Saturday, October 18, 2008

Thai Forest Curry

I love Thai food as they use a lot of vegetables and lemon grass. One of my friend had invited us some weeks back and made excellent Thai curry with chicken and vegetables. Upon asking, she gave me this Thai curry paste which she had used to prepare the curry.
Some time back after shopping at the Mountain View Farmer's market we went to Amrin Thai restaurant for lunch. We tried the forest curry and it tasted similar to the curry paste which my friend had given me. I also loved this curry because it didn't have coconut (which is a major source of fat in Konkani cooking and we try to avoid the excess use of coconut in our day-to-day cuisine). It also was very spicy and I thought it would make a great dish for people suffering from cold, cough or sore throat. The next week, I bought Shiitake mushrooms and lemon grass from the farmer's market and tried to make this curry just like it had tasted at Amrin Thai. I am not sure if I used all the correct ingredients used in Thai curry, but it turned out to be great.

8-10 Shiitake mushrooms
2 cups chopped vegetables (choose or mix and match from pumpkin, brocoli, beans, carrot, baby corn)
1/2 capsicum
2 tablespoon long sliced bamboo shoots
3-4 strands of coriander or cilantro leaves
6-7 very thin slices of ginger
2 tablespoon lemon grass chopped in rings
3 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon red curry paste or as per taste
pepper powder for taste
3 byadgi or kashmiri chilies
1/2 teaspoon tamarind concentrate or as per taste
salt for taste
1 teaspoon oil


Soak the red chilies in water for 20 minutes. Slit the chilies and remove the seeds and grind it into a very fine paste with 1 cup of water. Add another cup of water to this paste and add ginger, pepper powder, garlic cloves and lemon grass root and boil it for 20 minutes. Discard the garlic cloves. Add red curry paste, tamarind juice. Slice the capsicum and fry it on all sides in one teaspoon of oil. Add the capsicum, bamboo shoots, mushroom and vegetables and boil till soft. Garnish with coriander leaves.

Preparation time: 50 minutes
Serves: 2-3

Quick Panipuri in 20 minutes !!/ Golgappa

I love Indian street chat food. So I try to make some or the other chat or snacks during the weekends. We had been to one chat place few weeks back and the chat food there was not at all good. So I had this panipuri project in mind to reminisce the chat food I used to have in Pune. Pani means "Water" and puri means crispy fried puffed chips. It is possible to make puris at home, but I usually get it ready made from the Indian store. We would get amazing chat food in the City area and in Aundh. I have also made panipuri's in India and I would be the panipuri wala bhaiya making the puris while my father and sister would compete for eating the puris. This weekend I tried making panipuri and my husband and myself devoured many panipuris.

Ready made Puris from the Indian grocery store
2-3 potatoes
2 cups of sprouted moong or green gram (boiled kabuli chana or chick peas can also be used)
ice cubes
sev (optional)

For Metha Pani
1 tablespoon tamarind concentrate or tamarind water
1 1/2 cup grated or cut gur or jaggery
1/4 teaspoon coriander powder
1/4 teaspoon red chili powder or as per taste
salt for taste

For Theeka Pani
2 tablespoon Everest jaljeera masala
1/4-1/2 teaspoon kala namak or black salt
4-5 green chilies
1 handful coriander leaves
around 10-15 mint leaves
1 teaspoon amchur
1 tablespoon ginger chopped


Peel and cut the potato into small cubes. Boil the potato and moong in the microwave.

Sweet chutney: Mix all the meetha pani ingredients and add water as per desired consistency. I like it more watery, so I added 2 cups of water. Get the meetha pani to a boil in the microwave (I heated it for 5 minutes). Add ice cubes to the water to cool it down.

Theekha chutney: Grind the green chilies, coriander leaves, ginger and mint leaves with 1 cup of water. Strain it one and keep the water aside. Grind the remaining green residue with another cup of water to extract all the flavor of the herbs. Strain again and mix the strained water with the previously extracted water. Add rest of the theekha chutney ingredients and salt as per desired taste. Add ice cubes if you desire cold pani.

Assemble the puris, pani and potato and moong. Take a puri and break the top lid. Put the desired quantity of moong and potato in the puri. Add desired amount of the theeka and meetha pani. Garnish with sev and eat it immediately.

Preparation time: 20 minutes