Tofu is actually bean curd and although not very Indian in origin, it has become a large part of the global diet. Tofu is a very rich source of protein, iron and calcium. It is low calorie, low in fat and contains absolutely no cholesterol. Tofu is a great food source for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike.
Basically, any variety of Asian noodle will work well in this soup - so rice noodles, egg noodles, mung bean noodles… any type is fine.
THUKPA (Spicy Himalayan Noodle Soup with Tofu)
½ lb of Asian noodles (about 7-8 ounces)
1 cup of diced extra firm tofu (you can lightly pan fry the tofu if you like)
2 cups of vegetables (I used baby corn, edamame, snow peas, mushrooms & bean sprouts), trimmed & prepared
¼ cup freshly chopped green onion (spring onion or scallion)
1 small onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1” piece of ginger, peeled & finely minced
1-2 small green Thai chilies, slit in half lengthwise (to taste)
1 bay leaf
1 tsp ground coriander powder
½ tsp ground cumin powder
¼ red chili powder, to taste
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground star anise
¼ tsp ground cardamom powder
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
salt & pepper, to taste
5-6 cups vegetable stock (or water), as needed
1 tbsp soy sauce
½ to 1 tbsp sriracha sauce (or sambal olek or any spicy chili sauce), to taste
juice of ½ lime
pinch red chili flakes
1 tbsp ghee or butter + 1 tbsp oil (peanut, canola or vegetable)
freshly chopped cilantro leaves for garnish
In a large soup pot on medium heat, add the ghee & oil. When hot, add the onions along with the ginger, garlic & green chilies. Lightly sauté for a few minutes and then add all of the spices (bay leaf, ground coriander powder, ground cumin powder, red chili powder, ground cinnamon, ground star anise, ground cardamom powder, nutmeg, salt & pepper). Let the spices cook for a minute or so until aromatic & fragrant. Next, add the vegetable broth, soy sauce & sriracha sauce. Stir well to combine, cover, reduce the heat to low & let simmer for 10-15 minutes.
In the meantime, prepare the noodles according to their package instructions, cook them until just “al dente” (Italian for “to the tooth”) -- do not overcook. Try to cook the noodles just before use, set aside until needed.
The soup stalk should be very aromatic & flavorful. Now add the noodles, tofu & vegetables. Let simmer for another 8-10 minutes. If you need a little more liquid in the soup, just add some vegetable stock or water. Lastly, finish the dish by adding the lime juice, green onions & red chili flakes. Stir well to combine, garnish with the cilantro leaves & serve piping hot.
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