The next stop in our culinary journey to the Land of Rising Sun or Arunachal Pradesh.This state is also known as the Paradise of the Botanists and the Orchid State of India. This is considered to be a treasure trove of Nature mainly for its Orchid population of over 600 species!
The state provides good scope for trekking, rafting,hiking and boating and this forms the bulk of the tourism this state has to offer.Other tourist attractions include the Buddhist monasteries and the cultural festivals.
Arunachal Pradesh also has the fame for being mentioned in the scriptures! It is said to be mentioned in the Kalika Purana and the Mahabarata. It is also said that this is where Lord Krishna married his consort Rukmini!
Having said all this, it is time to move on to the most important part of the post – The Culinary section….
The cooking methods are simple and the varieties are endless.Each tribe and sub-tribe have a lot to offer in terms of cuisine.Rice is the staple food here along with fish ,meat and vegetables.
All the sister state have same dishes but with minor variations.The Chinese influence can be seen in Meghalaya,Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim.
Momos are also very popular here and that is why I have presented them in this post. Thukpa,too, is a very famous dish of the Monpa tribe of this region
Thukpa is a hearty noodles soup inspired from the Tibetan cuisine that may have crossed borders from China.Usually, Thukpa consists of Noodles and some meat in a broth. I have made a vegetarian version of the same.
Behind the scene:
This was the first dish that I cooked for the series. Initially, I was worried if this would be accepted to be a part of the family meal and then I decided to make a small portion in case there are no takers. It was almost 4pm by the time I cooked, clicked and sat down to eat this meal. Lil Angel arrived just around the time I put the first morsel of noodles into my mouth.She saw the soup and asked for ut first. Later, after a couple of spoons, wanted the noodles and the vegetables. Seeing her, Lil Dude wanted the noodles and the momos.So within half an hour, the kids managed to finish almost most of what was prepared! I was speechless! I am sure this happens in most homes, right!
Now to the preparation…
Noodles- a large handful, cooked al-dente
Mixed vegetable chunks as needed ,parboiled [Carrot,peas,potato,cauliflower,french beans]
Cabbage-a handful, thinly sliced
Vegetable stock-2 cups
Ginger- 1″ piece,minced
Chili powder- 1 teaspoon
Salt to taste
Heat oil in a pan and put in onion, ginger and tomato. Saute for a few minutes and add the cabbage and cook for another 2 minutes. Then put in the vegetable stock, mixed vegetables and bring to boil.
Add the chilli powder and salt and simmer. When the vegetables are cooked, add the noodles and simmer for a couple of minutes.Mix well.
- You can add pepper powder instead of chili powder.
- Egg noodles can be used of the regular noodles.
Let us make the dipping sauce / gravy first..
Soak 5 red chilies [adjust according to taste] in water.Drain and grind it along with 5 pods of garlic and 1″ piece of ginger. You can use this as such or follow the next few steps to make a gravy / dip that gies so well with the momos.
Dissolve a tablespoon of cornflour in a little water. Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a pan and add the ground paste.Add salt and mix. Then put in the corn flour mixture and simmer.Stir well so that it does not get burnt. After a couple of minutes, when it has thickened a bit, remove from heat and keep aside.
Serve this as a dipping sauce or take a portion of this sauce in a pan, add a little hot water to thin out the sauce and toss around a few momos gently so that it coats the momos evenly.
To make the momo filling…
Onion-1, finely chopped,
Cabbage- a handful, finely chopped
Carrot – 1,small, finely grated
Ginger- 1/2″ piece, minced
Salt to taste
Red chili powder- 1/2 teaspoon
Soy sauce- 1 teaspoon
Spring onion- a handful, finely chopped
Heat oil in a pan and add the onion and the garlic. Saute till the onions are a little soft and then add the carrot and cabbage. Saute for a few minutes.Add soya sauce, a little salt and red chili powder. Cook till the raw smell of chili powder goes off. Add the spring onions and turn off the heat.Mix well and allow to cool completely.
To make the momos….
All purpose flour – 1 cup
Salt to taste
In a bowl, take the flour,oil and salt.Knead to form a dough using water. Cover and let it sit for 15 minutes. Knead again and pinch out a golf sized ball.
Roll it thinly and using a bottle lid / cap, cut into circles. Place a piece of the filling and bring in the sides as shown in the pic below.
Place them on a greased plate on a steamer and stream for 15 minutes or till the surface of the cooked momos turn glossy and slightly transparent.
- The addition of oil while preparing the outer covering helps in keeping the momos moist[prevents it from drying out] and remains succulent even when consumed after a few hours.
- Do not over steam / over cook the momos. It will become very leathery to taste.
Hope you enjoyed both the dishes that I have presented here today….