“Rice is a difficult subject to write about because every cuisine has its own particular way of doing things. There are many types of rice and countless methods of cooking it. The whole process is further complicated by the fact that you can’t even say, for example, “cook for 15 minutes” as there are so many variables involved…” Nevertheless, Kay gives several different methods for cooking rice – and rescuing it when things go wrong.
“We looked at commercially made Thai curry pastes last time. Now it’s time for the DIY version. As well as all the special ingredients (see our earlier article), you’ll need a mortar and pestle, or you can cheat by using a food processor and a hand blender…” Kay gets cooking on the pastes for two of the most popular varieties of Thai curry – green curry and red curry.
“So what are curry pastes? They’re the foundation for flavouring Thai curries. Now, don’t start thinking along the lines of bad ‘Indian’ curries where you add a teaspoon of ‘Madras’ powder and hey presto – you’ve got a Madras curry…” Kay investigates the basis of all those beautifully fragrant Thai curries – the paste.
“Although you can learn a lot by eating authentic Thai food and from books (and websites!), I found that attending a Thai cookery school was a great benefit. Each day, the class started with a visit to a local market where we were invited to sample things as well as having ingredients described to us. This was a useful familiarisation exercise.” A look at some of the key ingredients in Thai cuisine.
“The popularity of Thai cuisine has grown significantly in Britain over the last few years. Pat Chapman’s Thai Restaurant Cookbook describes how there was only a handful of Thai restaurants in the UK a few years back and yet this number had grown exponentially to 500 by 1996.” The Editor looks at the reasons why Thai food has become so popular in recent years.