Thukpa, Vegetable Noodle Soup from Arunachal Pradesh
Arunachal Pradesh is one of the seven sister states in the north east India. This state shares a border with Assam and Nagaland, and an international border with Bhutan, China and Myanmar. The food of the state is influenced by the tribes in the region. The staple food is rice, fish, meats and green vegetables. Thukpa, a noodle soup prepared with vegetables and/or meats is a very common soup among the Monpa tribe. Momos are another food that is very common here. Of all the vegetables, lettuce is most preferred vegetable, prepared by boiling it with ginger, coriander and green chilies. Another popular food from this region is boiled rice cakes wrapped in leaves. Source of this info is from wiki.
When I start searching for recipes from Arunachal Pradesh, I listed down momos. By the time I cooked this recipe, I had cooked about a lot from various states and Mr.U did not want to taste anymore new food. Since I was going to eat it alone, I wanted an easy recipe and decided to do Thukpa. I made this soup 10 days ago and I thought I noted down the recipe after preparing it. I looked everywhere for the recipe and could not find it. So I ended up making the soup yesterday and it is such a quick recipe that I did not mind making it again. I was in no mood to take pictures yesterday. The pictures I have put up are from a week ago when I first made it. Thukpa is also a common food in Sikkim.
Total Time: 20 – 30 minutes (most of the time is for cooking noodles)
Preparation: 10 – 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 – 15 minutes
- Handful of Noodles, approx. 2 oz. or 1 cup dry Noodles and ¾ – 1 cup cooked Noodles
- 1 – 1 ½ tsp. Oil
- ½ – ¾ tsp. chopped Ginger
- 1 tsp. chopped Garlic
- 1 small Green Chili chopped
- ½ small Onion sliced or diced
- 10 strings of Beans chopped, approx. ¼ cup chopped Beans
- 1 small Carrot chopped or ¼ cup sliced Carrots
- ½ small – medium Tomato chopped
- 2 cups Water
- 1 – 1 ½ tbsp. Soya Sauce
- 1/16 Pepper Powder (opt, depending on spice tolerance level)
- ¼ – ½ tsp. Salt (adjust to taste)
- 5 – 8 Baby Spinach chopped
- 1 – 2 Spring Onions ~ Scallions ~ Green Onion chopped
- Cilantro ~ Coriander leaves for garnish
- Boil water in a pot and cook noodles as per the cooking instructions on how to cook the noodles. Once the noodles are cooked, drain the water and run it under cold water and keep aside until ready to use.
- Heat oil in a sauce pan, sauté ginger and garlic for few seconds.
- Add onion, green chilies and sauté for a minute or two.
- Add tomatoes, beans and carrots and, sauté for couple of minutes until tomatoes are soft.
- Add water and bring it to boil. Boil for 2 – 3 minutes.
- Add spinach, scallions keeping aside some for garnish, soya sauce, pepper and salt and continue to boil the water for another couple of minutes are until the vegetables are tender.
- To serve, place cooked noodles to one side of the bowl and ladle some soup into it. Garnish with scallions and cilantro.
- I forgot to add tomatoes along with beans and carrots and realized it only after the soup was almost cooked. I added them at the end and cooked the soup a little longer until tomatoes were soft and blended into the soup. While the tomatoes were cooking, my beans and carrots got over cooked. If you see in the photos, the veggies look very soft. It still tasted good.
- I used carrots, beans and spinach but more vegetables can be added. I saw a video on how thukpa is prepared at a restaurant the chef used lots of shredded cabbage. If using cabbage, add it along with beans and carrots but I personally prefer adding it at the end, along with spinach for crunchy cabbage.
- Some recipes used potato and I do not like potatoes in clear soups and did not use it. If using potatoes, add it along with beans & carrots. Once the soup comes to a boil, boil it for more 2-3 minutes until potato is almost tender, before adding spinach.
- I made the soup twice. First time I placed the noodles in a serving the bowl and poured the noodles on it. The second time I made it, added noodles along with spinach. If doing the later, cook noodles until just done. Noodles will be full cooked in the soup. I liked both the ways. The choice is yours.
- Noodles: I used Banh Pho, oriental style noodles. I think an oriental style noodle is the brand. These flat rice noodles, size M. Any variety of noodles can be used and pasta can also be substituted for noodles.
- Chicken or Seafood: Chicken in the US cooks very fast. If using chicken, slice chicken breast to bite size pieces and add it along with spinach and cook until chicken is tender. Fish and shrimp also cooks very fast and even these can be added along with spinach. I have not made this soup with chicken or seafood and if I were to cook, this is how I would do.
- Spices: Looks like this recipe is versatile and can be twisted to ones taste. I have seen recipes that called for chili powder, coriander powder and even garam masala. Adjust and choose the spices to suite your palate.