Thai cuisine faces the same misconception that Indian cuisine faces outside of its land, both are popularly thought of to be a single cuisine. Once you start looking closely though, and reading recipes you realize there are clear distinctions between the cuisines of each region. Thai cuisine can be divided into the food from the North, Northeast, Central and Southern regions of
The food of the Northeast is known to lean more towards hot, salty & sour flavors and is influenced by the cuisine of
This is a flavor packed relish and you can adjust the heat by controlling the amount of chillies in it. I was overly ambitious and used half a tiny habanero :D It was a really hot, well, its known to be one of the hottest in the world, so no surprises there, duhh! The heat kicks in only after you are done chewing and you feel it in your throat. You guys can choose to be sane and use regular chillies instead :D Serve it with a thai meal, or with chips like you would any other salsa or....something more special ;-)Grilled Chilli and Tomato relishIngredients:
(from Northeast Thailand)
- 3 nos - fresh, hot Green chillies or a combination of fresh red & green chillies
- 3 nos - Shallots, cut in chunks
- 5-6 - Cherry tomatoes
- *2 Tbsp - Spring onions, chopped
- *1 Tbsp - Chives, chopped
- 2-3 tsp - Lime juice
- 2-3 Tsp - Soy sauce
- *2-3 - Basil leaves, roughly torn
- Salt to taste - I used low sodium Tamari and so needed the extra salt.
Note: The ingredients with a '*' next to them are my additions to the recipe.
- Set the oven on broil, spread the chillies, chopped shallots and cherry tomatoes on a baking sheet and broil for 5-6 mins. You could also do this on a grill or open flame. Be really careful with the chillies though when you do that. The fumes of the chili can get really strong, based on which kind you are using. Have the air vents in the kitchen open and be really cautious.
- Once they get a light char around the edges, transfer the chillies & onions to a mortar & pestle and pound together, next add the cherry tomatoes and blend to get a chunky consistency. You could also give them a rough chop before using the mortar.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and check for seasonings before serving.
After the fresh salsa, I tried another one that is made from an ingredient that most pantry's have, Peanuts. I absolutely love peanuts and will eat them in any form. The inspiration for this sauce was drawn from many recipes, I looked at so many different versions online and finally ended up making a combination of them.
This is a very versatile recipe that you can play with to highlight the flavors of your liking. The peanuts give a creamy chunky texture and are a perfect base to play with the rest of the ingredients. The sauce can be used as salad dressing, or as a dip for vegetables, I could eat it on its own by the spoonfuls :) There are soo many flavors playing different roles, and still in perfect harmony with each other in this sauce, and you will not get tired of it.Chunky Peanut dipping sauce - Thai styleIngredients:
- 3 Tbsp - Peanuts, dry roasted & skinned
- 4 Tbsp - Water
- 2 tsp - toasted Sesame oil
- 2 tsp - Soy sauce
- 2 tsp - Jaggery /palm sugar
- 1 tsp - Tamarind extract
- 1 tsp - Chilli sauce
- 1/2 tsp - Red curry paste - or more chilli paste
- 1/4 tsp - Galangal, chopped (use ginger+lime juice as a substitute)
- 1-2 tsp - Lime juice
- Salt to taste - again, I used low sodium tamari.
- Place all the ingredients (except the lime juice) in a blender or mortar & pestle and blend to get a coarse consistency. Finally add the lime juice to balance out the flavors. It tends to reduce the saltiness of the recipe so check for seasonings before serving. You can use more water to thin out the sauce if needed.
I made one more sauce, but I'm going to save it for a later post, okay ? Okay. Are you curious to see what I made to dip into these flavor packed sauces though? Here's a peak...
IAVW-Thai, originally started by Vaishali.