Chef Wimon Pahuja has flown down to Kochi all the way from Thailand to introduce some unique Thai flavours to Malayali palettes. Wimon, who has been working as a chef in many leading restaurants for 12 years, now heads the Thai Soul Restaurant at Grand Hyatt, Kochi.
The chef says that she dreamed of becoming a culinary expert since she watched a chef cooking on a popular television show. Wimon, who has worked in many Indian cities, confesses that she has a special love for Kerala.
Interestingly, coconut is the great bonding factor that has made Wimon fall in love with the state. Like in the Kerala dishes, coconut is used a lot in the Thai cuisine as well. Tom Kha Gai, a special Thai soup made with creamy coconut milk is Wimon's favourite dish.
A patch of garden in the Grand Hyatt is reserved to grow the Thai vegetables that add authentic flavour and texture to the dishes. Chef Wimon says that most ingredients are freshly picked from this garden to prepare Thai dishes.
Wimon says that she has to overcome many challenges while preparing the Thai dishes in all its authenticity. Chef Wimon has shared her special recipe of Tom Kha Gai, which is a refreshing Thai soup cooked with coconut milk.
2 cups chicken stock
200 gm chicken breast
1 piece Thai ginger (galangal)
1 kaffir lime leaf
4 tbsp coconut milk
50 gm mushroom
2 Thai chillies
1 tsp Thai chilli paste
2 tsp fish sauce
Palm jaggery to taste
Salt as required
Into a vessel add the chicken stock
Add Thai ginger and kaffir lime leaves (remove the vein and tear the leaf into small bits)
When this boils, add the coconut milk, mushroom, Thai chillies, Thai chilli paste, fish sauce, palm jaggery and salt
Allow the stock t bubble up before adding the chicken breast
Boil until the chicken is nicely cooked
This soup tastes best when served hot.