You will feast your eyes upon beauteous yellow,red and green curries.Your ears will hear the sizzling sounds of fresh chilies and ginger frying in hot oil.You will smell the aromas emanating from citrusy lemongrass and lime leaves.You will taste sweetness,sourness and saltiness as you experience harmony in its unadulterated form.
Someone tweeted the other day "And on the eighth day god created Thai food".If cooking is de-stressing,which I am sure most would agree to,Thai cooking has to be rejuvenating.Almost as good as spa therapy,since it a feast to the senses of sight,smell,sound and taste,Thai cooking has remained closetted for several decades until restaurants all over the world began to reveal the magic of one of the world's finest cuisines.I insist you to embark on this mouth-watering journey,and I promise,each dish will be a gourmet's delight,every day a royal feast!
|Like all other Thai curries,green curry is best served with steamed rice.|
THAI CHICKEN SATAY WITH PEANUT SAUCE
The national dish of Indonesia is so irresistible that even Thailand,Malaysia and Singapore have welcomed it with open arms!Though unlikely,but if you are still not sure of trying it,this tender and succulent chicken,grilled to perfection with lemongrass,assorted spices and coconut milk will a be firework of flavors in your mouth.Spicy,sweet and salty,it is served with a smooth as velvet peanut sauce.
Heaven on a stick!
Cooking Time : 20 minutes
Servings : 2
Cooking Time : 20 minutes
Servings : 2
2 chicken breasts - cut into long,thin strips
FOR THE MARINADE:
1 cup coconut milk
1 and 1/2 teaspoons coriander seeds
1/2" piece ginger - roughly chopped
1/2 lemongrass - white portion roughly chopped
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon red chily powder
2 teaspoons sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
FOR THE PEANUT SAUCE:
1 cup coconut milk
1 teaspoon Thai red curry paste
2 tablespoons chunky peanut butter/roasted-crushed peanuts
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1/2 teaspoon tamarind paste
1 teaspoon sugar
Salt to taste
TO SERVE(Optional):1 lemon - halved
FOR THE CHICKEN:
Soak some bamboo satay skewers in water for atleast thirty minutes.
In the meantime,grind the coriander seeds to a powder in a food processor.Alternately,you may use a mortar and pestle.Once ground,tip in the ginger and lemongrass,and blend the ingredients to a thick paste,adding a spoonful of water if required.
Transfer this aromatic paste to a mixing bowl,and add rest of the marinade ingredients - turmeric powder,cumin powder,red chily powder,sugar and coconut milk.Mix well and season with salt and pepper.Finally add the chicken strips to this marinade and let it rest in the refrigerator till serving time.This will allow the flavors to intermingle,the chicken to macerate.
At the time of serving,thread the chicken onto satay sticks,one chicken strip per stick.Reserve the remaining marinade for later use.Grease the charcoal/electric grill with oil and heat it.Place the sticks on the grill,cook the chicken,brushing it occasionally with the remaining marinade.Allow it to cook for five minutes on each side till it gets a brown and crisp sear.Eat hot with the peanut sauce,close your eyes and visit culinary heaven!
FOR THE PEANUT SAUCE:Start with half the quantity of coconut milk in a pan on medium-high heat.Once it begins to bubble,add the Thai red curry paste and cook for a minute and a half.Now,put the peanut butter/roasted-crushed peanuts,stirring the sauce constantly as it comes to a boil.Reduce the heat to low and add the fish sauce,tamarind paste and sugar.Give a stir and add the remaining coconut milk.Combine all the ingredients together,taste for seasoning and let the sauce heat through.Switch off the flame and allow it to cool down to room temperature before serving.
1. If you don't have any grill,a grill pan can be used alternately.2. The coconut milk for the dish,can be fresh,or tinned,or made from a powder - though they all taste different.
VARIATIONTry using this recipe with beef,pork,lamb,prawns or even tofu,for a vegetarian version of satay.In case of beef or pork,allow maximum marination time since it is required to tenderize the meat.
TOFU AND VEGETABLES IN THAI RED CURRY
A preparation that defines Thai food more than any other,is an artistic splash of colors on the plate,a subtle harmony of flavors on the palate.Vegetables and tofu cooked in a red colored - coconut based curry,that is a potpourri of aromas,tastes and textures.The crunchiness of the veggies dwells with the smoothness of the gravy.White tofu,green spinach,purple eggplants and red curry!So,what are you waiting for?Get your apron on and start cooking this piece of art.Go on,and play Mr. Artist!
Cooking Time : 10 minutes
Servings : 2
2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste(bottled or make your own using the ingredients given below)
3 cups coconut milk
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
10 green beans - halved
2 small eggplants - cut into long,thin strips
100 gms firm tofu - cut into even-sized cubes
2 small red chilies - sliced diagonally
10 spinach leaves
4-5 sweet basil leaves
FOR THE RED CURRY PASTE:
5 dried red chilies - deseeded and soaked in 1/4th cup hot water for twenty minutes
1 fresh red chily - deseeded
2 shallots - roughly chopped
1/2" piece galangal - roughly chopped
1 lemongrass stalk - roughly chopped
Rind of 1/2 lime(If you can get kaffir lime,even better)
4 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
5 black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon salt2 tablespoons oil
To make your own red curry paste,put all the paste ingredients in a blender except for the oil and blend to a smooth,thick paste.Use no or as little water the chilies were soaked in,as possible.Now,add the oil and blend the paste once again.The oil works as a preservative and increases the shelf life of the paste.Fill in a clean bottle and refrigerate/Use as required.
To make the red curry,place a wok on medium-high heat.Once fairly hot,tip in the red curry paste and cook for thirty seconds,stirring constantly.Relish the citrusy fragrance wafting in your kitchen as you add two cups of coconut milk.Mix well and allow it to come to a boil,the oil to surface.Season with soy sauce and sugar,and add the green beans and eggplants.Reduce the heat to a simmer,cover the wok and cook for five minutes,stirring once or twice in between.The vegetables should be soft yet retain their crunch.Stir in rest of the ingredients - remaining coconut milk,tofu,red chilies,spinach leaves and basil.Stir gently,to avoid breaking the tofu.Bring the curry to a boil on high heat and check for seasoning - adding more soy sauce to adjust saltiness and more sugar to adjust sweetness.Serve with boiled rice,if you can resist the temptation of having it right in kitchen!
While this recipe specifies quantities for all ingredients,different recipes may recommend different amounts of Thai curry paste,soy sauce and sugar for the same quantity of coconut milk or vegetables.This is for two reasons.First is the strength of curry paste.Various manufacturers might be making curry pastes of varying heat.Even if you make your own curry paste,it might be hotter or milder from that of your peers,since the heat depends upon the variety of chilies used.Secondly,Thai food is largely based on one's taste.We all seem to prefer different levels of sugar,salt and spice in our meals.Hence,while cooking Thai food,the key to make delicious dishes is to keep tasting - and you will never go wrong!
|Known the world over for their curry,Thais not only make red curry,but also many others like green curry,yellow curry,massaman curry and so on.|
This work by Fahad Khan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.