Celebrate Songkran or Thailand’s traditional New Year with four Thai recipes

Dubai: Love Thai food? Is it your go-to takeout option but too intimidating to try cooking it yourself? We’ve simplified it for you. On the occasion of Thailand’s New Year – Songkran, we have compiled four authentic Thai recipes for you to try.

Thais celebrate Songkran with their family and friends.

Some of the popular dishes cooked during this three-day-long festivity are – Pad Thai, Tom Yum Soup and Mango sticky rice. During Songkran and otherwise too, these dishes have become a global favourite.

So, what makes Thai food so popular? It’s their unique ingredients like mangruk or kafir leaves, the ever-popular red and green Thai curry pastes and more. Thailand’s national dish – Pad Thai (recipe below), is a clear example. Pad Thai translates to ‘fried Thai’ and is a delectable burst of all flavors – sweet, salty, spicy, sour, and bitter.

1. Khao Soi Goi

Khao Soi

Khao Soi
Image Credit: Supplied

This recipe is made by simmering chicken in a fragrant spicy-sweet coconut milk, then poured over cooked egg noodles and garnished with fried wontons. Khao Soi Goi is popular throughout South Asia but is a specialty in Chiang Mai, a city in the North of Thailand. The key ingredient of this dish is the red curry paste. If you like mild flavours, add half of the paste as mentioned in the recipe below or add as is.

Try this authentic recipe shared by Chef Pathama Chaklang (Chef New) that reminds her of her growing up years in Beung Kan, Isan, in Thailand.

Preparation time: 15 minutes

1 tbsp red curry paste (Store brought or you can make it too, recipe below)

½ cup water (a little more than half would do)

½ tsp spring onion, chopped

2 tbsp fried wonton or noodles (Frozen wonton can be store-brought. For fried noodles, fry 50 gms of dried, flat egg noodles in 1 cup of neutral oil)

1 lime, cut into halves for garnish

16 dried chillies, chopped and desired

2 tbsp lemongrass, sliced, outer skin removed

1 tbsp grated galangal, peeled

1 tbsp shrimp paste mixed in oil can be store brought

1/2 tsp ground coriander powder

1/2 tsp ground cumin powder

1 tbsp chopped coriander with roots

2 red shallots, peeled and roughly chopped

½ tsp markut lime zest or kaffir lime

¼ cup reserved chillies soaked in water

For the red chilli paste:

Boil water, add the dried chillies, and steep for 10 minutes. Once done, drain the water and put it in a blender along with lemongrass, peeled galanjal, garlic cloves, shallots, cumin and coriander powder, chopped coriander and lime zest. Blitz it into a paste.

1. Heat to pan. Add oil and red curry paste on low heat and mix them well.

2. Next, add chicken, coconut milk, peanuts, sugar, salt and water.

3. Give it a stir and cook this on medium heat for about 10 minutes.

4. In a separate pan, boil water and add egg noodles to it. Keep the noodles for about 2 to 3 minutes, and drain the excess water.

5. In a serving bowl, add the noodles, then the chicken-based gravy and finally garnish with coriander, spring onion, fried wonton or noodles, onion slices and lime.

Recipe courtesy: Chef Pathama Chaklang (Chef New), Cafe Isan, Dubai

2.Pad Thai Goong (Prawn Pad Thai)

Pad Thai Goong (Prawn Pad Thai)

Pad Thai Goong (Prawn Pad Thai)
Image Credit: Supplied

Pad Thai is a popular dish available in many South Asian eateries. A dish from Thailand, it is part of the Thai staple diet and is popularly made on festive occasions such as the National Day – Songkran.

This dish became Thailand’s national dish around the 1930s, declared by the authorities to promote the country’s unique natural ingredients in the dish. Traditionally, Thai cooks would use fermented shrimps, but many cooks and chefs are now using fresh seafood like prawns.

Chef New uses prawns and a savory tart tamarind sauce, the crucial ingredient in this recipe.

Preparation time: 20 minutes

1 packet pad Thai noodles

1 tbsp fried tofu (about 4 to 5 pieces of tofu fried in neutral oil)

7 pieces of prawn (medium-sized, cleaned)

2 tbsp beansprouts (available at any UAE supermarket)

2 tbsp tamarind sauce (Mix 4 tbsp tamarind water, ½ tsp fish sauce, 1 tbsp water and 3/4th tsp palm sugar and simmer for 30 seconds)

½ tsp spring onions, chopped

Dark soy sauce, to drizzle

1. In a pan, add oil and heat it over medium heat. Then, add the sliced ​​onions and minced garlic, and stir fry once the oil is hot.

2. Next, crack the egg in the pan and mix well, then add prawns, fried tofu, tamarind sauce, peanut, sugar, salt, little water and dark soy sauce. Mix them well until the prawn is cooked, say about 80 per cent done.

3. Then, add Pad Thai noodles and cook for 2 minutes on medium heat.

4. Turn off the gas and add bean sprouts.

5. Place the noodles in a bowl, garnish with coriander, spring onions, lime and minced peanuts and serve hot.

Recipe courtesy: Chef Pathama Chaklang (Chef New), Cafe Isan, Dubai

3. Massaman Nuea or Thai beef curry

Massaman nuea (Thai Beef Curry)

Massaman nuea (Thai Beef Curry)
Image Credit: Shutterstock

Massaman Nuea is a rich beef-based recipe. Many food historians believe this dish first originated in central Thailand around the 17th century. A fusion of flavors – this ingredient uses beef cooked in coconut milk, onions, peanuts or cashews, potatoes, bay leaves, whole spices and tamarind sauce (key element).

In Thailand, this curry is traditionally served with jasmine rice.

4. Mango Sticky Rice

mango sticky rice

mango sticky rice
Image Credit: Supplied/Coffee Isan

This is Thailand’s iconic summer dessert made with mangoes available all year round and sticky rice or glutinous rice. If you visit Thailand, you will find food vendors selling it by the traditional name – Khao Neow Ma Muang.

Try this easy to make dessert recipe from Thailand, best served warm.

Do you have a favorite recipe to share with us? Write to us at food@gulfnews.com

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