As someone who loves a good meal, cooking one, came to me as a natural passion. I belong to a family where meal times consisted of not just food, but also noisy conversation centered around the events of the day and discussing the menu for the next. (ah yes, we are a greedy lot! )

For the most part of my life so far, my contribution in the kitchen was assisting mom and my duties were limited, to chopping veggies and laying the table. Then along came the great Indian wedding, and I was suddenly the queen of my very own kingdom. My curiosity about this magical world, coupled with an enthusiastic sous-chef (my husband, Vineet), led me to take on the challenge of preparing meals on a daily basis, and not succumbing to the convenience of hiring a cook.

This blog is a product of my experiments with food (not all are life threatening :D) for my fellow culinary enthusiasts - especially the newly weds and hungry bachelors and is dedicated to the women who've inspired me in the kitchen;
Aji (s),Ma and Nigella Lawson.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Real Thai, by Real Thai

Vineet and I are BIG fans of Thai food and have been wanting to cook Thai for a long time now. Although we love the commercially popular, red, green and yellow curries and raw papaya salads of the Thai world, I wanted to try something different ... something that real Thai's cook in their kitchen's regularly... put simply, almost a Aloo-gobhi-daal-chawal equivalent of Indian food.
Sudapim and Panintra, my Thai friends from work, offered to teach me... they shopped for all the ingredients, noted down and very patiently explained how things were done :) This is 100% aunthentic... and I quite enjoyed playing sous chef this time around...
Quantified to feed 2-3 persons, the Thai line-up for this post is:
1.) Thai Raw Mango Salad
2.) Chicken Basil
3.) Thai Chicken Soup
4.) Sudapim's Stir fry Garlic-Shrimp!


2 medium raw Mangoes
1 large Onion
1 small bunch Coriander, roughly chopped
5-6 tbsp Roasted Peanuts, coarsely ground
3-4 tsp dried Shrimp
1 red Padi Chilli
2 tbsp brown Sugar
1 tsp Fish sauce
2 tsp Soya Sauce
1 Lemon

1.) Wash and dry the mangoes. Peel using a vegetable peeler. Cut into thin-match stick- like strips. A traditional Thai technique to make these shredded mango strips is to hold the peeled mango in one hand. Using a sharp knife, make quick dices in the flesh length-wise. Then hold the knife parallel to the surface of the mango, and shave off the shredded pieces. Transfer into a bowl. Set aside.
(This can be tricky and I almost diced my thumb off a couple of times... so if you tend to be as clumsy as me, then stick to the safer option of actually cutting them normally...Will take slightly longer, but at least you have all fingers intact!)

2.) Peel and cut the onion in half. Slice finely, to more or less match the size of the mango strips. Add to the shredded mango.

3.) Finely chop the Padi chilli, shred the coriander leaves by hand and add to the salad bowl. Add the dried shrimp and toss gently.

4.) For dressing: Heat a non-stick saucepan. Dissolve the sugar in about 1/2 cup of water and bring to a full boil. Add the fish sauce and soy sauce and continue to boil till the sauce thickens and becomes sticky. Add the coarsely ground roasted peanuts. Switch off heat and allow the sauce to cool a bit.

5.) Pour the sauce over the salad and toss gently to mix well. Garnish with a few sprigs of coriander and sliced red padi chilli (if you can handle the heat!).


Made with Minced chicken (kheema), and enjoyed with some piping hot steamed rice!

250g Chicken, minced (kheema)
1 bunch Thai Basil leaves (sweet basil), torn
3-4 cloves Garlic, minced
2 tbsp Fish Sauce
2 tbsp Soy Sauce
1 tbsp Oyster Sauce
1 tsp Sugar

1.) Heat the oil in a thick bottomed wok or kadhai. Stir fry the minced garlic. Add the chopped padi chilli followed by the roughly torn basil leaves.
2.) Add the Fish sauce, Oyster sauce and sugar, followed by the minced Chicken. Add the Soya sauce and continue to stir fry till the chicken is cooked. Enjoy with steamed rice.

Warning! The contents of the pan might suddenly catch fire while you stir fry... Don't panic - like I did - and just lower the flame and let the fire go out naturally :)


Tom yum soup is a kind of Thai soup that is known for its broth which is both savoury, spicy, and sour. This soup is incredibly flavorful, very light on the stomach and extremely healthy. Sudapim's only special instruction is to not 'stir' the soup as it boils - That might be to allow a slow release of all the flavors of the soups ingredients.

5-6 Chicken drumsticks
2 large Tomatoes, cut into large chunks
8-10 button Mushrooms, cut in half
1 large onion, cut into large-ish chunks
1-1/2 Knorr Chicken/Vegetable soup cubes
3-4 Lime leaves, cut into thin strips
2 stalks, Lemon grass, bruised
1-1/2" pc of Ginger, sliced into rounds
2 Lemons
2 tbsp Fish Sauce
2 tsp roast Garlic
1 bunch Coriander,roughly chopped

1.) Heat 3-4 cups of water in a thick bottomed pot. Add the chunks of Onion, Tomatoes and Mushroom, and allow the them to simmer in the water. Dissolve the Knorr soup cubes into the simmering broth.
2.) Bruise 2 stalks of lemon grass using a mortar pestle or the blade of your knife. Add it to the soup, followed by the ginger.
3.) Cut the lime leaves into thin strips and add it to the pot, along with the fish sauce and roasted garlic.
4.) Bring the soup to a full boil. Reduce heat and add the chicken drumsticks. Keep boiling till the chicken is tender and cooked.
5.) Switch off the heat and add the lemon juice and coriander and allow the soup to rest for a few minutes. Tom YUM, Indeed! :)


This is something chef Sudapim concocted herself... It's a super quick and very yummy stir-fry shrimp, flavoured with basic Thai sauces - fish sauce, oyster sauce and Soya sauce (What's not to like, right?)  The thai padi chilli, adds a lot of heat, so have a glass of chilled water on stand-by! :)

12-15 Prawns/ Shrimp, shelled & chopped
1-1/2 tbsp Vegetable oil
2-3 Garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp roast minced Garlic
1 red thai padi Chilli
1-1/2 tbsp Soya sauce
1 tbsp Fish sauce
1 tbsp Oyster sauce
1 small bunch Coriander, chopped
1 lime, to squeeze

1.) Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan. Stir-fry the chopped garlic and padi chilli.
2.) Add the Fish sauce, the Oyster sauce and the Soya sauce, followed by the roast garlic.
3.) Add the chopped shrimp. Stir fry and cook for a couple of minutes. 
4.) Garnish with copped coriander and a squirt of lime juice.

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