Thai food goes pop – The Hindu

Restaurants in Delhi move on from red and green curry in Thai food to shades of pink

Restaurants in Delhi move on from red and green curry in Thai food to shades of pink

For a long, long time, I associated only two colours with Thai food — red and green. Thai, for many of us, meant a green or a red curry. I now have added a new colour to my list of Thai dishes: and that is pink.

I had some beautiful dishes – which pleased both the eye and the palate — a few days ago. And pink was one reason why it looked good. There was, for instance, a burnt garlic fried rice — somewhat crunchy, deliciously aromatic and mildly pink. And there was a red curry water chestnut and mushroom dim sum, which had acquired a pinkish-magenta colour from the curry.

Clearly, the Thai food being offered today is breaking walls. Pop Thai, a new restaurant in Vasant Kunj, has been tweaking old recipes, and doing quite a good job of it. I was, for instance, intrigued by their prawn donut – which looked like a crisp vada (or a very thick onion ring), but was actually a dish of minced prawn, seasoned with fresh lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves and fresh Thai ginger.

I love Thai food: the flavours are bright, and the use of fresh greens and herbs add a freshness to the dishes dishes. For instance, a great many dishes are lightly sautéed with morning glory greens. Ziu, a restaurant in the Sangam complex, offers nouvelle Thai, and has steamed fish with morning glory on its menu. And among its innovations are curry patta-flavoured tom kha spiced rice crackers.

Burnt garlic pink rice

Burnt garlic pink rice
| Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Pop Thai has quite a few interesting variations of old recipes, too. They have a dim sum variation called money bag, served with a hot truffle oil dip – small ‘ potli’ like dumplings, with a stuffing of button and shiitake mushrooms mixed with red curry paste and cream cheese.

The red curry paste is an in-house preparation and flavours its water chestnut mushroom dumplings, as well as their hot-and-tasty red curry. I enjoyed the somewhat spicy basil pepper sliced lamb, too, which had been cooked with basil, black pepper, kaffir lime leaf, dry red chilli and yellow pepper. It went well with the pink garlic rice – which got its colour from reduced beetroot, tossed with the rice in a wok.

Thai food is a popular cuisine, and is on the menu of many pan-Asian outlets. Soy X Neung Roi at the Radisson Blu Plaza has an interesting menu with appetisers such as batter fried pork belly with green chilli sauce and garlic pepper sauce.

Prawn donuts

Prawn donuts
| Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Thankfully for us, eateries such as Pop Thai, Ziu and Thai Crate (a delivery outlet near Moolchand) are spreading Thai flavours all around us. And I can, at will, get a whiff of lemon grass and kaffir lime, with the taste of galangal and morning glory.

Pop Thai; Kothi no. 19A, AB Plaza, Green Avenue Street, Vasant Kunj 110070; Phone 9560808288; open Monday-Sunday; 11:00 AM-11:00 PM.

Meal for two: About Rs 1,000.

Green curry

Green curry
| Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

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