Bangkok reeks of a character which tells stories. To me the word vibrant best describes it. It is truly like the capital of a kingdom. There is something ancient about the feel of the place inspite of the very modern malls. There is a sense of mystery in the air. As though everyone and everything has a secret.
When Molly and Rahul lived in Bangkok we used to visit them often. Molly would research very seriously and discover little corners of food haven and we used to eagerly patronise them. Eat with gusto and discuss what we had eaten and what we could have eaten for hours. This was done until the next meal. We visited with cousins, with friends and just ourselves. On the first evening that we would land her cook Mina would toss up the best ever phad thai noodles. Thai food was always a favourite. But these trips took the experience to another level. Restaurants-small and big, food courts, streets, take-homes; food everywhere was always delicious. In Bangkok and in the islands and mountains all around.
Tom Kha Kai is a peek into the myriad of flavours that engulf you with every mouthful. Posting my version of it.
My food word for this recipe would be comfort food.
When you go shopping look for:
Bird eye chillies
Kaffir lime leaves
The recipe would be:
I used about two hundred ml chicken stock and two hundred ml of coconut milk. Pour both in a large bowl. Add one inch of Galangal sliced in pieces, ten peppercorns, three Kaffir lime leaves and the stalk of one lemon grass leaf. I usually bruise the stalk and add it. This should simmer for a good ten minutes in low heat. Then allow it to cool and strain it. Keep the broth in a bowl.
Chop eight button mushrooms in thick slices. Slice six baby corns lengthwise making three slanting strips from each. Take about two hundred and fifty gms boiled boneless chicken and make chunky cube pieces. I also took a bunch of spring onions and chopped them into smallish bits. Add all of this to the broth and set to simmer.
In five mins or so, add one more Kaffir lime leaf, four tbsp fish sauce and three tsp soy sauce. I did not add any salt as the fish sauce is salty. Now pour in the juice of one lime. Finely chop two bird eye chillies and spice up the broth. If you like spicy, take three of them but not more. Garnish with coriander leaves.
Steam noodles and twirl it into a bowl with broth, chicken and veggies. It is a lovely family or single one pot perfect for cool weary day.