The rainy weather has been calling for some quick and hot meals that can be enjoyed guilt-free. Thupka is a no-fuss meal that you can hardly ever go wrong with. It reigns from the North-Eastern state of Arunachal Pradesh where spices are sparingly used. I however, have used spices to enhance the flavour of the soup. In fact it is a great tip to keep the flavours of the broth strong because the noodles will tone it down slightly.
Portion: serves 4, Prep time: 15 mins, Cooking time: 25-30 mins
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tsp chopped ginger
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp ground turmeric
- 1 pinch asafoetida powder (hing)
- 1 long green chilli, chopped
- 3 medium tomatoes, chopped
- 1 tbsp oil
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 300 g boneless chicken (3-4 pieces)
- A fistful noodles
- 1 carrot, chopped finely
- ½ red capsicum, thinly sliced (add 1/2 yellow or green capsicum in addition to this for colour, optional)
- Add potatoes or mushrooms (optional). Not included in the recipe.
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tsp red chilli powder
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp honey
- salt and pepper, to taste
- chopped coriander, finely diced chilli and burnt garlic to garnish
- Add the chicken, 6 cups of water, 1/2 onion (un-chopped) and 1/n inch ginger (un-chopped) to a pressure cooker and cook for 10 mins to prepare stock. Remove onion and ginger when ready.
- To make the paste, combine all the ingredients in a blender. You can add some chicken stock to this to blend easily.
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the paste and cook, stirring, for 6–7 minutes, until the paste gains a golden colour. Pour in the chicken stock and shredded chicken (you will have to remove the chicken from the stock, shred and add to the thupka again) and bring to the boil.
- Meanwhile, bring 2 litres of water to the boil in a large saucepan. Add noodles and cook for 2 minutes. Drain and refresh in cold water. Drain again and set aside.
- Add the carrot and capsicum to the stock and simmer for 2–3 minutes, until the vegetable are just tender. Add the lemon juice and season to taste.
- Divide the noodles between bowls and top with vegetables (scoop out the vegetables from the soup), and then pour the soup. Garnish with coriander leaves, diced chillies and burnt garlic (optional)