If you thought pasta can be only attributed to italians in the world, you may be grossly wrong. If you are aware of the delicious morsels of pillowy goodness called gnnochi and other forms of hand rolled pasta, you will be suprised to see its counterpart in the otherside of the world- namely Tibet and Sikkim.
This region is famous for the ultimate comfort food of a noodle or pasta in broth which is spruced up by the addition of fresh seasonal vegetables and choice of meats (optional). This bowl of yumminess is come to be known by different names: Thukpa or Gyathuk,if its noodles in the broth) and Thenthuk (pulled noodles), if it is flat stretched noodles that resemble gnnochi
Here is a quick and easy recipe to recreate at your home. May not be a completely traditional recipe, but comes pretty close to it in taste.
Preparation Time: 30 mins
Cooking Time: 15 mins
What you need:
For the dough:
1 cup All purpose flour
Water to make a soft pliable dough
For the broth:
Ginger - 1 1/2 inch piece, minced
Garlic - 2 to 3 cloves, minced
Onion - 1 large, sliced
Seasonal vegetables of your choice - 1 1/2 cups, cut into 1 inch pieces
Mushrooms (any variety) - 1/2 cup
Green chillies - a few, sliced
Oil - 1 tbsp
Meat of your choice (sliced pork/ sliced beef/ chicken:leftover steak cuts) - 1 cup
OR Seafood (mixed) - 1 cup
Water or Stock - 3 or 4 cups
Soya sauce - 1 tsp
Corriander leaves - a few sprigs for garnishing
Salt to tatse
Making the dough: Mix the water into the flour as required. NOTE: flour needs different quantity of water as per age, altitude, temperature or humidity. Knead until gluten forms well, which means you can make a smooth ball of dough. Keep aside and let it rest.
The Broth: Heat oil in a heavy bottomed deep dish. Add the sliced onions. Sautee lightly and add the minced ginger and garlic.Fry for a minute or two and then add in the mushrooms, followed by the seasonal veggies. Season with salt and pepper and add in the soya sauce. Stir for another minute and add the stock. Cover the lid and bring to a boil.Add in the cooked meat slices, stir well and cover again.
Shaping the Pasta/ Noodle: In the meanwhile, take the dough, and knead it a bit more. Oil you hands, Take a wedge of dough and roll it between your hands, flatten with your finger and pull of to tear and keep aside. You can also alternatively roll out a 1 inch dough ball to a 2 mm thickness and then cut into desired shapes like squares of long tagliatelle shapes.
NOTE: If you are feeling lazy, you can easily replace the dough with store bought egg noodles and make an equally yummy dish. You will then have created the ubiquitous Tibetian staple - Thukpa
Bringing it together: Once the broth has come to a rolling boil, drop in the rolled pasta and wait till the pasta rises to the surface. This means, you guessed it right, you are done. It is time to taste your yummy efforts.
Take off from the heat. Ladle into individual bowls and garnish the sliced chillies and corriander and serve piping hot. You can even place a fried egg on top before you serve.
This dish is sure to make you come back for seconds, so make sure you make enough. You can always adjust the ingredients to what is available and enjoy this rustic, ultimate comfort food from Sikkim