Recipe: Thukpa

by Celeste Heiter, Oct 18, 2009 | Destinations: China / Bhutan / Nepal / Tibet



Thukpa is popular throughout all the Himalayan countries, and there are as many preparations as there are cooks who make it. The best thing is that Thukpa may be made with or without meat, and may include any number of vegetables.


Kopal Masala Spice Blend:
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
6 cardamom pods
6 cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon dried red chili flakes (optional)

3 tablespoons butter
3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced
1 knob ginger root, peeled and finely shredded
1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
8 cups vegetable stock
1 tablespoon soy sauce
Salt and pepper to taste

2 potatoes, peeled and diced
2 tomatoes, coarsely chopped
8 large mushrooms, thickly sliced
2 cups spinach leaves, washed and trimmed
2 cups dried wide egg noodles

Combine all spice ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. Melt butter in a large soup kettle over medium heat. Add garlic, ginger, and onion and sauté until tender and fragrant. Add vegetable stock and soy sauce, bring to a boil, reduce heat and allow stock and spices to simmer uncovered on very low heat for 1 hour. Remove from the heat, strain stock through a sieve to remove the whole spices and return the soup broth to the kettle. Add potatoes, tomatoes, and mushrooms and simmer for 20 minutes. Add noodles and spinach and continue simmering for 10 minutes, until noodles and potatoes are tender. Serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6.