Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Maggi Noodles at 13,000 feet

Just to mention the word Maggi noodles and most people will look at you with either total disgust or a complete look of pity. Well, I would, as they are pretty crap. Not a foodies idea of a good meal. But believe me, when you are freezing cold and wet you will woof down a bowl of them.
Maggi noodles are a part of travelling in the Himalayas. At one point everyone has eaten a bowl of them, especially in the more remote regions of northern India. No one likes to admit it but we all have done it. I have met people who whilst eating maggi noodles actually denied that they have ever eaten them.

My most recent jaunt with a bowl of noodles happened just below the Se La pass in Arunachal Pradesh. After driving up to 13700 feet, and thoroughly freezing our arses off. We were in desperate need of some warming up.
We never even stopped at the pass, as after being stuck in the mud on the way up, and having to push our way out in the rain. We were pretty damn cold. There were moments in that trip that I thought the end was nigh. Maybe something to do with those long drops to my left.

So just below the pass we noticed a small truck stop. Chai time. Unfortunately this particular stop never had chai. I know. A truck stop without chai. What is the world coming to?
The owner did however have maggi noodles on the menu. Well that was all she had. So 5 bowls of noodles with extra chilli were ordered.
She ushered us into the dining room, where small plastic stools were set around a wooden stove, with a 32” flat screen tv was playing the latest Indian soap operas. Damn that fire was good. My feet were pretty cold by this point. Actually my whole body was slowly freezing up.

These were probably the best bowl of maggi noodles I had ever eaten. She made some mean ones. The amount of liquid was perfect with the cut noodles. The extra chilli made the bland “masala” powder a little bit more spicy, and perked me up quite a bit. The hot liquid warmed us up no end.
The added bonus of a glass of hot water at the end of the meal, just made us warm up that little bit more. Yes, we were that high.

We did stop an hour or so later on, but that Yak Thukpa was good, but somehow that bowl of maggi noodles has now reached heavenly highs, that I am sure no bowl of noodles will reach in a long time. 


Su-Lin said...

Instant noodles are ace - I won't ever be in denial! But coupled with your situation, I bet they were the best noodles, nay, the best meal ever!

Kavey said...

I love maggi (and other) instant noodles. I have a soft spot for them since childhood trips to India - I'd get bored/ crazed with unending lentils and vegetables so would break them up with instant noodles, or cupasoups mixed with rice, or scrambled egg and puris.


Mzungu said...

The oddest thing we ate was in Bhutan. Our driver would crush up packs of dried noodles and mix in the little sachet of spice and eat them like that. Odd but nice and addictive.