Saturday, April 6, 2013

Ingredients Used in Thai Food : CURRIES

Basil
Three different varieties are used. The most common is Bai Horapha, which has a slight aniseed flavor and a reddish purple color. Others are Bai Kaphrao, which is hotter in flavor, and Bai Maenglak, a milder often sprinkled over soups or salads. When these are not available, western sweet basil may be used, though the taste will be somewhat different.
Chili
Several different types of chili (Phrik) are used in Thai cooking. As a general rule, the smaller the chili, the hotter it is. The hottest of all the tiny red or green Phrik Khi Nu, followed by the slightly larger Phrik Chi Fa. Dried chilis (Phrik Khi Nu Heang) and ground chili powder (Phrik Khi Nu Pon) are also used.
Galanga
A relative of the ginger root, galanga (Kha) imparts a delicate, unique flavor. It is also used fresh, dried, or powdered.
Ginger
In addition to galanga, two other varieties of ginger are used in Thai cooking, with the familiar one being Khing and the other, Krachai, which has milder flavor.
Kaffir Lime
Both the fruit and leaves of this shrub, Makrut Thai, lend a distinctive taste to many Thai dishes, especially curry pastes. There is no substitute.
Lemongrass
This tall, grasslike plant (Takhraj) has small bulbous roots and lemony flavor and aroma. The bud and base leaves are chopped and pounded for many dishes as well as for a refreshing herbal tea.
Mint
Fresh leaves of this plant (Saranae) are used for flavoring and to garnish a number of dishes.
Peppercorns
Used in three forms, fresh green, dried black or ground, these are called Phrik Thai and add a peppery flavor to many dishes.
Tamarind
The pulp of the pod of the Tamarind tree (Makham) adds a sour taste to numerous meat and fish dishes.

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