Thukpa Soup - Tibetan Noodle Soup

Posted by The Gourmet Box on

Food is such an important part of your travels - that's why wherever I travel I always try their local cuisine to explore different flavors and learn about the cultural influence on their cuisine.

A few years back I had gone to Ladakh with my family. I have never seen such a beautiful place with such diverse landscapes. The people are very friendly, warm and welcoming. As far as their food is concerned, of course, because of their weather and terrain, their local dishes primarily constituted of warming ingredients. Their dishes are largely influenced by Tibetan and Nepalese cuisine therefore most of their dishes contain made red meat, rice noodles, rice, clear broths, and dumplings (or Momos as they call it).

Out of all the dishes that I tried, one dish that stuck with me all these years was the Thuka Soup Recipe a that I had in a little shanty on my way to Pangong Lake. It was a particularly chilly day and the first sip of the Noodle Soup gave me instant warmth and feeling of absolute comfort. Its true what they say that the fondest memories are made when gathered around the table. I still reminisce about the flavor and the memories we created around it. Since then I have been on a hunt to find a recipe that can come closest to the Thukpa that I had in that little shanty. Finally after all these years I came across one such recipe that probably comes closest to what I had.

Here you go - try it and let me know how you liked it!!


  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1.5 litres (6 cups) chicken / vegetable stock
  • 300 g skinless chicken thigh fillet / chopped tofu
  • 300 g rice noodles
  • 100 g carrot, thinly sliced
  • ½red capsicum, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • chopped coriander, to serve

Spice paste

  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tsp chopped ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • ¼ tsp ground Timur powder (Szechwan pepper)
  • 1 pinch asafoetida powder
  • 1 long green chili, deseeded, chopped
  • 200 g tomatoes, chopped


To make the spice paste, combine all the ingredients, except the tomatoes, in a blender or food processor and process until finely chopped. Add the tomatoes and process until combined. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the spice paste and cook, stirring, for 6–7 minutes, until aromatic and the paste loses its raw smell. Pour in the chicken/veg stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the chicken thigh/tofu and simmer gently for 10 minutes, or until cooked. If you using chicken then remove it from the stock and roughly shred. Meanwhile, bring 2 liters of water to the boil in a large saucepan. Add rice 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 chicken/tofu. Ladle the stock and vegetables over the noodles and top it with coriander.

Fragrant, hearty and simple to prepare, this satisfying soup recipe is an easy midweek dinner. Typically it is a winter recipe but I can't resist a bowl of noodle soup that has hearty and comforting flavors.

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Enjoy Your Food.

Photo Credit - Alan Benson (

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