Recipe

HIGH ON THAI

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Is this real? Or is it a dream sequence?  Im on my way to Bangkok’s finest Thai restaurant. Time is standing still as I gently glide down the gleaming “River of Kings”. We do so in a beautiful wooden-carved long tail boat. At the other end of the bank an exquisite restaurant and authentic Thai food await me. It is here that I meet the brilliant chef   Uemporn Yuayaipong. Having trained in Saraburi Culinary school, she not only worked in  prestigious restaurants and hotels in Macao, Maldives.  Canada and Washington but also did many a Thai promotion in Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, LA and many other cities. The charming Karn Puntuhong, a knowledgable foodie herself helps me by translating the chef’s explanations into English. They offer hands on, worth attending classes in Thai food. And through it all I go through some delicious learning.

CHEF Uemporn Yuayaipong and Karn Puntuhong with the vibrant Thai dips at Sala Rim Naam
CHEF Uemporn Yuayaipong and Karn Puntuhong with the vibrant Thai dips at Sala Rim Naam

WHAT IS THAI FOOD?

Im on a perpetual high on Thai! But what exactly is Thai food? It’s a trifle complicated. For, just like the world considers pizza and pasta to be quintessential Italian food (when actually they are the dishes of the southern region of Campania) and tandoori chicken and naan are perceived as Indian food (when they really belong to Punjab), similarly, much of what we wolf down as Thai food comes from the country’s central region, the area in and around Bangkok. Every region here has its own signature dishes. The food of the rugged, colder and mountainous North (watered by plenty of rivers) are distinct from those of the South. Steamed glutinous rice, local sausages (sai ua, and nham), steamed meat, roasted pork, pork resin, fried pork, fried chick- en and vegetables are some of the Northern staples. The pre- dominant taste is salty, almost to the exclusion of the sweet and sour. The influence of neighbouring Burma is strongly evident.

 

THAI FOOD & ENGLISH LITERATURE

It is here, that two of my passions come together in a sacred union…Thai food and English literature. And that too in the cacophonic, overcrowded, fascinating, exhausting Bangkok. Right there in this tumultuous city, there is a space which is not just  stunninglybeautiful and gracious but also a cocoon of comfort. Since over 140 years, this gorgeous Mandarin Oriental hotel has retained it’s essentially, stylishly Thai soul. I have been going back again and again past many decades and each time fall even more in love with it. Helmed by the dynamic Amanda Hyndman, it continues to breathe colonial charm and high end luxury. It is here that my most favorite authors, Somerset Maugham and Noël Coward regularly stayed. Suites, where they stayed areeloquent with memory and luxury . Once again, time stands still amid luscious silks and carved teak. I trip out on many of the dining options. I enjoy the classic British High tea, served in the Author’s Lounge (named after the many famous writers who have stayed at the hotel) as much as the Chinese and French specialty restaurants.But it’s the traditional Thai  with it’s tangy sweet-and-sour flavors  that ricochets on my taste buds, that I always make it a point to feast on. It’s the versatile palette of Thai dips that dazzle. I request the chef for the recipes. Here they are…

 


 

M.O. THAI DIPS

Versatile dips. Can sparkle your starters and salads and mains. Choice is yours.

NAAM PRIG OONG

 

Ingredients; for 2

6pc dried big red chili, seedless and soaked /100 gr hard tofu and chopped in small piece / 250g cherry tomato cut in half / 3g salt / 15g light soya sauce / 15g palm sugar

1tsp coriander root, chopped / 1/2tsp galangal, chopped / 1/4cup cooking oil / 10g       lime juice.

 

Method;

Pound dried red chili in the mortar or blander and add galangal and coriander root pound until they are mixing well then sit a side.

Heat a pan and add cooking oil brings the chili in the oil and stir until getting smell good.

And then add cherry tomato, salt, light soy sauce, palm sugar and lime juice, slowly cooked them and add tofu cook for another 5 minutes.

Remove and put in a serving cup. Then serve with fresh vegetables (Chinese cabbage, string bean, lettuce, cucumber etc.)

 

NAAM JIM A-JAD

Cucumber relish

Ingredients; for20

Sweet chili dips

500gr white sugar / 312gr white vinegar / 23gr salt / 200gr Thai big red chili de- seed and blend it.

-mix all ingredients together in the pot and heat them in medium heat, after they are boiled, turn heat to low and continue until color becomes light yellow.

-add chili in and heat in 5 minutes.

 

Cucumber relish

Ingredients; for2

100gr sweet chili dips / 76gr (1cup) cucumber, sliced / 20gr (¼ cup) ground peanut /

20gr big red chillies, cut into rings / Some coriander leaves.

 

Combine all ingredients together and serve.

CHILI DIP

Ingredients; for2

230gr grilled chilis and de-skin / 8gr grilled bird’s eye chili / 40gr light soya sauce /

40gr lime juice / 230gr grilled long eggplant, de-skinned / 10gr syrup.

 

Method;

Crush grilled  chili, bird’s eye chili and grilled long eggplant in the mortar.

Season with light soy sauce, lime juice and syrup

Served with boiled and fresh vegetables.

 

MANGO DIP

Ingredients; for 4

200 gr meat of ripe sweet mango / 3gr red small chili / 2gr mint stalk / 20gr lime juice /

To test salt.

 

Methods;

Peel sweet mango meat and mixed with red chili, mint stalk, lime juice and put a blender till smooth.

Add salt.

 

Recipe: Chand Ka Tukada

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Chef: Meher Dasondi

Cuisine: Indian

Category: Main Course

Serves: 4

Cooking Time: 30 minutes Prepn/Marin 1 hour 15 minutes

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Recipe: Chicken Crunchies

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Chef: Vimla Philips

Cuisine: Continental

Category: Starter I Main Course

Serves: 5

Cooking Times: 10 minutes Prepn/Marin 1 hour

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Recipe: Murgh Shami Kebab

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Chef: P.P. Chakrabarthi

Cuisine: Indian

Category: Starter

Serves: 4-6

Cooking Time: 2 hours Prepn/Marin Time 10 minutes

Ingredients

250gms. Boneless chicken cut into small cubes

2 Onions, finely chopped

50 gms. Bengal gram (channa dal)

1tsp. Garam masala

4-6 Green chillies

1 piece Fresh Ginger, 1-2 ” long, crushed

As required Salf

3\4 cup Water

A few Coriander and mint /eaves, chopped

1 Lime (juice)

1 tbsp. Gram flour

2 Eggs, beaten

For shallow frying Vegetable oil

Method

Put the first 8 ingredients and the water into a pan and bring to the boil. Simmer, covered untilthe

chicken and the dal are cooked.

Cook uncovered to reduce the excess liquid. Cool and grind to a paste.

Place the mixture in a mixing bowl and add the coriander and mint leaves, lemon juice and gram

flour.

Knead well, divide into 10-12 portions and roll each into a ball then flatten slightly. Chill for 1 hour.

Dip the kebabs in the beaten egg and shallow fry each side until golden brown. Serve hot with mint

and coriander chutney.

FOOD & HEALTH: Recipe – BW SPA Wrap

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Whoa! What a stellar role food plays, here in the land of beauty, glamor and eternal youth. I report from a charmed frontier (Hollywood, where else?) where every square inch bristles  with style and star power. Here fantasy is blending into reality and luxury is dripping in every practical detail in  the legendary Beverly Wilshire (Pretty Woman) hotel  on Los Angele’s  stunning sun-drenched, Rodeo drive designer boulevard to the world  Here, two of my passions come together in a sacred union, cutting edge food and plenty of vibrantly healthy fare too. Not only does Americas leading chef Wolfgang Puck have a restaurant here but the French genius Thomas Bellec along with his spectacular fare serves up  equally spectacular healthy fare.

CHEF BELLEC WITH AUDREY SLADE AND THE YUMMY SPA WRAP
CHEF BELLEC WITH AUDREY SLADE AND THE YUMMY SPA WRAP

And so by the deep blue of the pool (it’s the shape of Sophia Loren’s pool in her villa ) I taste Chef Bellec’s healthy Spa menu.  Here, fragrant lemons hang from trees, flowers bloom and the vibrant sun shine warms the cool air.

The sunbronzed Greek gods with their six packabs and la-di-da babes with endless legs swim and lounge around the pool. It is here that I can feel  eight decades of  Beverly Wilshire’s elegant history tangoing with youthful energy. The grace of stately centuries melds with high octane new age gusto. Elvis Presley, Warren Beatty and Steve McQueen have all lived in the Hotel. And then ofcourse the  Hotel shot into global fame when 25 years ago it was the the movie Pretty Woman starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere was shot here. I have dined here with Anil kapoor, Priyanka Chopra, Gulshan Grover and many others in the BeverlyWilshire. Both Hollywood and Bollywood lives and dines here.

Today I sample Chef Bellec’s amazing energizing dishes and chat with the lovely  Audrey Slade, globetrotting communication dynamo. The patissseur extraordinaire Chris Ford’s unique chocolate Christmas tree ornaments (a  mallet is with the ornament so guests can have some fun breaking it and sharing it) delight. I love his cool modern versions the bûche de Noël – there’s a Caramel Fruits log with vanilla genoise, caramelized berries, and vanilla cremeux, and a Chocolate Peppermint version with salted caramel mousse.
And to balance the sheer chocoholic indulgence I trip out on the healthy and delicious wrap…Chef bellec shares the recipe with us \

Interestingly, Chef Bellec’s simple yet sophisticated dishes are marked by fresh ingredients and seasonal producS

EGG WHITES DELIGHT

We are know that eggs are very rich in protein  but did you know that egg whites contain more than half (four of the six grams) of an egg’s protein?  And that is because of the the biological function of the egg white is to  keep the yolk in place, and to provide water, protein and other nutrients to the developing embryo. Other than protein,

Riboflavin, selenium. Potassium and sodium. Sodium too. Theres more good news, whites are a low-calorie food, with just 17 calories — opposed to 71 per whole egg.  The news gets better cause egg whites, contain no saturated fat or cholesterol. So if you’re on a diet or watching your ccholesterol  or have diabetes or heart disease.  Then the choice of egg white is the right one for you. To have a healthy and delicious recipe for egg whites, please try Chef Bellec’s BW Spa wrap/

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Recipe: Chicken Salad Malabar

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Chef: Alwyn Fernandes

Cuisine: Fusion

Category: Salad

Serves: 20

Cooking Time: 30 minutes Prepn/Marin 5 minutes

Ingredients

1 ½ Kg. Whole chicken

2 Spring onions, sliced

2 Green capsicums, sliced

2 Pineapple slices cut into pieces + 1 slice for garnishing

1 cup Mayonnaise

50 ml Cream

2 tbsp. Curry powder (Atlas brand)

1 tbsp. Mango chutney

1 tsp. Salt

4 Peppercorns

1 Carrot sliced

1 sprig Celery, chopped

To make a stock, take enough water to sink chicken, add salt, peppercorns, carrot and boil stock for

1S minutes.

Put chicken in when stock starts boiling again, reduce flame and cook for 10 minutes.

Take out and dry chicken. Shred with fingers.

Mix with all the other ingredients in the bowl.

Mix well, garnish with a slice of pineapple and chill before serving.

Chef’s Tip lf the number of guests increase serve on a bed of cress lettuce “

Recipe: Shish Tawook

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Chef: Prakash Pawaskar

Cuisine: Middle Eastern /Lebanese

Category: Main Course

Serves: 10

Cooking Time: 30 minutes Prepn/Marin 1 hour 15 minutes

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