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SPICES OF THAI CUISINE



BAY LEAVES (BAI GRAWAN): Fresh leaves are used in the preparation of curries.

BASIL: There are three varieties:

1. SWEET BASIL (HORAPA): It is somewhat like the one used in Italian cooking. It is cooked as a vegetable and added to salads.

2. HOLY BASIL (GAPROW): The hot, peppery taste is brought out while cooking. Used in chicken, beef and fish dishes and in stir fried vegetables. Not eaten raw.

3. LEMON-SCENTED BASIL (MANGLUG): Cooked as a vegetable and also added as a flavouring.

CARDAMOM (LOO GRAWAN): Added to sweets as a flavouring.

CHILLIES (PRIK): There are 8-10 varieties of different sizes and colours. The small red ones are very pungent and the light green ones are milder. The large , light green ones are cooked as a vegetables.

CINNAMON (OB CHUEY): Used in meat dishes, curries and desserts.

CLOVES (GAAN PLOO): Only used in making Musaman, the basic curry paste. Fresh leaves are used with betel nuts.

CORIANDER LEAVES (PHAK CHEE): The roots and leaves are ground together to prepare green curry paste. The leaves are used for garnishing.

CUMIN SEEDS (YEERAA): Ground to make curry paste.

FISH SAUCE (NAM PLA): Made from fermented dish, it is used instead of salt in many dishes.

GARLIC (GRATIEM): Almost all the dishes contain garlic in one form or the other, whole crushed or as oil.

GINGER (KHING): Tender, fresh ginger is used in chicken and beef curries, drinks and tom yum the famous Thai soup.

GINGER SIAMESE (GALANGAL): Larger than normal ginger, it is widely used along with lemon grass for a distinctive flavour.

LEMON GRASS (TAKRAL): The lower part of the stalk is used as a flavouring agent in curries and tom yum.

LIME PITTED (KAFFIR): The peel and juice of this dark green, knobby lime is added to many dishes.

LIME LEAVES (MAKRUD): Boiled along with lemon grass to flavour chicken and vegetable curries and soups.

MACE (DOOG JUNN): The orange petals are added to make Musaman the special curry paste.

MINT (SURANAE): Leaves are cooked as a vegetable and added to curry paste.

NUTMEG (LOOG JUNN): The nut is crushed and added to Musaman.

PANDANUS (TOEY): It is a colouring and flavouring agent in sweets. It is cooling to the system.

PEPPER (PINK THAI): Green, black and white varieties are used. The fresh green pepper gives a piquant taste to fish and chicken curries.

SESAME (NGA): Is ground along with peanuts to make a sauce. Banana fritters are coated with this before frying. It is added to make sweet sticky rice.

SHALLOTS (HOM DAENG): These small red onions are ingredients in almost all Thai dishes.

SPRING ONIONS (HOM TOHN): Used as a a garnishing in fried rice and soups and vegetables.

TURMERIC (KHA MIN): Freshly ground tender roots are added to give colour and flavour to curries.


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4

Dondakaya Masala (Gherkins Masala) curry

Ingredients:
Dondakayalu - 250gms
Onions - 2
Oil - 2 tbsp
Cumin seeds - 1tsp
Tamarind juice - 2 tsp
Turmeric - 1/4tsp
Salt to taste


For Masala paste:
Peanuts -1 tbsp, Red Chillies - 3 no.'s, Gingely seeds - 1tbsp, Coriander seeds - 1 tbsp, coconut powder - 1tbsp,  cumin seeds - 1 tsp


Method:
Cut the onions into small pieces. Slit the dondakayalu into 4 long pieces. Dry roast all the masala ingredients and grind to make fine powder. Heat the oil add jeera when it crackles add onions. Fry onions for 5 minutes add dondakayalu, turmeric and salt. Cook for another 5 minutes the add the masala powder, tamarind juice and some water. Cook the curry till the oil floats. This curry goes well with rice and roti.