Thai food ain't about simplicity. It's about the juggling of disparate elements to create a harmonious finish. Like a complex musical chord it's got to have a smooth surface but it doesn't matter what's happening underneath. Simplicity isn't the dictum here, at all." -- David Thompson, author of the award-winning cookbook, Thai Food
One of the things that makes Thai food so sensational and favourite with almost everyone who tries it for the first time is its spell-binding aroma and a mix of flavours that are usually so dissimilar yet create a delicious harmony on our palate.
Ever wonder what makes Thai cuisine so special? It's the meticulous and measured play of herbs and spices that makes it truly exquisite. From lemongrass, Thai holy basil, shrimp paste, kaffir lime, to galangal, coconut milk, fish sauce and a host of local condiments that cook up a traditional Thai delicacy. One of the best things about Thai cuisine is the flexibility it offers in its preparations, for instance, you have the fiery red meat curry which can easily be transformed into a vegetarian version without compromising much on the authentic taste.
Rice is a staple in Thailand, a traditional accompaniment with Thai curries, soups, fried vegetables that can often be replaced with noodles. If you ever happen to be in Thailand, you shouldn't miss out on their sticky rice or puffed rice cakes.
Thai food borrows heavily from China, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Laos, Burma, France, Portugal and other neighbouring countries including India. The Portuguese would take away the credit to introduce chillies to Thailand whereas noodles and steel wok were brought in by the Chinese.
There is a lot of stewing, marinating, baking and grilling that goes into Thai cuisine. The culinary methods of frying, stir frying and deep-frying were introduced by the Chinese. One of the most interesting techniques widely followed in Thai cooking is the pounding or coarsely bruising of herbs instead of chopping them. This ensures all essential oil to seep into the preparation infusing the meal with fresh aroma of herbs.
People of Thailand aren't huge fans of big cuts of meats in their food; hence minced and shredded form of meat is highly popular in Thailand. Naem, minced pork sausage is a local hit in north Thailand- something you must not miss out on, when in Thailand.
What's in Store for a Vegetarian?
In Thailand you will find restaurants that serve pure vegetarian Thai food; these can easily be identified by their yellow banner with a Thai inscription on it in red. Thai vegetarian food uses a lot fruits like jackfruit, papaya, mangosteen, Burmese grapes, rose apples, and durian. The vegetables used are the same that go into making the regular Thai fair including bamboo shoots, lotus stems, Chinese cabbage, straw mushrooms, shiitake, eggplant, etc. Thai curry pastes, galangal, lemongrass, balsam leaves and a host of spices like phrik nu chillies, blend in perfectly to create zingy curries, aromatic broths, fresh salads and crispy stir fries.
Much to your surprise, most Thai food is healthy and low on calorie as it is largely stewed, stir fried or grilled. It is a delighting experience to be able to taste a wonderful blend of meats, veggies, herbs and spices - that is what Siamese cuisine stands for which closely translates into Thai food. Laced with fragrant herbs and mouthwatering spices, either way, Thai cuisine is set to delight you.
We set out to design a garden fresh Thai platter just to suit a regular vegetarian's preferences. These steaming, simmering hot veggie delights will amaze even those who take great pride in relishing non-vegetarian food and cooking with meats. Don't trust us? Try out our best recipes to explore vegetarian Thai food like never before. Cook and relish to the utmost satisfaction!
1. Green Papaya Salad Recipe by Chef Samir Modi
The freshness of papaya tossed with subtle spices, herbs, lime juice and soy sauce
. Take a plunge!
2. Corn Cakes with Sweet Chilli SauceRecipe by Chef Jareuk Sri Arun, The ITC Marriott Hotel, New Delhi
Gorge on these beautiful corn cakes deep fried to golden brown, bathed in authentic Thai flavours. Served best with sweet chilli sauce.
(Corn Cakes With Sweet Chilli Sauce Recipe Video)
3. Braised Plantain with Thai Spices
Recipe by Chef Vicky Ratnani
Staple Thai veggies are cooked with a saucy mix of coconut, jaggery, tamarind pulp and spices.
Braised Plantain With Thai Spices Recipe Video
4. Hot yellow curry
Recipe by Chef Varun Tuli
Explore the authentic Thai yellow curry with fresh vegetables simmering in a gravy full of authentic spices and aromatic herbs.
5. Thai Soyabean In Cabage cups
Recipe by Chef Divya Burman
For the calorie conscious vegetarian, we have a perfect balance of nutrition married to authentic Thai flavours.
6. Rocky's Pad Thai
Recipe by Chef Rocky Singh
Rocky Singh brings to you the easiest and the simplest way to re-create the brilliance of Phad Thai wherever you are. You're just a few steps away from perfection!
7. Vegetable Thai Red Curry
Recipe by Chef Niru Gupta
A host of fresh vegetables are cooked in fiery Thai red curry paste with an added dose of coconut milk for that creamy, aromatic experience.
8. Stir Fried Greens
Recipe by Chef Vicky Ratnani
Got some beans? Throw them in a pan and work them up with aromatic lemongrass, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, olive oil, chilli paste and a finishing note of fresh cream. This will make you go Mmmm...!
9. Battered Vegetables With Thai Sauce
Recipe by Chef Roopa Gulati
A bouquet of assorted vegetables dipped in batter and deep fried to perfection. Skip the eggs and replace fish sauce with soy sauce for the ultimate veggie version.