Monday, May 4, 2009

Gaeng Phed Kai

I am a big fan of Thai food, esp tom yum soup! And having taken a Thai language course during my undergraduate days has completely nothing to do with my palate for Thai cuisine! Sharing very similar cooking ingredients and approach with several types of Peranakan food, Thai cuisine knows no shame when it comes to the use of aromatic and flavorful herbs and spices. At a Time's bookstore warehouse sale in Ang Mo Kio, Singapore recently, I was glad to have gotten great bargains on books and one of the many that I got was 'Delightful Thai Food' by Azrah Kamala Shashi. This is the first recipe that I have tried from this book. Although the dish did not look exactly the same as the picture published in the recipe book, the taste did turn out well. So, here's the recipe:

Recipe for Gaeng Phed Kai (Thai Chicken Curry):
1 portion coconut cream/thick milk (I suggest substituting this with half cup olive/sunflower/canola oil )
1 kg chicken cut into pieces
1 portion (approx. 1 cup) thin coconut milk
1/4 cup fish sauce (I suggest using 1.5 tbsp only as fish sauce can be very salty)
4 potatoes, quartered

Finely ground paste:
1 inch galangal (lengkuas)
2 tbsp coriander seeds (biji ketumbar), roasted
2 tsp cumin seeds (jintan putih), roasted
1 stalk lemon grass (serai)
10 dried chilies, soaked in hot water and drained
10 shallots
15 cloves garlic
2 inches ginger
2 tsp shrimp paste (belacan)
Pinch of salt

Heat thick coconut milk (or oil) for 5 mins and stir-fry finely ground paste till fragrant. Pour in thin coconut milk, chicken, potatoes, tomatoes (optional), salt and fish sauce. Simmer till chicken is cook/potatoes are soft. Serve hot with rice. Enjoy!

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