We all have that memory from that one epic road trip to the mountains etched in our minds â€“ a long, hard ride or drive through the winding roads, sometimes wet and slippery with rain or snow flurries, right after which you reward yourself with that two-minute break.
Maggi has been our primary sustenance on such occasions â€“ in fact, hot steaming chai and Maggi spiced with super secret ingredients that only the mountain folk know of make up the flavour of most of our Live Life in OVERDRIVE experiences. It conjures up images of the scores of tea stalls lining the road leading up to Rohtang Pass. It brings to mind that glorious feeling of victory on conquering Khardung La. And now that the popular brand of instant noodles is off the frying pan and into the fire (and off the shelves), weâ€™re looking for alternatives. Because in extreme environments like Ladakh, nutrition is of great importance (right up there with keeping hydrated, calm and cautious behind the wheel). So weâ€™ve chalked down some of the options that can recreate the warm, comforting magic of those slippery, yellow noodles in a bowl.
This Tibetan delicacy is best described as steamed pockets of white flour, stuffed with mince, cheese or even vegetables. Theyâ€™re served with stock or chilli sauce. Great, low fat way to fill up and get back on the road.
Thukpa is a form of noodle soup thatâ€™s popular in North East India and again, has its origins in Tibet. Itâ€™s hot, spicy and full of all the goodness of broth, honey, ginger, lemon and lots of pepper. Itâ€™s also enormous relief for sore throats and mild headaches that mark the onset of altitude sickness.
Good olâ€™ eggs
Protein is essential to maintain and build strength and eggs are an excellent source. Fried, scrambled, boiled, sunny-side up â€“ there isnâ€™t a single tea stall, restaurant or joint on the way to Ladakh and beyond that wouldnâ€™t be able to stir up your favourite kind. We really canâ€™t think of any.
Other brands of instant noodles
Tonnes of alternatives currently throng the instant noodle market – Top Ramens, Knorr, Yippee and Wai Wai, to name a few. Now, theyâ€™re not exactly two-minute noodles but theyâ€™re close. And letâ€™s face it – up there above the clouds, itâ€™s never really just two minutes. Weâ€™re just going to miss the taste of Tastemaker that weâ€™ve come to associate with the hills and the rains. But the beauty of the human condition is that we all learn to adapt and adjust.
Â And finally. . lots of chai
There isnâ€™t anything as comforting as your hands circling a warm cuppa tea in the piercing cold. But if youâ€™re not a caffeine junkie, then warm cocoa is always an option. Since itâ€™s not as ubiquitous as tea or coffee, we suggest carrying cocoa powder on you. Lemon tea is another option if youâ€™re not a tea person but are open to caffeine.
Well, for the time that Maggi is off the shelves, all we can do is move on. If you know of other options for a quick and easy repast in the mountains, do let us know in the comments below.Â Also check out our comprehensive list of restaurants that you absolutely must visit when in the Himalayas.