Sunday, September 18, 2011

thukpa and momos...the stuff nostalgia is made of...


I so want to be there in the mountains once again. The elements of nature playing an orchestra that touches the soul , the music that can't be recreated and strangely the nostalgia takes it's form into food whenever possible....you know how foodies get comfort :)

So thukpa (soup with egg noodles) and momos (ravioli like dumplings stuffed with minced meat or veggies) it is for now. We get great thukpa and momos here in Delhi too, actually momos have literally replaced samosas of the yore. You find veg and chicken momos at every street corner like it used to be samosa and bread pakora some 8-10 years back... India is getting united on food front ...even the whole world is shrinking for that matter....

I love any kind of dumpling thing in a soup, a sauce or otherwise too and when i was thinking of a light soupy dinner one day i couldn't think beyond this thukpa as the memory of the fresh thukpa of Pang and Leh was so fresh. I chopped the vegetables for soup and proceeded to find the spaghetti when i saw the spaghetti had got moist and a bit musty too ...how i ignore my ingredients. But i have the solutions too, that too healthy types..... i kneaded whole wheat flour with an egg and rolled out 3 thin chapatis, cut them in strips within 10 minutes and my thukpa soup was on the way.....see the boiling home made noodles , with lots of water and salt to taste ....


A quick stir frying of the vegetables and dunking all the veggies in the pan with boiling noodles ..... it is the other way round if you use the ready made noodles, you drain the noodles and tip them in the soup cooking with stir fried vegetables. You can add vegetable or chicken stock if you like , i made it just with the boiling water with the noodles.

Carrots, beans, onion and celery ribs and leaves were used chopped finely . A generous blob of minced garlic, red chilly powder , 2 tbsp of tomato puree ( for two dinner servings) and a bay leaf for additional flavor is all i used for flavoring. Some versions of thukpa use curry powder too and you can go along your craving of the spice for that particular day, everyday cooking is all about what you need that day. Isn't it?

Chopped celery leaves in the last stages of cooking and the thukpa is ready within 30 minutes flat. I wish i had some fresh haak leaves for this , and those crisp fresh spring onion too...
My garden is in ruins and i am not a happy cook these days.....the steaming thukpa made me happy though and i took a picture using flash to accentuate the home made whole wheat noodles....loved it.

You choose your thukpa your way , more noodles less vegetables or more vegetables and less noodles....whole wheat noodles or buckwheat (soba) noodles can make you feel comfortable if you detest refined white flour noodles like me...

Thukpa is a highly accommodating recipe, you choose your noodles , your own combination of vegetables and even your own spices ....a warm steaming bowl of thukpa is ready to heal you....

And talk about momos now...the translucent wrapping around a minced meat stuffing...and a soup for company . The red hot chutney can be given a miss i thought this time , thinking the husband anyways complaints it's too hot but he was looking for the red hot garlic red chilly chutney i unfailingly make every time i make momos ....i served tabsco sauce on the side ...i don't understand how hot is too hot for some people sometimes and how much more hot they need it some other times...

A stir fried mix of mutton mince with finely chopped onions , carrots and cabbage ( you can do without the vegetables too) . A generous quantity of minced green chillies, ginger and garlic will make it lovable. A dash of soy sauce for that delicate tingle ... salt n pepper....





White refined flour for momos , if you want a thin translucent wrapping . The flour is kneaded with plain water n salt to taste, rolled out in circles. I use a ridged rolling pin to make them thinner with less effort. Make more momos than you think will be enough as enough is not enough in this case. This is the reason i never cook momos for a large gathering and it is mostly a treat for the two of us :)

Now fill the stuffing , as much as you can and seal them with whatever pattern you can follow. Arrange them on a steamer plate or a perforated plate lined with a banana leaf or a cotton napkin...and ....stem over boiling water for 7-10 minutes . A translucent skin of the momo indicates it is cooked. Some times i just season the minced meat with salt, pepper n garlic mince , stuff it raw in the wrap and dunk it in the boiling soup....that makes a nice momo soup and the minced meat gets cooked within the soup , taking a longer time than this one.

This time the soup was prepared separately , using mutton stock prepared freshly with bony pieces and a little fat...boiled with a pieces of ginger, 2 cloves of garlic and a quarter of onion and 2 bay leaves. Seasoned with salt n lots of pepper the soup is sprinkled with fresh green coriander...

I like chicken momos more for some reason . And i prefer the seasoning in the stuffing mix delicate , not over spiced as the thin wrap of the momo supports and requires delicate flavors inside...

But i prefer the soup a bit hot ...literally.

The red chilly and garlic chutney is a must all the time and i told you why i didn't make it this time and regretted not making it... Tabasco is no match for that instant red hot chutney....10 whole red chillies , 10 cloves of garlic and salt to taste ....made into a paste using a bit of vinegar n a little water if required and that's it...momos are enjoyable with the chutney itself and the soup is optional.

Did i make you crave for momos? Or any dumpling meal for that matter?

I can make do with any dumpling whenever i am in a mood to bite into a soft glutinous thing . Every country has it's own sweet and savory version of a dumpling and our country has one of it in every corner . Check out the peethas of Orissa and bengal , daal peethi of Uttar pradesh, daal dhokli of gujraat and many rice dumplings of the southern states . I love all of them and have posted a few of them in past too...

Go make easy gnocchi if you dread stuffing these delicate momos :)                                     

18 comments:

  1. OMG, you are a connoisseur when it comes to food, and the way you experiment and come u with innovative ways.. Really admire you, and thanks for such simple ways that people like me can think of making momos @ home from scratch..... I'm able to come up with many dishes @ home for which earlier I'd have only visited some restaurant....
    Love you for this and many more reasons...... :)
    Yours truly, you know who :)

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  2. yummy my mouth watered! putuldi

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  3. Oh yes the two anonymous beloved people i have here...

    Thank you Putul di and welcome to my blog :)

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  4. Wow both the dishes are super yummy....lovely presentatn...loved ur way of making quick healthy noodles....

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  5. Geeez... !!! they look yummy especially the momo;s !!!!! :P :P

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  6. sangeeta, jus wanted to share about these thupkas with u, i was watching the prog kutcha rasta, a man from th emountains, sauted onions, tomato, chilli, garlic and ginger in oil along with all curry powders and meat masala, added chopped beans, carrots, cabbage and mooli, added salt and plenty of water to boil, thinly rolled out a roti quite big, cut them into thin strips and added to the boiling mixture, added chopped palak, and served, wanted to ask u about this dish and these u r to post one like this, should try the one without meat masala, lovley photos, but pl post a veg momo

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  7. Hi Nirupama...the dish you are describing looks like a thukpa ...as it is just a noodle soup with vegetables and we have all the liberty to make it with any kind of vegetables, spices and noodles...i guess the roti you describe being used was an uncooked one , otherwise it could be some quick one pot meal.

    For veg momos you just use the choice of your vegetables and saute' then with ginger garlic green chilly n a bit of soy sauce ...the rest of the procedure is similar. I have some very old pictures of a vegetarian momo i made from scratch , will look out for that and share...taking pictures of momos while making is a pain, more so because we always end up eating right from the steamer :)

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  8. only you can roll out whole wheat chappatiis to make thupka !! I am such a lazy cook.Thupka is aperfect one dish meal for hungry kids who seem to love only Maggi and Pazzta.
    Is it possible to make whole wheat pastry for momos ??

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  9. Thank you Varsha...whole wheat pastry for momos is possible and i make it like that most of the times...just this time i decided to make APF pastry so i could make them look translucent in the pics :) And to confess it now even this time i added 50% whole wheat flour and hence the momo casing doesn't look as white.

    Whole wheat momos taste a little different owing to the nuttiness of the whole wheat of course , rolling them thin is a bit difficult too and it gives a feeling of bite when eating...but, it has a taste of it's own and you would love if you are like me...and i know you are.

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  10. Had been to Uttaranchal last year and have the same nostalgic feeling after reading your post. Since we stayed in a friends house did not get chance to taste much of food there.

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  11. Now I want to make a trip to Majnu ka tila and have thukpa like we did in college...more nostalgia!

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  12. Awesome!!! Specially home made wholewheat noodles and all the choices in what to add to Thukpa!

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  13. Hi I am new to your wonderful blog. Lovely recipes you have and I will surely try some.

    I love momos..the only thing is I donot have a steamer....any other way to steam them??

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  14. Hi Richa..even i don't have a steamer . I use a steel perforated plate (chhanni)placed on a pan with boiling water and cover the perforated plate with a fitting lid. It works well for me as the perforated plate is large and holds a dozen momos at once. I made the steamed tingmo bread using the same utensil.
    The picture with a pink napkin lined plate is that of my steaming equipment :)
    Will make a post on how to use alternatives for steaming momos etc.

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  15. Hats off to this recipe.. must have taken a lot of patience and efforts.. described quite well


    Very tempting dish, you could link to my event :

    Flavours of Nepal

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  16. I tried making it couple of times but my covering was never glossy like yours why is that??
    yours looks amazing.

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    Replies
    1. How did you roll the pastry Kalpana? Did you use dry dusting? Try oiling while rolling the pastry and then shape the momos. Thinner ones will always be better.

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