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Far Eastern delicacies

THE ASIAN AGE. | ONEAL SABU
Published : Aug 31, 2018, 1:20 am IST
Updated : Aug 31, 2018, 1:20 am IST

Thai cuisine is not all about the coconut-rich popular curries but also the meat dishes.

Our taste buds have bullied Oriental cuisine for so long that we often fail to appreciate local culture and cuisine when we travel abroad.
 Our taste buds have bullied Oriental cuisine for so long that we often fail to appreciate local culture and cuisine when we travel abroad.

Indian taste buds have always been guarded by this heavy wall of spices and condiments that we bully any cuisine if it fails to impress our spice levels. We are so unforgiving to bland food that we never spare second thoughts on Indianising anything to suit our palate. For example, Chinese dishes.

Our taste buds have bullied Oriental cuisine for so long that we often fail to appreciate local culture and cuisine when we travel abroad. On returning to India, we play safe and order the popular green curry and red curry at a Thai restaurant. Thai cuisine is not all about the coconut-rich popular curries from the central Thailand which suits Indian palates more. Thai cuisine is equally popular for food from the Isan region of Thailand where the cuisine is not coconut rich, but meat dishes flavoured with basic herbs and condiments in natural broth.

The North Eastern/Isan region of Thailand has the influence of Laos and Cambodia in their cuisine and most dishes are suited to be eaten with sticky rice or glutinous rice, the major crop of the region.

The curries are challenging to replicate with authenticity elsewhere. Som Tum, a popular raw papaya salad, is so simple yet so hard to perfect with the balance of tamarind juice and palm sugar. Keang Pa Gai is a Thai curry more popularly associated as a jungle food from Isan, where the ingredients are Kaffir Limes, Lemon Grass, Galangal, finger roots (khachai), green pepper corns, veggies and chicken.

Thai soul

SUM TUM KOONG((RAW PAPAYA SALAD WITH PRAWN)

Ingredients

  • Raw Papaya 250gm
  • Garlic  5gm
  • Chilli 5gm
  • Thai long bean  5gm
  • Peanut 10gm
  • Thai tomato 10gm
  • Palm sugar 50gm
  • Lemon juice 10ml
  • Fish sauce 50ml
  • Tamarind juice 50ml
  • Prawn 200gm

Method

  • Mix garlic, chilli, thai long bean, palm sugar, fish sauce, lemon juice and tamarind juice.
  • Add raw shredded papaya and Thai tomato.
  • Mix well and add grilled prawn.
  • Garnish with whole peanuts.

NASI LEMAK

Ingredients

  • Lemak rice 200 gm
  • Chicken rendang 100 gm
  • Sambal Ikan Bilis 15 gm
  • Fish sauce  ½ tsp
  • Shrimp powder (Balachan) ½ tsp
  • Sliced cucumber 15 gm
  • Toasted peanuts 15 gm
  • Egg 1 nos
  • Sambal sauce 10 gm
  • Chopped chili 5 gm
  • Chopped onion 3 gm
  • Salt To Taste

Method

  • Heat the lemak. Heat up chicken rendang. Mix the sambal and fried ikan bilis(anchovies).
  • Make a omelette with onion, chilli, and egg.Demould the lemak on to a serving plate.
  • Place the lemak rice in the centre of a plate and rendang, cucumber, peanuts, sambal, sambal ikanbilis on the side.
  • Place the egg on the rice and serve hot.

For Lemak rice
Jasmine rice cooked with coconut milk, pandan leaf and ginger.

Malaya Rasa

Mee Laksa Prawns
ingredients

  • Water 200 ml
  • Coconut milk 200 ml
  • Laksa paste 60 gm
  • Fish Sauce  ½ tsp
  • Shrimp powder (Balachan) ½ tsp
  • Diced chicken strips 50 gm
  • Cleaned prawns 50 gm
  • Egg 1 nos
  • Bean sprouts 15 gm
  • Blanched noodles 150 gm
  • Fried tofu 40 gm
  • Sambal sauce 10 gm
  • Cut Red chilli 3 gm
  • Coriander sprig 1 nos
  • Salt To Taste

Method

  • Put the blanched noodles in a serving bowl.  
  • Add the laksa paste in boiling water, pour in the coconut milk and add in the seasoning powder, shrimp powder, fish sauce, salt and fried tofu.
  • Check the salt and pour it over the noodles.
  • Arrange the bean sprout, blanched prawn, fried tofu, boiled egg, cut chilli and coriander on top.
  • Place the sambal sauce on the egg and serve.

The writer is a food enthusiast, author of Soul Fried Monolouge and curator of Foodwalkcompany

Tags: chinese dishes, oriental cuisine