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Truly Thai

Treat yourself to the culinary colours of Thailand at Taj Krishna


FROM THE dιcor on the walls and ceilings to the colour of curries, red is one colour deliberate at Encounters (Taj Krishna). The coffee shop, currently playing host to a Thai food festival (April 8 - 14) is all decked up as a representation of the country's colourful culture.

Four chefs from Bangkok have been specially flown in to prepare the mammoth spread of food - so unique in flavour and distinctive in its aroma. Along with them 36 cartons of spices and garden-fresh herbs have also arrived to give the gourmet a truly Thai taste.

"Thai food is a popular cuisine and is like the country's representative in the promotion of culture and our good image," says chef Manutsanun Thippanayun. Because each dish has to be scrupulously arranged and decorated for beauty and a good appetite, Manutsanun wakes up before sunrise and gets on with her elegant preparations to stage a good display by lunchtime.

"Thai fare is quite healthy and nutritious as most of it is cooked in protein-rich herbs with very less oil," says executive chef, Taj Krishna, Khosla. Chef Khosla and Manutsanun prepare the menu after elaborate discussions.


Different varieties of chillies and ginger go in the preparation of these items. The fiery red chilli, the bird chilli, Resham Patti chilli, Galangal and Kha ginger render a distinct taste to the cuisine. Among other herbs are basil, McRoot fruit, pea brinjal, fresh turmeric, dill and the ubiquitous lemon grass that finds a presence in almost all items in the menu.

Items like Phad kaprao Gal, Tom Yam Guong, Yam nua, Panaeng Kari Pak, Yam Talay, Yam Hua Plee may not make much sense to those who do not understand but gustatory adventures will, in the least, result in reassuring experiences.

Among exotic salads, the recommended ones are Phala Goong (Spicy prawn salad with lemon grass and baked chilli paste), Yam Woon Sen (Glass noodles salad with pork and shrimps), Nua Manao (Grilled beef with chilli lime sauce) and Som Tam (Green Papaya salad). The main course too is dotted with interesting names and come in an array of interesting colours.

In the backdrop, colourfully-attired Thai dancers do a Rabam Kinari or a Soppane Matona (Thai Ramayana) that add up for a wholesome treat from Thailand. So, shall we talk Thai tonight?

SOUVIK CHOWDHURY

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