently to coat the Noodles so that they do not stick to each other.Keep aside.
Prepare the Vegetable Broth :
Heat Oil in a pan and add sliced Onions.When they turn brown add Ginger Garlic Paste,chopped Cabbage and Carrots.Add salt and pepper and cook till vegetables are almost done (say 3/4 cooked).Now add Tomato Puree and sliced Capsicums and cook for 5 minutes.Add water,soy sauce,vinegar,corn syrup,lime juice and red chilli sauce (if using).Mix well and cover.Cook on low heat for 5 minutes and take off heat.Taste the broth and adjust seasoning.
Serve the Thukpa :
Divide the prepared Noodles into two serving bowls.Ladle equal quantities over the Noodles and garnish with Radish rounds and chopped Parsley/Green Onion.