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5 SOUPS TO KEEP YOUR HEART WARM IN THE COLD


Sip and slurp your way to a little bit of comfort with these soul foods.

There is nothing quite as comforting and nostalgic as a big steaming bowl of noodle soup on a cold winter’s day. Though the days are bright and sunny during the winters in Kalimpong, weather during the evenings call for a hot bowl of Soup. Brothy, packed with veggies and bubbling with rich flavours, it is a sure-fire way to warm up. And – if you’re feeling under the weather – there is evidence to suggest that noodle soup may actually help alleviate congestion associated with cold, and boost the effectiveness of infection-fighting white blood cells. So, cosy up and tuck in!


SMOKED BEEF KAURI

Smoked Beef Kauri / © Photo : Ishita Rai Dewan

Kauri, resembling Kauri Shells are mini shells made from all-purpose flour, which is added to vegetable stock/meat stock to make thick soup. Kauri is a popular winter food in the hills and is prepared in almost every Tibetan household on the eve of Tibetan new year or Losar.

I like my bowl of kauri filled with seasonal veggies, handful of smoked beef meat and egg dropped into my soup concoction. You can also use minced chicken meat instead of beef. I like using smoked beef as it gives a nice flavour to the soup.

Soup

Take a pressure cooker, heat the oil and sauté the garlic, onion, ginger, tomato, and crushed pepper corns. Add the pre-cut smoked beef, cook it for 5 minutes, add water and pressure cook it for 30 minutes on low heat. Let the pressure release and then open the lid. Add peas, carrots, salt and another cup of water and further boil the soup for another 10 minutes in low flame.

Smoked buff meat- 100 gm One big onion chopped Ginger garlic paste - 2tbsp Soy Sauce - 2 tsp Peas -20 gms

Pepper corns- ground 1 tsp

Carrots- 2 whole diced

Tomato 1 large roughly dices Salt to taste

Water - 1 to 1 1/2 litre Egg -1

Chopped spring onions for garnishing

Dough

Kauri / © Photo : Praveen Chettri

While the soup is getting ready, knead a ball of whole wheat flour dough. While kneading the dough you might want to add a pinch of salt for taste.

Take a pea sized piece in the palm of your hand and with the index finger of your other hand, roll this dough against your palm into a ball first and then make an indent in the centre. Repeat the same for the rest of the dough. By this time the soup should be ready.

Whole wheat flour - 300 gm Water for kneading - 1 cup

Salt – ½ tsp


Add the freshly made homemade shell pasta to the soup and let it boil till the kauri is cooked and the soup slightly thickens. Take the beaten egg and as the soup is boiling drop the egg into the vessel slowly, stirring the soup with another hand. Boil the soup for another 5 mins.

Serve the thick kauri concoction in a large bowl. Add seasonings to taste and garnish it with spring onion.

 

BUFF BONE MARROW NOODLE

Buff Bone Marrow Noodle / © Photo : Ishita Rai Dewan

This soup noodles is all about that broth—bone broth, that is. The rest of this soup is umami-rich and ultra-immune-boosting, with spicy garlic and ginger, some leafy greens for fibre, protein-packed to round out the meal.”

This magic liquid is filled with minerals that helps strengthen your bones and help relieve joint pain and also contains collagen that gives your skin a nice glow. At the end of the day… it’s practically a magic potion for eternal youth.

The longer you cook this nourishing broth, the more savoury and concentrated it becomes. Pan roasting the bones and vegetables beforehand will add even more flavour and richness. Season with salt and you may sip this restorative broth on its own.

Once the broth is ready then it is all about adding the pre boiled noodles and further boiling it for 5 minutes to bring all the flavours together.


Soup

Although my grandma’s version take several hours, my version is easy, ready in an hour, and has all the comforting qualities you want in classic bone marrow soup.

To save time and fuel I use a pressure cooker to cook the buff bones. In a large pressure cooker heat the oil and sauté the garlic, onion, ginger. Add in the crushed pepper corns, veggies, tomatoes and then the bones in the pressure cooker. Once the meat stuck to the bone turns whitish and then golden brown you add a litre of water, season it with salt and then close the lid and cook it for 40 minutes in low flame. While the soup is getting ready, heat a heavy bottomed saucepan with water and add salt to it. As the water boils add the store-bought noodles and cook it andante.

Chop the herbs to garnish and wait for the clock to hit the 40 minutes bell. Let the pressure release itself and then open the pressure cooker.


2 tablespoons oil

1 cup carrots, peeled and diced

1 cup celery, chopped

1 onion, peeled and diced small

5 garlic cloves, minced

2 kg buff bones

1 cup carrots

1 teaspoon ground pepper

1 tbsp of chopped coriander

1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

100 gms of egg noodles (or your favourite noodles or pasta)

1 tablespoon lemon juice, optional

1 tsp chilli paste


Dishing up

Lastly to bring the soup and the noodles together, take a small pan and add some bone marrow soup from the pressure cooker, add a portion of the pre boiled noodle and further boil it for six to eight minutes.

While serving, pour the soup noodles from the pan and add the marrow that’s floating in the pressure cooker along with the bone for those who enjoy slurping on the bones.

Garnish it with chopped fresh herbs onion and chilli paste.

SERVE HOT!


 

SAUSAGE MEAT THENTHUK

Sausage Meat Thenthuk / © Photo : Ishita Rai Dewan

Every family has their own way of preparing Thenthuk – equally delicious but here I’m sharing the recipe, that is cooked not so in a traditional way. With as few ingredients as possible we can actually prepare a complex concoction.

You can prepare this recipe with a ball of left-over dough, two or three seasoned sausages buried deep in your freezer and some fresh seasonal veggies. The star ingredient of this recipe is the sausages. Sausages can either be garlic flavoured or spicy sausages.

Note that there is no initial cooking of the broth in my recipe, so best to have all your ingredients ready before you actually start cooking.

The Dough

You can use the left-over dough that’s in your fridge or you can prepare it fresh. For two servings you prepare the dough with 1 heap cup of whole wheat flour in a pot and add about half a cup of water.

Mix the flour and water very well by hand and keep adding water until you can make a smooth ball of dough, and keep kneading the dough very well until the dough becomes smoothly elastic.

1 heaping cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup water, room temperature 1/4 tsp salt 1 tsp oil

The Broth

Take a heavy bottomed saucepan, add the oil and fry the crumbled sausage meat. As the meat gets its golden-brown colour you remove the sausage meat and keep it aside. Now in the sausage grease that’s left over in the saucepan you sauté the garlic, onion, ginger and then add the tomato, carrot, beans and sauté it for two minutes. Once its nicely sauteed add four cups of water/ stock and boil it for 5 minutes in low flame.

2 or 3 tbsp vegetable oil

200 grams of Sausage meat

5 clove garlic, finely chopped 1 tbsp ginger, finely minced 1 small onion, chopped 1 carrot, chopped into thin strips 1 large tomato, roughly chopped 4 to 5 cups vegetable or other stock 2 green/spring onions/cilantro, chopped Soy sauce or salt to taste

1tsp Garlic chilli pickle


The Throw-Down

When the broth starts to boil, you can add the dough. Take a wedge of dough and roll it between your hands so it gets a little longer. Flatten it with your fingers. Then pull the dough off in little flat pieces as long as your thumb and throw them in the pot or if you find this process complicated take a small dough and roll it thin like roti, cut it into small one-inch strips and put the strip in the boiling pot.

When all the noodles are in the pot, cook it for an additional three to five minutes until the noodle is cooked. Now add the cooked sausage meat and garlic chilli pickle and let it simmer in the pot for another five minutes. Once it reaches a thick consistency turn off the heat and garnish the noodle with spring onion/cilantro. They don’t need to cook, really, so you can serve the soup immediately. Before you serve the thenthuk make sure that the taste is right for you, and add a little salt or soy sauce if you like.

SERVE HOT!!


 

BOK CHOY TOFU NOODLES

Bok Choy Tofu Noodle / © Photo : Ishita Rai Dewan


Nothing fancy, nothing new, just a basic vegetable soup that can accommodate whatever seasonal vegetables available in the market. Feel free to mix and match vegetable combinations according to what you like and what you have in hand. Other excellent soup vegetables include: fennel, celery root, spinach, broccoli, cabbage, turnips, peas, squash, shredded greens, corn, beans, and capsicum.

What I like best is the combination of bok choy, fresh tofu and shiitake mushroom. This combination brings out an intense flavour in the stock.


Soup

In a large saucepan, heat the oil over moderate low heat. Sauté the onions, garlic, soaked shiitake mushrooms along with the broccoli and cook stirring occasionally until the vegetables start to soften. Stir in the vegetable stock/water in the pan and boil it for 7 minutes. Bring it to boil. Reduce the heat and simmer partially covered until the vegetables are almost tender. Add in the tofu, baby bok choy, season it with salt and boil it for another 7 minutes.

As the soup is getting ready heat a heavy bottomed saucepan with water and add salt to it. As the water boils add in the store-bought noodles and cook it andante.

2 tbsp cooking oil

5 clove garlic, finely chopped 1 small onion, chopped 1 bunch, baby bok choy 10 gms dry shiitake mushrooms, soaked in hot water.

4 to 5 cups vegetable stock or water

50 grams cleaned broccoli 1 tsp light soy sauce, to taste

1 tsp chilli vinegar, to taste


Bok Choy Tofu Noodle / © Photo : Ishita Rai Dewan

Dishing Up

Next add the pre cooked noodle in the boiling pot and cook it for another 5 minutes.

Serve it hot in a large bowl accompanied with your choice of condiments preferably chilli vinegar and a dash of light soy sauce.


 

CHICKEN MOTHUK

Chicken Mothuk / © Photo : Ishita Rai Dewan

A genius person came up with the idea of mixing two greatest soul food together i.e our all-time fav momo and thukpa, and it was a SUPER HIT!!!

It must have been someone who had a lot of left overs in the kitchen and mixed the two and served them the next day for breakfast. Things must have taken a u turn since then. That is what I imagine must have happened. Thank heavens for the out of the box thinking, as this has been one of my family’s favourite soul food since we discovered in one of the menus in Kolkata. It hasn’t been long since we have heard about mothuk as in general.

We usually indulge on mothuk on a gloomy cold evening. We crave for something hot and filling and mothuk is just perfect for the weather.


The best part about this dish is the fact that it is an essential concoction of a lot of ingredients; most importantly, the all-time-favourite momo. So, instead of sipping the soup separately we mix the momo in the soup noodle of your choice and get a good thick concoction.

It usually starts by preparing the soup noodles and then dropping in some dumplings while the soup is getting boiled.


Noodle Soup

In a large saucepan, heat the oil over moderate low heat. Sauté the onions, garlic, carrots, boneless chicken, tomatoes, mushrooms and cook stirring occasionally until the vegetables start to soften. Stir in the chicken stock/water in the pan and boil it for 7 minutes. Bring it to boil. Reduce the heat and let it simmer, partially covered until the vegetables are almost tender. Add in the spinach, season it with salt and boil it for another 5 minutes. Do not overcook the spinach.

As the soup is getting ready you heat a heavy bottomed saucepan with water and add salt to it. As the water boils you add in the store-bought noodles and cook it andante.

2 tbsp cooking oil

5 clove garlic, finely chopped 1 small onion, chopped

2carrots, cut 1-inch strips

1tomato, diced 1/2 bunch, baby spinach 50 gms mushrooms, cleaned

4 to 5 cups vegetable stock or water

150 grams chicken 1tsp light soy sauce, to taste

1tsp sesame oil, to taste (optional)


Chicken Mothuk / © Photo : Ishita Rai Dewan

Momo Momos are intimidating (well, they can be). But they also are, in fact delicious on its own. No matter what you stuff them with, the concept of pillowy, soft dough encasing a luscious, super flavourful filling is enough to warm you up from inside out. With the combination of momo and thukpa we’re bringing that warm fuzzy feeling out.


Dishing up

Next, add the precooked noodle in the boiling pot along with the momo and cook it for another 5 minutes. As there is no prior steaming of the momos, itf gets cooked in the soup.

Serve it hot in a large bowl accompanied with your choice of condiments preferably sesame oil and a dash of light soy sauce. Garnish it with spring gonion.


 

ISHITA RAI DEWAN




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Content Copyright ©Ishita Rai Dewan / Photo Copyright © Praveen Chettri & Ishita Rai Dewan .

All rights reserved. For permission requests, write to the publisher, addressed “Attention: Permissions Coordinator,” at cafekalimpong@gmail.com

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