Recently I have been experimenting with the addition of a human "touch" in some of my food photographs, so you might occasionally see my daughter or my husband. Well, this time I volunteered to be the model myself assuming that I had a steadier hand than both my previous models, especially with the arduous task of balancing food with chopsticks :)
Just to share an interesting quirk about our family's eating-out habits- We hardly ever visit an Indian restaurant though we both are Indian by birth! We would rather try something new, something I am not used to preparing at home rather than venture onto the usual fare that we grew up eating and cooking. We made some exceptions during my pregnancy as I had to satisfy some cravings for spicy food and also occasionally when we both feel like eating something spicy and curry-based. During such instances Thai cuisine has turned out to be our unanimous choice.
Did you know that Thai curries with coconut milk are very similar to Kerala cuisine with the exception of the herbs that are used. Thai cuisine calls for lemongrass, Kaffir lime leaves and Galangal root whereas Kerala cuisine uses curry leaves, Ginger and Bay leaves. My sister and her family went to Phuket for a vacation last year and I still recall how she would rave about the scrumptious authentic Thai dishes she feasted on. I hope with this recipe you can get your Thai food cravings satisfied - Enjoy!
1 1/2 lb - Chicken breast cut into pieces
1 inch - Fresh ginger
6 cloves - Garlic
1 Tablespoon - Paprika (adjust to your spice level)
2 - Kaffir lime leaves OR bay leaves
Salt to taste
1 - Red bell pepper
2 small or 1 big- Zucchini
2 crowns - Broccoli
1 can (400 ml) - Coconut milk
2 Cups - Chicken stock
6 Tablespoon - Minced fresh lemongrass OR store bought prepared lemongrass
1 Tablespoon - Corn Starch
1 Tablespoon - Fish sauce
1 Tsp - Shrimp Paste
1 Tablespoon- Brown sugar
1 Tsp - Galangal root powder or use fresh if available
3/4 Tsp - Cumin powder
3/4 Tsp - Coriander powder
1/4 Tsp - Cinnamon powder
1 Tablespoon - Fresh lime juice
- Grind the ginger and garlic into a smooth paste. You can use mortar and pastel for this if you don't have a small jar blender
- Marinate the chicken with ginger-garlic paste, paprika and salt.
- Heat about 1 tablespoon of oil in a wok and add the kaffir lime leaves and saute for 1 minute.
- Add vegetables and saute for 3 minutes. Season them with salt. Set them aside.
- Add another tablespoon of oil to the wok and add the marinated chicken.
- While the chicken is cooking mix all the ingredients under the sauce in a bowl except corn starch.
- Once the chicken piece are cooked, add the sauce and bring it to a boil
- Mix corn starch with about 3 tablespoons of water and add it to the boiling liquid
- Add the saute veggies and mix well.
- Serve with brown rice or white rice
- Kaffir lime leaves come from the Kaffir lime tree, a lime tree native to Indonesia. The leaves are highly aromatic and suitable for Asian cuisines, including Thai, Indonesian, Cambodian and Lao cuisines. They are easily recognizable by their emerald-green, double leaf lobes, which makes them appear as if two leaves are joined together.
- Galangal is a type of ginger used in the Thai kitchen as well as other Southeast-Asian cuisines. Also referred to as Siamese Ginger, it has a slightly milder taste than the North American variety, and can be distinguished by its reddish skin. Look for Galangal at your local Asian market (fresh or frozen) or grocery store. (Note that galangal can also be purchased in its dried, ground form; however, like ground ginger, the dried version does not have the same quality of flavor or nutrients as the fresh.) I used galangal powder that I bought from an Asian store.
- Lemongrass is a stalky plant with a lemony scent that grows in many tropical climates, most notably in Southeast-Asia. A common ingredient in Thai cooking, lemongrass provides a zesty lemon flavor and aroma to many Thai dishes. I used this from Giant Eagle.
- Opt out fish sauce and shrimp paste if you are allergic to seafood.
- I highly recommend 'Thai Kitchen' coconut milk. That is my personal favorite. OR substitute with fresh thick coconut milk
- I have used broccoli, red pepper and zucchini in my dish but you can substitute it for any of your favorite veggies
- Do not overcook the veggies - They should have a slight crunch to them. Overcooking veggies will kill the nutrients and they will loose their vibrant color.
- I used coconut oil to prepare this dish.