Whenever I've participated in food blog events or see others enthusiastically host one at their blogs, I watch woefully. I long to host one, but could never muster up the courage to seek out an event to do it. I was too chicken for it :D But while sending my entry to the Italian edition of IAVW, I added an extra line to my email, offering to host the event if needed. A few weeks later, I was pleasantly surprised to see Vaishali's reply, inquiring if I was ready to take up the offer! Yes! Oh yes! So here it is, Vaishali's brainchild 'It's a Vegan World' is moving out of its home and coming to stay with me all this month. It's a first for me and this blog in hosting an event. I am feeling really nervous and I need all the help I can get, from you :) I've already been having nightmares about having an empty mail box at the end of the month :(
Most of you might already know Vaishali, she hosts a wonderful blog called Holy Cow!. She has a way with words and I enjoy reading her posts. Her love for animals is more than evident from the stories she shares with us about her adorable pets. By extending that love towards her food options, she chose to be vegan and treats us to tonnes of delicious vegan food at her blog. 'It's a Vegan World' is an event she created to celebrate the cuisines of the world, vegan style! We've traveled to beautiful Italy and enchanting Mexico over the last two months. Now pack your bags again, because we are heading a little further, to Asia, and will land at the exotic Kingdom of Thailand! I invite all of you to join me on this wonderful tour, introducing - 'It's a Vegan World - Thai'
Thailand is an independent country nestled in the heart of Southeast Asia. It's cuisine is popular the world over and is widely known to be hot and spicy, and for having a perfect balance of the five basic flavors - hot, sour, sweet, salty and bitter - in all its dishes. The cuisine makes use of fresh ingredients like galangal, lemongrass, lime, chilli, garlic, coriander leaf and coconut, that are locally grown in this tropical wonderland. As is seen in many Asian countries, rice is a staple food and forms an essential part of most Thai meals. The popular, sweet smelling Jasmine rice is indigenous to Thailand along with 5000 more varieties of rice which are preserved in a rice gene bank to treasure them forever. With its fiery and flavorful dishes, use of exotic & familiar ingredients, Thai cuisine easily finds its way into the hearts of most food lovers.
Thailand's official name was Siam until June 23, 1939. It is interesting to note that the name was derived from the Sanskrit word 'Syâma (श्याम, meaning "dark" or "brown"), a word also used to describe Lord Krishna. Here are a few stats pertaining to the country - its the world's 51st-largest country in terms of total area, roughly equal in size to Spain, and the 20th most-populous country, with approximately 63 million people! Thailand is also one of the most devoutly Buddhist countries in the world. It's one of the only Southeast Asian countries never to be colonized by the Europeans (more info...; Image source)
Thai cuisine, like most cuisines of the world has been influenced by its neighbors. The cultures and traditions in Thailand are significantly influenced by those of India, China and other western countries. You will notice many Indian spices and flavors as part of a Thai curry, but its almost impossible to confuse one with the other. The addition of local spices and ingredients like Thai holy basil, lemongrass, and galangal (Thai ginger) give it a completely distinct identity. Other countries near Thailand, such as Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Burma, and Malaysia have also pitched in their flavors, creating a very unique and complex blend of spices that we have come to love in Thai food. (more info...)
The other wonderful thing about Thai cuisine is that, it is easily adaptable to vegetarian/vegan food choices. Thai curries usually are bursting with colors from the variety of vegetables and herbs used in them. With Spring creeping up in most parts of the world, its also a perfect excuse to enjoy fresh, local produce. Tofu, which is a food of Chinese origin, is an essential source of protein in a Buddhist's vegetarian diet. With the rise of the religion in Thailand, tofu found varied use in its cuisine. The use of dairy products in most dishes is also limited. With its inherent use of coconut milk and the very versatile tofu in most dishes, makes it easy to veganize a Thai dish.
So are you ready to join me on this culinary tour of Thailand ?
Here are a few websites to help you get started - Vegan Thai food, Popular thai dishes. The Jugalbandits have recipes for vegan curry pastes and a glossary, here; I also found some on Sia's blog and at Pel's. Check if your local library has this book or this one. Ready made vegan curry pastes sold by this brand are widely available. You will find tonnes of recipes on food blogs and other online sources. I, along with you, will be cooking up Thai dishes all this month and sharing more about the exotic land in the coming weeks. Happy cooking and I hope to see all you in a month's time, at the round-up. (fingers crossed)It's a Vegan World - ThaiA few guidelines for participation: Deadline for submissions is April 30th, 2009
Also include in your email
- Make sure your dish is vegan, that means no meat or meat products like -honey, eggs, gelatin; no seafood, no dairy products like - cheese/ghee/milk/yogurt/butter - to name a few. You can surely use vegan meat or cheese substitutes.
- I would prefer if you could cook specifically for this event :-)
- Link back to this page & Vaishali's event announcement page.
- Feel free to use the event logo on your blog/post to spread the word.
- Bloggers, send your entries to akshayapaatram at gmail dot com, using the subject line 'IAVW-Thai'
- For the Thai food lovers who don't have a blog, go ahead, cook up a storm and send me the recipe along with the pictures to the above email. I will post them here with due credits before the round-up.
Since its my first time, I still have not decided the format for the round-up. So I don't have any specifications for the photographs, I will take them from your blog when needed (with your permission) If you have any questions related to this, do email me :)
- Your name:
- Blog name:
- Name of the dish:
- Post permalink: