Snacks

Vegetable samosas

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I’m not sure how many vegetable samosas I’ve eaten in my life but it’s a fair few, but I’d never made them myself before. They make a great savoury snack and I’ll certainly be making them again especially as they’re not that easy to come by in Thailand.

So what do you need?

For the pastry

  • 400g plain (all purpose) flour
  • 4 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. nigella seeds (optional)
  • 180ml warm water

For the filling

  • 1 large potato (about 400g)
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 cup of peas
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2-3 tbs. vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp. cuminn seeds
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. chilli powder
  • a pinch or two of salt
  • a few fresh curry leaves (optional)
  • 300 – 400ml vegetable oil for frying

So what do you do?

Start by making the pastry. Put the dry ingredients in a bowl or mixer and add the oil and mix together. Then add most of the water and mix together, you want a soft dough so keep adding water until you get this. Then kneed the dough for about 5 minutes and cover with a tea towel.

Next peel and dice the potatoes and the carrot into small cubes and boil in salted water for about 8 minutes and then add the peas cook for another minute or so until the carrot seems cooked but still firm and drain. Meanwhile peel and chop the onion and fry in a large frying pan with the oil, crush the garlic and add it. Once the onion is soft add all the spices and fry them for a minute or so and then add the vegetables and mix everything together and allow to cool.

Separate the dough into 12 balls about the size of golf balls. Mix some flour and water to make a watery paste about a tbsp. of flour and 2-3 tbsp. water. Then start making the samosas. Roll out a ball of dough on a flowered surface until its thin and about 16-18cms across. Then cut the circle in half. Turn the flat side of the pastry towards you and with a  pastry brush moisten the rounded side with the flour paste. Put a pile of the filling in the middle of the pastry (about a heaped tbsp.) and the fold the right bottom of the pastry up to the middle of the rounded edge and then put some of the flour paste on the left hand side of the pastry and fold this up over the top to make a triangular parcel and ensure the edges are sealed. Place on a floured baking tray, covered with a tea towel, and continue making the rest of the samosas.

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When you have finished making the samosas heat the oil up in a wok until very hot. You can test the heat with a small offcut of pastry it should start cooking and brown quickly. Then cook the samosas in batches of 3 or 4 at a time turning occasionally until they are golden brown. Drain them of oil and place on a wire rack while you cook the others. Best served fresh while warm with chutney.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Something fruity, Something sweet, Thai Food

Mango & sticky rice ice-cream lollipops with Sang Som

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Probably the most popular Thai dessert is mango and sticky rice which is delicious but can be a bit heavy in the hot Thai summer. This ice-cream take the essence of mango and sticky rice and make them into cool lollies, with the added twist of some Sang Som, Thai rum. This will make about 15 lollipops.

So what do you need?

  • 500mls whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp. Icing sugar
  • 300mls coconut milk (I used the scented dessert variety available in Thailand)
  • 400g sweet, coconut milk, sticky rice
  • 100mls Sang Som (optional)
  • the flesh of  2 medium sized mangoes (about 400g) chopped into small cubes
  • small (4oz / 5cms x 5cms) paper cups
  • lollipop sticks

So what do you do?

First put the whipping cream in a large bowl and whip it until it fluffs up a little then mix in the icing sugar, coconut milk and rum. Next crumble in the sticky rice and add the mango and stir them in so they are evenly distributed through the cream. Place the paper cups on a try and spoon in the mixture. Put in the freezer and after an hour or two when the ice-cream begins to freeze but is still slightly soft put a lollipop stick in each. Leave for another hour or two until frozen completely. Peel of the paper and enjoy a taste of Thailand!

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Brunch, Soups, Thai Food

Veggie Khao Tom

 

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This makes a good brunch, or a meal if you are feeling under the weather and want something quite plain and comforting to eat. It’s normally made with pork or seafood but here I’ve made a veggie version the flavor will depend on the stock you use so I would recommend using a good / homemade stock. This will make 4 bowls of Khao Tom.

So what do you need?

  • 1 cup of jasmine rice / brown rice (I used a white jasmine rice which had some other rices mixed through it)
  • 6 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp. light soy sauce
  • a small bunch Chines celery
  • 1 cup of chopped mushrooms
  • 3/4 cup of other veggies (I used diced carrot and some chopped broccoli)

Condiments

 

  • 4 or 5 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tbsp. oil (I used sesame)
  • 1 inch of ginger peeled and very finely sliced
  • a couple of chopped spring onions and a handful of coriander leaves
  • a sliced red chilli
  • Chilli powder
  • Soy sauce
  • Pepper

So what do you do?

Start by putting the rice in a saucepan with the stock and soy sauce and bring it to the boil. Meanwhile chop the mushroom and the Chinese celery and add them to the saucepan and boil for about 10 minutes then add the other vegetables and boil for 15 – 20 more minutes until the rice is soft. The cooking time will depend on the rice you use but it should be well cooked and soft. The rice will absorb most of the stock and swell up, if necessary add more stock and stir occasionally as the Khao Tom thickens up to stop it sticking to the saucepan. Taste and if necessary add some more soy sauce.

While the rice is cooking prepare your condiments. Finely chop the garlic and fry it in the oil until golden brown and put in a small bowl. Serve the Khao Tom in bowls and allow people to flavour it themselves adding the condiments they like.

 

 

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Thai Food, Veggie mains

Pad Thai

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I’m not sure why it’s taken me so long to get round to posting a recipe for Pad Thai, maybe as more often than not it’s a dish I eat at our local noodle shop and enjoy their version. There are probably as many versions of Pad Thai as people who make it, but I find many too sweet or too oily so making it at home allows you to control the flavours. If you don’t live in Thailand, surrounded by Pad Thai options, then it’s easy enough to make at home. This will make 2 servings which is about as much as you can make at a time in a domestic wok.

So what do you need?

  • 100g firm tofu
  • 120g flat rice noodles (I used brown ones)
  • 200g bean sprouts
  • a small bunch of garlic chives / spring onions
  • 4tbs vegetable oil
  • a handful of roasted peanuts
  • 3 tbsp. dried pickled Chinese radish
  • 3 tbsp. tamarind paste
  • 3 tbsp. light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. palm sugar
  • 1 tsp. chilli powder
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 1 lime

So what do you do?

Start by soaking your rice noodles in water, brown ones will take about 20 minutes, white ones about 10 minutes. Then cut the tofu into small pieces and marinate with a tbsp. light soy sauce. If using unroasted peanuts then dry roast them in a wok for a few minutes, stirring, until they are golden brown and put them in a mortar ready to crush.

Next make the Pad Thai sauce, in a small pan warm together the tamarind paste, palm sugar and 2 tbsp. of soy sauce with a splash of water, the amount of water will depend on how thick your tamarind paste is. This should make a runny sauce that is sour with a hint of sweetness and saltiness. Then rinse and strain the beansprouts and garlic chives, reserve a handful of beansprouts and a few of the chives to use as a garnish. Cut the remaining chives into 4cms lengths. Crush the peanuts once they have cooled.

Next put the oil in the wok and fry the tofu until golden brown and pour out most of the remaining oil into a dish. Then add most of the tamarind sauce and fry the tofu in it for about 30 second. Drain the noodles and add them to the wok and stir fry them for a minute or two then add the Chinese radish, most of the crushed peanuts, the chili powder and the bean sprouts and chopped garlic chives. Fry until the bean sprouts soften and if it seems dry add the remaining tamarind sauce. Then push the noodles to the edge of the wok and add the reserved oil into the wok and crack in the eggs and break them up with the spatula and fry them when they are almost done mix the noodles back in and fry everything together.

Divide into two portions on plates and garnish with the remaining garlic chives, bean sprouts, peanuts, a wedge of lime and a sprinkle of chilli powder (optional).

 

 

 

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