Enjoy a comforting bowl of Thukpa Gyathuk(vegetarian version) a very popular comforting noodle based Tibetan soup
Wholesome vegetarian version of Tibetan Thukpa for cold chilly evenings!! A simple and easy to make soup with loads of vegetables (you can ad chicken or any kind of meat also) .
What is Thukpa Gyathuk
Gyathuk is one of the many versions of the famous Thukpa which is a noodle based soup with pork and chicken added to it. It is commonly served in North Eastern States of India (Sikkim, Arunanchal Pradesh, Assam) or in Upper Himalayan regions of Himachal Pradesh(Dharamshala/ Mcledoganj) and Ladakh which have the Tibetan influence.
Thukpa is Noodles in Tibetan. Any Noodle Soup is referred as Thukpa. As I mentioned above also, Thukpa has many variations like Thukpa Bathuk with hand rolled noodles, Thentuk with hand pulled noodles. Gyathuk means Chinese Noodles in Tibetan language, so Thukpa Gyathuk has Chinese Noodles or Spaghetti added to it. I have added Chinese Rice noodles to it.
Thukpa is not only popular in Himalayan regions of India but also has gained popularity in many metro cities like New Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore as a popular street food or served in dine-ins. You can see any people relishing a warm bowl of Thukpa at street food vendors or joints on chilly winter evenings.
I first tasted Thupka many years back in Delhi, at Dilli Haat. It is a cultural place which has stalls from different cultures where they display there food and handicrafts items. Whenever in Delhi do visit this place. The stalls from North Eastern states served some amazing Momos and noodle soups. Then I had it in Dharamshala (Mac Leodganj in Himachal Pradesh) which also has lot of Tibetan influence. I never knew about the different variations in Thukpa, until I read this book Tiffin and searched for more info.
‘Tiffin” by author Sonal Ved which has a collection of around 500+ Indian recipes from every state and region. In that book I came across this Gyathuk recipe which sounds almost similar to Thukpa. The only difference was the masala prepared to make the soup base. Onion tomato, ginger garlic and whole red chilli grind together to smooth paste is used to make soup base for Gyathuk.
I thought of giving Thukpa Gyathuk a try for this month’s theme of my Facebook group SHH Cooking Secretly Challenge where we traveled to North Eastern State of Sikkim. This is my second post for the group, earlier was Tikadia(Rajasthani Flatbread) when the group traveled to Rajasthan.
For the challenge my partner is Mayuriji, a versatile food blogger who loves to travel, bake and try out different fusion dishes!! Her blog not only has easy, interesting and healthy recipes(recent Beetroot Ammini Kozhukattai) to learn but also so many beautiful stories and memories to read. I love her blog’s tagline.. “where Meals and Memories are Made” so apt na !! Why not hop on to her blog Mayuri’s Jikoni and find out yourself and check the delicious recipes and read about some interesting places too.
She gave me two secret ingredients, Cabbage and Soy Sauce and I decided to make Momos or the handmade noodle soup, but when I saw this recipe of Gyathuk from Tiffin(book) ,I decided to make this vegetarian version of noodle soup Thukpa Gyathuk.
I gave her Ginger and Vinegar and she too has made Thukpa. Do check out her version of this simple and hearty soup.
Sikkim’s Food Culture
Sikkim’s food culture has lot of Nepalese Bhutanese and Tibetan influence as people from these countries have immigrated and settled here. It also has lot of influence from neighboring state of West Bengal . Rice, meat, cheese based dishes are commonly eaten, Gluten-free flours like Buckwheat and lentils are also used in various dishes.
Some of the famous food items from Sikkim are ..
Momos- Steamed flour dumplings stuffed with meat/chicken or veggies like cabbage and carrots),
Peanut Sadeko quick and easy peanut based salad
Tinagmo a Tibetian style Steamed bread
Kodoko Roti Millet Bread Cooked in banana leaf
Let’s see how make Thukpa Gyathuk
This soup is so popular each one has it’s own version and is cooked with Indian spices. It is a very light soup with not loaded with soy sauce or cornflour unlike the Chinese soups like Hot and Sour Soup, Manchow Soup.
Ingredients for Thukpa Gyathuk
Vegetarian version can be made with the seasonal vegetables like onions, cabbage, carrots, peas, spinach and mushrooms. Some tomato is also added. You add canned tomato puree also in place of fresh tomato. Ginger, garlic and red chilli add on to the heat and flavour in this light soup.
Indian spices are also added to Thukpa for flavour . You can use garam masala or curry powder, black pepper, red chilli powder and many people add turmeric also.
You can add any kind of noodles. Egg Noodles, Soba Noodles, Spaghetti or Angel Hair Spaghetti or Rice noodles that I have used.
There are versions of Thukpa where soy sauce and vinegar are added. I leave vinegar as I add tomato to it and add very little soy sauce.
No- vegetarians can add meat of their choice.
To make it gluten-free, avoid soy sauce or use a gluten-free soy sauce.
For Rice Noodles
Boil water in pan. Take a bowl add noodles to it. Pour boiling water on rice noodles and keep aside.
For other Noodles
Boil water in a pan, add noodles to boiling water. Cook for 5-10 min or as per instructions on noodles pack, then drain water and keep noodles aside. You can add 1 tsp of oil to noodles so that these don’t stick.
Chop vegetables as per the size your like.
Make paste of onion, tomato, garlic, ginger and whole red chilli(optional).
In a pan heat oil, add the onion tomato paste, and saute till raw smell of onions and garlic goes away.
Mix garam masala, turmeric(optional) and red chilli powder if you are not using dry whole red chilli.
Add finely chopped vegetables, bell peppers first, then carrots, mushrooms and finely cabbage. Add spices.
Stir fry for few minutes and then add vegetable broth or water. Add salt and mix.
Add spinach at the end if using
Cook for few minutes until the soup boils. You can garnish with spring onion greens or fresh cilantro.
Drain noodles( if using rice noodles) from water.
Divide noodles in serving bowls or soup bowls, add soup, garnish with spring onion greens or finely chopped cilantro /coriander leaves.
- 1 cup Rice Noodles or any Noodles
- 1 Onion(small)
- 1 Tomato (medium)
- 2-3 Garlic cloves
- 1" Ginger Piece
- 1-2 Dry Whole Red Chillies optional and depending on spice tolerance
- 1 tsp Soy Sauce
- 1/2 tsp Garam Masala optional
- Freshly Ground Black Pepper To taste
- 2-3 Cups Mixed vegetables(Shredded Cabbage, Carrots, Mushrooms, Bell Peppers) or any other seasonal vegetables you like to add
- 4-5 Cups Vegetable Broth
- Spring Onion Greens or Fresh Cilantro/Coriander for garnish
- 1-2 tsp Oil
- Salt to taste
- Boil noodles as per the package instructions.
- If using rice noodles, soak in a hot boiling water.
- Chop vegetables as per the size your like.
- Make paste of onion, tomato, garlic, ginger and whole red chilli(optional).
- In a pan heat oil, add the onion tomato paste, and saute till raw smell of onions and garlic goes away.
- Mix garam masala, turmeric(optional) and red chilli powder if you are not using dry whole red chilli.
- Add finely chopped vegetables, bell peppers first, then carrots and finely cabbage. Stir fry for few minutes and then add vegetable broth or water. Add salt and mix.
- Add spinach at the end if using
- Cook for few minutes until the soup boils. You can garnish with spring onion greens or fresh cilantro.
- Divide Noodles in serving /soup bowls.
- Add soup with vegetables and serve hot.
Do make this Thukpa Gyathuk, when you need some comfort food. Perfect for cold and chilly evenings . It gives instant relief from cold and cough. The ingredients in thupka boasts immunity and good for weight watchers as it is an wholesome and complete light meal without much oil.
My family enjoys this hearty noodle soup when it is cold or raining. Kids love to have this as after school snack during harsh winters when they come back from school and need something warm and comforting. Do try this for your kids , they will love the flavours of soup with noodles.
You can add more soy sauce to give it the Manchow Flavor.
I will be happy to hear your feedback on this.
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