“Count the memories, not the calories” -Unknown
This week’s recipe is… Thai Curry Chicken!
Thai curry is sometimes referred to as “kaeng” in Thai. Long ago when the first Thai dictionary was written in around 1873 CE it defined kaeng as a watery cuisine with rice and seafood, as well as onions, chillies, and garlic. Our recipe includes each of these ingredients and more! Very often (in our recipe as well!) coconut milk is included. However in the dictionary definition, and the kaeng som and kaen pa, do not include coconut milk.
Curries in northern Thai such as Lanna cuisine typically don’t use coconut milk due to a shortage in coconut palms, due to the climate in the Thai highlands.
Now that we’ve talked a little bit about what Thai curry is, let’s dive right into the history of Thai curry!
THAI CURRY HISTORY
The word “curry” in the thai language directly means “kari” and usually refers to cuisines using an Indian-style curry powder known as phong kari, or the cuisine known as kaeng kari, a curry that is influenced by Indian cuisine. Kaeng kari is made with spices that are common in Indian dishes but are not used in the same proportions as in the Thai cuisine. An example of this dish is Kung phat phong kari, which is a dish featuring prawns fried with eggs and curry powder.
Now that we know Thai curry is influenced in part by Indian curry, let’s explore the other parts of the curry meal, such as rice!
Curries are eaten with rice such as the long-grained jasmine rice in central and southern Thailand, and sticky rice in northern and northeastern Thailand. Sometimes these curries are also eaten with khanom chin, which is fermented rice noodles. Similar to Indian flat bread roti canai is a type of bread often eaten with Thai curry.
What a history lesson! We just learned a whole lot about the similarities between Indian curry and Thai curry, which there are more than a few!
Question: Which of the below is NOT a Thai curry?
Kaeng khio wan
Answer: Kaeng not-a-curry is NOT a Thai curry! The other cusines are…
Kaeng kari – Yellow curry!
Kaeng khae – Northern Thai curry!
Kaeng khio wan – Green curry
Kaeng pa – Jungle curry!
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We hope you enjoyed this week’s recipe! October is almost here! Now is a great time to give your child the gift of an October Cooking Class!
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Which historical fact was the most surprising to you? Which Thai curry is your favorite? Let us know in the comments section below!