A week in Kathamandu was too little to know inside out of the city. The time was not even sufficient to taste and get the feel of most local recipes. In between the busy work schedule that started from 8:00 in the morning until 6:00 in the evening, I could only discover a few countryside roads, a few nearby restaurants, and a handful of friends from Nepal. Among my first week discoveries was Heera, our marketing personnel, and Sushma, our program coordinator. They were my inspiration for trying and experiencing the taste of Thukpa.
The above video is my experience of Tibetan Thukpa from an authentic Tibetan Restaurant in Fort Kochi.
When you are in a foreign land, you will either be guided through the most appreciated restaurants that serve extraordinary local delicacies or, you will be escorted to the few existing restaurants that offer the flavors from your motherland. I prefer the first option, but being an Indian, most of my friends (foreign friends) misjudged me at least for the first time; Heera and Sushma were exception to this.
After 6:00, the streets of Kathmandu were illuminated with beautifully displayed shops and charming smile of pedestrians. Heera hired an auto-rickshaw and instructed the driver about the direction that he finalized with Sushma a while ago. They entered the vehicle, and I followed them like a child after his parents. A long steep road, a few turns and a few bumps, the auto-rickshaw stopped in front of a small yet neatly kept house. I stepped out and looked around. The place was calm and serene with a bush of bamboo giving it the needed privacy. A small pond in the yard, besides the pathway, was bordered with nicely maintained lawn. We walked towards the short entrance that had a few chimes that produced soothing music in breeze. Heera bent down and squeezed his fat body to sneak in while Sushma needed no alterations.
Inside the restaurant (well it only looked like a house but it was indeed a restaurant), were a few tables and a few chairs for each of them. None of them were occupied, and that offered us the freedom to choose from the few. Sushma pulled me by my hand and led me to a table that was close to the window. The window was a show… a display of lit up Kathmandu valley. I wowed at the sight and sat near to the window for the show.
Our amusing chit-chats were interrupted by an old woman who came in with a small printed copy of menu. I was not given a chance to select my choice, Heera dominated us when it came the decision of ordering food and his decision was Thukpa. Of course, that was a fine selection that led me to experience one of the exotic taste of Thukpa in Nepal.
After placing the order, Heera explained the food and its journey from Tibet to various cultures around the world. When talking about Thukpa and Momos of Tibet, Heera had the verve and vigour that I never experienced in him during our professional discussions. There was no other better reason for his enthusiasm than having his father from the land of Lamas. At last, the awaited chicken Thukpa was on our table and I was going to experience the taste of Thukpa first time ever in my life.
I looked into the bowl of soup and noodles. The proximity of Nepal to Tibet did not stop the people of Nepal to perform improvisation of this Tibetan cuisine. In Nepal, Thukpa is a bit spicy and soupy. What we received on the table was the Nepali version with variety of steamed vegetables and boiled chicken chunks. A hot sauce that they supplemented with the traditional noodle soup was a perfect combination to make it a complete meal for an extremely cold evening in January. That taste of Nepali Thukpa is still on my tongue to recall the flavour.
Author: E Jey
Just a passionate traveler who loves scribbling his expeditions @ www.jauntmonkey.com, www.outonroads.com, and www.blogthatall.com