Jewel of Himalaya is a true gem in the Westchester dining scene, offering authentic Tibetan/Nepalese cuisine at reasonable prices at its Yorktown and Scarsdale locations. But two of its shiniest baubles are the Nepalese thendup and thukpa soup offerings — easy to miss on the menu or to disregard if you don’t know what they might mean, but must tries this winter.
Thukpa is very popular during the Tibetan New Year
These traditional Himalayan soups are a popular, healthy dish enjoyed in the upper regions of Nepal during the cold winter days to keep warm, according to Jewel of Himalaya owner Nuru Sherpa. Just like every family in the states has their own version of chicken noodle soup, Tibetan families have their own style of thendup called thenthuk.
“Then” means pulled and “thuk” means noodles. The thenthuk soup features hand-pulled, hand-made noodles, chunks of a beef or chicken, finely sliced vegetables and some chili flakes for spice and lemon juice, which adds a tangy flavor.
Thukpa features thin more spaghetti-like noodles and is known for having a spicy kick. This dish is very popular around the Himalayan region and is a traditional food served during the Tibetan New Year, Sherpa says. Its major ingredients include garlic paste, shredded meat and vegetables, along with the noodles. Bay leaf, cumin, turmeric and black pepper are commonly used to add flavor, but like the thendup/thenthuk, every family has their own recipe.
Both of these $7 soups are fresh, filling, delicious and pretty healthy. I recommend trying them out on one of the truly cold winter days to most appreciate the classic comfort of a brothy noodle soup and the eastern spices that turn up the heat even further.
For the Dough:
1 cup wheat flour
½ cup water
For the Broth:
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
Chunks of mutton meat with bones
Chopped chunks of onion to taste
smashed garlic to taste
ginger to taste
stalk of spring onion
chopped tomatoes to taste
salt to taste
turmeric powder to taste
black pepper to taste
For the Thenthuk:
2 potatoes, peeled and finely sliced
3 carrots, peeled and finely sliced
4 radishes, finely sliced
1 handful of spinach
soy sauce to taste
grounded, roasted Sichuan peppercorn (timur) to taste
chopped spring onion to taste
fresh red chilies, red chili flakes, or chili paste to taste
lemon juice to taste
Making the Dough:
Mix a cup of wheat flour in a bowl and around half of cup of water together in a bowl. Knead them together until it become smooth, soft and stretchable. Keep it aside covered to keep it moist.
Making the Broth:
Once dough is prepared, you can start making broth.
Heat vegetable oil in a pot or pressure cooker. Add chunks of mutton meat with bones (the secret of making better broth). Cook it just until the meat becomes brown.
Then add roughly chopped chunks of onion, smashed garlic, and ginger. Once the onion, ginger, and garlic start browning, add stalk of spring onion (save leaves for garnishing later), chopped tomatoes, salt, turmeric powder, and black pepper, and cook it for a minute more.
Add around five cups of water and put the lid on. It will take around 25-30 mins in the pot and 6-7 whistles in pressure cooker to cook the meat. While broth is cooking, finely slice potatoes, carrots, and radish.
Making the Thenthuk:
Once the broth is prepared, transfer through a sieve only the clear broth in another pot. Add some water if required and bring it to boil. Add all finely sliced vegetables into the broth. Remove the meat from the bone, slice it, and add it in.
Put some oil in your hand, take some dough and roll it in your hands. Using your hands make it flat or any shapes or sizes you want, pull off the noodles and drop them into the mixture. Aim to make the noodles the same thickness and size so that they cook evenly. Depending upon the thickness of your vegetables slices and noodles, cook it for around 8-12 minutes. Add a handful of spinach and soy sauce to taste at the end. Turn off the heat.
Thenthuk is ready to be served. Ladle thenthuk in a bowl, sprinkle some grounded roasted Sichuan peppercorn (timur) and garnish with chopped spring onion. Add chopped fresh red chilies or red chili flakes or chili paste to give some heat, and squeeze some lemon juice to make it tangy.
Jewel of Himalaya
34 Triangle Ctr, Yorktown Heights, 914.302.2886
751 Central Ave, Scarsdale 914.874.5506
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