Thursday, December 30, 2010

Som Tam 2

1/4 cup chopped tomatoes
1/2 tsp red and green chilis
5-6 one-inch cut pieces of green bean (optional)
1 tsp chopped garlic
2 tbsp roasted cashews or peanuts
1 lime's juice
2 tbsp. soy sauce
2 tbsp. sugar water
Grated or matchstick-size green papaya (ideal) or carrot, cucumber, beet, or green mango

Smash the nuts, garlic, and chilis in a mortar and pestle.  Add the green beans and tomatoes, mix a bit.  Add the lime juice, soy sauce, and sugar water, mix well.  Add the papaya or whatever and mix well.

Source: May Kaidee's Thai vegetarian and vegan restaurant and cooking school, May 2010

Pumpkin "hummus"

1 tbsp sesame seeds
2 tbsp cashews (or walnuts or peanuts)
3-4 tbsp steamed/boiled pumpkin (or other winter squash, sweet dumpling squash is good)
A few coriander leaves
1 tsp soy sauce

Smash the sesame seeds and cashews in a mortar and pestle (or food processor).  Add the pumpkin, leaves, and sauce.

Source: May Kaidee's Thai vegetarian and vegan restaurant and cooking school, May 2010

Green Curry 2

1 tsp green chili paste
1 kaffir lime leaf, crushed
1 slice galangal, crushed
1 inch cut lemon grass
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 handful vegetables (like eggplant, green bean, squash, carrot, onions)
6 tbsp water
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
3 tbsp coconut milk
chopped mint and/or thai basil (3-4 leaves)

Fry the chili paste.  Add everything up to the vegetables (but only half of the coconut milk), cook until thick.  Add water, soy sauce, and sugar.  Add the rest of the coconut milk and mint/basil.

Source: May Kaidee's Thai vegetarian and vegan restaurant and cooking school, May 2010

Massaman Curry

Chopped carrot, onion, tomato
1/2 tsp. red chili paste
1 tsp. curry powder
3 tbsp water
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp sugar
1 handful vegetables, like steamed sweet potato or pumpkin
1 tbsp tofu
1 tsp lime juice

Fry the carrot, onion, tomato, chili paste, and curry powder in a wok.  Add a little water to stop it from burning if necessary.  Add water and most of the coconut milk, cook until thick.  Add the soy sauce, sugar, vegetables, and tofu, mix well.  Add the rest of the coconut milk and lime juice.

For Penang curry, replace the curry powder with cumin powder.

Source: May Kaidee's Thai vegetarian and vegan restaurant and cooking school, May 2010

Pad Thai 2

Chopped carrot, onion, tomato, tofu
Minced garlic
Minced chili (optional)
1 beaten raw egg
Chicken/seafood (optional)
3 tbsp water
1 portion of presoaked noodles (soak for a couple hours, or just pour boiling water over them)
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp mixed bean sprouts and chopped green onion
1/2 tbsp crushed roasted peanuts or cashews
1 tsp chili flakes
Juice from 1/4 lime

Fry the carrot, onion, tomato, tofu, garlic, and chili in a wok.  Move them to the side of the wok, then add the egg to the bottom.  When the egg is nearly cooked through like an omelette, flip it, break it into pieces, and push it aside.  Add the noodles and the water, mix well.  Add the soy sauce, sugar, sprouts, green onion, and nuts.  Add the chili flakes and lime juice.

Source: May Kaidee's Thai vegetarian and vegan restaurant and cooking school, May 2010

Fried vegetables with ginger and cashew nuts

Chopped carrot, onion, tomato, tofu
Crushed garlic
Crushed red and green chili
Mixed vegetables
Some water
1/2 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp sticky soy sauce or mushroom sauce (or oyster sauce)
1 tbsp shredded fresh ginger
1 tbsp toasted cashew nuts

Fry carrot, onion, tomato, tofu, garlic, and chilis in a wok in oil.  Add mixed vegetables and water, cook 2-3 minutes.  Add sauces and sugar.  Add ginger and cashews.

Source: May Kaidee's Thai vegetarian and vegan restaurant and cooking school, May 2010


Isaan, which is like Larb.  From NE Thailand/Laos area.

Chopped carrot, onion, vegetables, tofu, and vegetarian sausage
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp sugar
2 tbsp TVP (optional)
1/2 tbsp roast rice powder
1/2 tsp Tom Yum paste
1 tsp lime juice
extra chili powder (optional)
1 tbsp cilantro
1 tbsp chopped onion
1 tsp finely chopped kaffir lime leaves
1 tsp finely chopped lemon grass
mint (optional)

Pour a little water into a bowl.  Add vegetables, tofu, and vegetarian sausage.  Cook until nearly dry, then turn off heat.  Add everything up to the chili powder.  Add everything else.  Eat with sticky rice, hot or cold.
Dan's note: you can use mushrooms instead of the TVP and vegetarian sausage.  Half wood ears and half king oysters works pretty well.

Source: May Kaidee's Thai vegetarian and vegan restaurant and cooking school, May 2010

Tom Yum 2

2 cups water or so
2 kaffir lime leaves
2 slices galangal
2 half-inch pieces of lemongrass
chopped carrot, onion, tomato, fried/boiled tofu, and vegetables
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tbsp green onions and/or cilantro
1 tsp lime juice
1 tsp Tom Yum paste
1 tbsp coconut milk
chili, garlic, and basil (optional)

Boil water.  Add kaffir lime leaves, galangal, and lemongrass.  Add all the vegetables and tofu.  Wait 4 minutes, then add soy sauce and brown sugar.  Simmer until vegetables are tender, but before all water is gone.  Add everything else.

To make Tom Kha instead, reduce the water and add more coconut milk.

Source: May Kaidee's Thai vegetarian and vegan restaurant and cooking school, May 2010

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Thai Fried Cashew Nut with Chicken

Fried cashew nut with chicken

50 g. chicken
50 g. cashew nut or almond
30 g. jelly mushrooms, sliced into 1 cm. width
2 baby corns, diced
1/2 large onion
2 tbsp. spring onion
1 tbsp. chopped garlic
5 g. dried chili, sliced
1/2 tbsp fish sauce or soy sauce
2 tbsp. oyster sauce or mushroom sauce
1 tsp. sugar
2 tbsp. oil

Stir-fry cashews, remove.  Fry garlic, then chicken, then mushrooms, onions, baby corn, dried chilis.  Add oyster sauce, fish sauce, and sugar, then green onion and fried cashews, stir until cooked.

Source: Baan Thai cookery school, Chiang Mai, May 2010


Larb (minced meat salad)

150 g. boiled minced chicken, pork, or mixed wood ear and king oyster mushrooms
1/2 tsp. ground chili
2 tbsp. roasted rice powder (or dry breadcrumbs, but roasted rice is a lot better.)
5 thinly sliced shallots
3 sliced green onions
1 tbsp. fish sauce or soy sauce
2 tbsp. lime juice
1/2 tsp. sugar
7-10 mint leaves
2 tbsp. sliced cilantro leaves

Combine minced chicken, chili, roasted rice, shallots, green onions, fish sauce, and lime juice, toss gently.  Add mint leaves and cilantro, toss again.  Serve with lettuce, Chinese cabbage, cucumber, long bean, and spring onion.

Source: Baan Thai cookery school, Chiang Mai, May 2010

Pad Thai

Pad Thai

250 grams rice noodle
50 grams chicken
3 tbsp oil
20 g. chinese chive or green onion
1 tsp. sugar
2 tbsp. fish sauce or soy sauce
2 tbsp. oyster sauce or mushroom fake-oyster sauce
1 egg
30 g. bean sprouts or cabbage
1 tbsp. chopped garlic
50 g. tofu, diced
1/2 c. water

Fry garlic in oil, then chicken and tofu, stir until the chicken is cooked.  Add egg, scramble around.  Add noodles and water, stir until tender.  Season with sauces and sugar.  Add sprouts and green onions, serve with fresh vegetables and/or lime juice, peanuts, and ground chilis.

Source: Baan Thai cookery school, Chiang Mai, May 2010

Som Tam

Som tam (papaya salad)

50 g. papaya, carrot, or cucumber, shredded or matchsticks
10 small garlic cloves
1-3 chilies
1/2 tomato, cut quarter
1 chinese long bean, in 1-inch slices (or green beans)
20 g. peanut
2 tbsp. fish sauce (or 1 tsp. salt)
1-2 limes, cut quarter
1 tbsp. palm sugar or brown sugar
optional: anchovies, fermented crab claws

Tenderly pound garlic, chili, and Chinese long bean.  Add palm sugar, lime, fish sauce, and pound until the palm sugar is dissolved.
Add the papaya and tomato, mix well.  Top with peanuts, serve with fresh vegetables.

Source: Baan Thai cookery school, Chiang Mai, May 2010

Tom Yum

Tom yum

75 g. prawn, chicken, seafood, or oyster mushroom
30 g. straw mushroom or oyster mushroom
2 c. water
3 chilies
1/2 onion, sliced
1/2 tomato, sliced
3 kaffir lime leaves
1 lemongrass, sliced diagonally
2 sliced galangal
3 tbsp. lime juice
3 tbsp. fish sauce or soy sauce
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. roasted Tom Yum chili paste
1 coriander
1 sliced green onion

Heat water with kaffir lime, galangal, lemongrass.  Add chicken, boil until cooked.  Add mushroom, onion, tomato, and add everything else.

Source: Baan Thai cookery school, Chiang Mai, May 2010

Green Curry

Green curry

200 grams chicken or tofu
1 tbsp green curry paste
2 thai eggplants, cut quarter
2 baby corns, carrots, or broccoli, diced
2 c. coconut milk
10 leaves sweet basil
2 kaffir lime leaves, tear the stem off
1 red chili
2 tbsp. fish sauce or soy sauce
1 tsp. sugar
3 tbsp. oil

Put the oil in the wok over low heat, fry the curry paste until fragrant.  Add chicken and 1/2 c. coconut milk, stir until chicken is cooked.  Add the rest of the coconut milk, boil.  Add vegetables, then fish sauce and sugar, then basil, lime leaves, and chilis.

Source: Baan Thai cookery school, Chiang Mai, May 2010

Curry Paste

Red, Yellow, or Green Curry Paste

5 dried red chilies, soaked in water
3 tbsp. chopped shallots
1 tbsp. minced garlic
50 g. chopped galangal
1/2 tbsp chopped lemongrass
1 tsp. krachai (lesser ginger)
1 tsp. shrimp paste (or salt)
1/2 tsp. chopped kaffir lime peel
1 tsp. coriander root (or stem)
1 tsp. turmeric root (or powder)

Pound together garlic, lemongrass, kaffir lime peel, galangal, coriander root.  Add krachai, turmeric root, shallot, and pound well.  Add red chilis, then shrimp paste, and pound until smooth and fine.

To make yellow curry paste instead, add Indian curry powder, leave out the shrimp paste and the krachai.  To make green curry paste instead, use 15 green fresh chilis instead of red, and add them at the start instead of the end.

Source: Baan Thai cookery school, Chiang Mai, May 2010

Friday, December 3, 2010

Channa Dal

Channa Dal - Chickpeas, but not the ones in a can; the split ones that look like little yellow lentils.

1 1/2 c. Channa Dal
4 tbsp vegetable oil
1/4 tsp brown mustard seeds
1 chopped onion
1 chopped tomato
2 chopped garlic cloves
1/2 inch peeled and shredded ginger root
1 pinch salt
1 shredded green pepper
1 tbsp curry powder (hot or mild)

Wash dal, cover in water 2 inches deep, boil 20-25 minutes.  Remove from heat, set aside.  In another pan heat vegetable oil on medium.  Add mustard seeds and onion.  Fry until brown (and mustard seeds pop).  Add tomato, fry until soft, then add garlic, ginger, green pepper, curry powder, sugar, and salt.  Pour in channa dal from other pan and mix well.  Simmer 5-7 minutes.  Add water to taste.  Serve hot.

Source: directions on a package.

Monday, November 8, 2010


Traditional Barmbrack
1cup of black tea, prepared
4 cups white flour
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 tsp Allspice
Pinch of salt
1/2 stick butter
1 package of yeast
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp white sugar
1 1/4 cups luke-warm milk
1 egg, beaten
1 cup raisins
1 cup dried fruit
The evening before, soak the raisins and dried fruit in the brown sugar and tea. Constant Comment is an orange spiced tea which adds a delicious flavor to the fruits, however any black tea can be substituted. Drain before using.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1. Sift flour, spices and salt into a bowl. Rub in the butter.
2. Add the yeast to the teaspoon of sugar and 1 teaspoon of the warm milk.
3. Pour the rest of the warm milk and the egg into the yeast mixture and combine with the dry ingredients and the sugar. Beat well and knead until the batter is stiff but elastic.
4. Fold in the prepared fruit. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and leave in a warm place until the dough has doubled. Knead again for another 2 or 3 minutes and divide between two greased 1 1b loaf pans.
5. Wrap the charms* in greaseproof paper and then hide them in the dough. Be sure they are well distributed. Cover again and let rise until the dough comes up to the top of the pan (30 minutes to an hour).
6. Bake at 350 degrees for about an hour, until the top is nicely browned and the bread sounds hollow when thumped.

* you put stuff in it.  Then it tells your fortune if you get that thing in your slice.  Bean: poverty (or bachelorhood), button: bachelorhood, cloth: poverty, thimble: spinsterhood, coin: wealth, gold ring: marriage, matchstick: the husband will beat the wife.

Keeps about one week in a sealed container, but do note: Stale Barmbrack is still delicious when toasted and buttered!


Monday, May 31, 2010

Tom Yum Paste

Makes approx. 3/4 cup Tom Yum paste, enough to marinate up to 4 pieces fish or chicken, OR to make 1 pot of soup

4 Tbsp. finely minced lemongrass
5 cloves garlic
1 thumb-size piece galangal, sliced
1 fresh red chili, sliced, OR 1/2 to 3/4 tsp. dried crushed chili (or substitute cayenne pepper)
1/4 cup fresh coriander
2 Tbsp. fish sauce
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1/2 tsp. dark soy sauce (OR substitute 1 tsp. regular soy sauce)
1/2 tsp. shrimp paste
1/4 cup fresh-squeezed lime juice
3 heaping tsp. palm sugar OR brown sugar
2 spring onions, sliced

Mortar and pestle them all up!


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Paneer Tikka Masala

cumin seeds
veg oil
tomato paste
onion (optional)
ginger (optional)
tikka masala powder
turmeric (optional)
sugar (optional)
half and half
paneer squares
start off with a bowl-like pan on medium-high heat. throw in a tablespoon of veg oil. once the oil is hot, add 1/2 tablespoon of cumin seeds (NOT cumin powder). it will snap, crackle, and/or pop. don't let it sit for too long, or else the cumin seeds will burn. change from medium-high to medium heat.
add half a small can of tomato paste and a little under a tablespoon of finely-chopped garlic. i tried using diced tomatoes once and tomato puree once, but they're both too juicy and don't come out well. as for garlic, i usually use a glass jar of pre-chopped soaked garlic, but i'm sure it'll be even better with fresh garlic.
once mixed, my mom likes to add one finely-chopped onion. i don't, since i think it takes away from the smooth texture that i prefer in the dish. if you choose to add the onion, mix it in well with the tomato paste once added before you proceed. my mom also adds freshly-shredded ginger to give it an indian kick. i'm usually too lazy for the onion and ginger, and it still comes out well.
stir in the "tikka masala" powder. i use two tablespoons, since i love love love this stuff. you can play around, but i'd say use anywhere from 1 to 2 tablespoons to ensure that the resulting curry really does taste like tikka masala. also, here's where you can get creative with other spices you have around. i usually add a teaspoon or two of turmeric & sugar. the turmeric gives is a more yellow/orange color as opposed to pink/red. the sugar makes it a bit more sweet, which is what the dish is known for compared to other curries.
at this point, the dish has already been on medium heat for 5-10 minutes without any liquid: enter half and half. start by reducing the heat to low-medium. then, add in the half and half in small amounts (2 tablespoons at a time) and mixing it in well before adding more. i've used milk instead of half and half, however it doesnt mix well enough, and results in a really thin sauce. i also tried sour cream and cream cheese mixed with milk (desperate times when i haven't had half and half around), and it's not all that bad. the key is to mix slowly. you'll know you've added enough when the curry of curry-consistency (i don't really know how to explain). also, taste frequently to be sure. you'll know it's too much half and half if the curry tastes more like milk than curry. if that's the case, throw in more tomato paste and adjust until you're happy.
once you get the right consistency, which should take no more than 5 minutes of adding and mixing, throw in the frozen paneer squares. you can either buy a big block of paneer and chop them yourself, or buy pre-chopped. stir in the paneer squared until they are all coated in curry, then cover and let sit for 10 minutes on low-medium heat, stirring occasionally. you'll know it's done when the cheese squares are soft based on poking with your spoon. hehe.
i usually enjoy this curry with either plain naan or garlic naan. i usually buy naan from the freezer section at the indian grocery store.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Simple Tiramisu

Simple Tiramisu

First, start by assembling the ingredients. We'll need
1 lb mascarpone cheese
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons rum (brandy also works well)
~20 lady's fingers (a light, oblong italian cookie with powdered sugar on one side)
cocoa powder
a double shot (about 2 to 3 ounces) of espresso
1/2 cup of prepared coffee
shavings of unsweetened dark chocolate to top (1 oz. should do).

Chill whipping cream and bowl. Mix coffee and espresso and chill.
Whisk the whipping cream until it reaches stiff peaks. This can be accomplished in a few minutes with an electric mixer or by hand (times will vary depending on arm strength and stamina).
Put the cheese, sugar, and brandy into a medium bowl and mix until smooth. Add more sugar or alcohol as desired.
Fold in the whipped cream to create the cheese mixture.

Soak lady fingers in espresso for a couple seconds, rotating to coat all sides. Place lady fingers side by side on bottom of a 8x8-in. pan.

Put half the cheese mixture on lady fingers in pan. Smooth with a spatula or spoon.
Sift cocoa powder liberally on surface of layer.
Apply second layer of lady fingers and remaining cheese.
Sift cocoa powder and half of chocolate shavings.

Cover in plastic wrap and chill.
To serve, use the remaining chocolate shavings by sprinkling a bit onto eight plates. Cut tiramisu into eight rectangles and serve on plates (or simply spoon them out).


Sunday, January 17, 2010



4 oz red kidney beans (about 1 cup)
4 oz large white beans (1 cup)
4 oz garbanzo beans (chick-peas)(1 cup)
4 oz lentils, preferably brown (green OK)(1 cup)
4 oz bulgur (needs to be thick bulgur-can substitute another whole-grain)(1 cup)
4 oz wheat berries (optional)
2 large onions
1/4 cup of extra-virgin olive oil OR replace by lamb fat if doing the meaty version
Spices: salt, pepper, ground cumin (2 teaspoons or more)
3 Tablespoons of pomegranate molasses
1/2 cup of tomato paste (optional)
3 or 4 lamb chops (optional)

Soak the beans overnight separately in at least one quart of water.
Drain and rinse the beans the next day. Place all beans in a large pot, add 3 quarts of water and simmer for about two hours until well cooked.
Place the bulgur in a bowl, cover with water and soak for about 15 minutes, then drain.

If using meat, get a few lamb chops (3 or 4) and rub them a bit with half a lemon and set aside in a bowl. Heat a large soup pot, add a tablespoon of olive oil; pat the lamb chops dry and throw in the pot to brown for a few minutes on both sides. Remove from the pot.

Otherwise, heat the olive oil and fry the chopped onions in the oil until browned (not burnt! careful!)
Cool the onions a bit and puree them in a food processor. Add them to the beans. Add the tomato paste if using.
About 30 minutes before the 2 hours are up, add the lentils and the wheat berries (if using). Cook the lentils for about 15 minutes, then add the bulgur and the pomegranate molasses. Add the spices. Cover the pot and cook for 20 minutes or so, until the bulgur is cooked and soft.
Uncover the pot. If it is still too wet, cook a few minutes more; it will firm up upon cooling. Serve hot or at room temperature. The makhlouta needs to be thick and rather dry.

If using meat, place the lamb chops on top of the makhlouta.

Source for the recipe: Mijotons de Micha Sarraf, Fragrance of the Earth by Nada Saleh, The Rural Taste of Lebanon by Chérine Yazbeck. Also, used some suggestions from Haj Makari and Hashem who advised me to use pomegranate molasses.




4 bunches of italian parsley
1 large onion (or 4 green onions)
1 bunch of fresh mint
4 large tomatoes (vine or heirloom)
1/2 cup of bulgur #1 (extra fine)
2 or 3 lemons
1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
salt, pepper, pinch of allspice (optional)

1. Wash and dry the parley and mint
2. Pick the leaves and discard the stems from the herbs
3. Slowly chop the herbs with a sharp knife until they are chopped very finely, as fine as you can get them
4. Wash the onions, and chop them very fine
5. Wash the tomatoes and dice them in very small little cubes
6. Rinse the bulgur, and let it sit in a bowl with some cold water to cover or lemon juice for 3 minutes. Then, drain it into a sieve, pressing with a wooden spoon until dry.
7. Assemble the tabbooleh: In a serving bowl, put the parsley and mint, then the onion, then the tomatoes, then the bulgur.
8. Prepare the dressing: juice 2 large lemons or enough to equal 1/2 cup of juice; add the extra virgin olive oil and the spices and mix with a fork to emulsify.
9. Pour the dressing on the tabbooleh right before serving and mix the salad thoroughly.
10. Serve with some cabbage or romaine or iceberg leaves placed on a side bowl to use individually to spoon the salad in. If you have some fresh and tender vine leaves you can use them as well to cup the salad in. Sahteyn!