Winter Comfort From Sikkim: Try Thenthunk A Hearty Noodle Soup

Noodles are a fundamental part of so many cuisines, not only in Asia but around the world. This delicious brothy dish from Sikkim called Thenthuk is another star of that tradition. In Tibetan “then” means pull and “thuk” means noodle, and true to its name, Thenthuk is a hand-pulled noodle dish with a clear vegetable or meaty broth. Sikkim is the meeting point of many cultures and while Thenthuk is originally a Tibetan dish, it has travelled further and become a staple of many cuisines in northeast India as well.

Different communities of Sikkim pride themselves on unique cuisines but Sikkimese of Nepali origin are the ethnic majority. The Bhutias are of Buddhist and Bon descent and arrived from Tibet around the 16th and early 17th centuries. Bhutia food is characterised by the use of rice, pork, beef and seasonal vegetables and isn’t known to be very spicy, but utilises herbs and vegetables for extra flavour. 

You might be wondering whether it has any relation to thukpa, another staple of Himalayan fare. While all noodle soups fall under the category of thukpa, the only difference in Thenthuk is found in the shaping of the noodles, so yes, you could say that Thenthunk is actually a type of Thukpa.

This recipe utilises only vegetables in the broth, but you could easily add in any meat or protein of your choice for your own spin. The best part about Thenthuk is that there is no hard and fast rule about what goes into it since it’s usually made with seasonal and local ingredients. Try this on a chilly evening for a hearty one-bowl meal.



  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • Water as required


  • 1 cup carrots, diced
  • 2 medium tomatoes, sliced
  • ½ cup capsicum, diced
  • 1 cup pak choi, chopped
  • 1 cup green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp ginger, grated
  • 1 tsp garlic, grated
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 vegetable stock cube dissolved in water/ 1 cup stock
  • Salt to taste
  • 4 cups water
  • Vegetable oil for cooking


  • To make the noodles, mix all the ingredients for the dough and knead until firm. Cover with a damp cloth and set it aside for half an hour to rest. 
  • After resting, divide the dough into 8 portions and roll each out as thinly as possible. 
  • Cut it into wide strips, dust them with a little extra flour to prevent them from sticking and set them aside.
  • Heat some oil in a deep pot and add the spring onions and chilli flakes and cook until they sizzle.
  • Add in the ginger and garlic, stir to combine. 
  • Add the tomatoes along with some salt and saute for 2-3 minutes. 
  • Add the chopped carrots and capsicum.
  • Mix your soy sauce into your stock and add to the pan, mix to combine and then top up for 3-4 cups of water.
  • Cover and cook until the broth boils and then lower the heat until the vegetables are cooked. 
  • Add your pak choi and then begin tearing your noodles into the soup.
  • Cook for 2-3 minutes and adjust seasoning if needed.
  • Serve hot with a squeeze of lime and chopped spring onions for garnish.