Dubai: The allure of Thai cuisine lies in its deft blending of the sweet and the sour, which is precisely why all roads lead to the Thai food pavilion at the Global Village here.
With its combo of rice, fish, vegetables and tangy tamarind, Thai food is a not too distant cousin of Kerala cuisine. Despite the Malayali penchant for the hot and the spicy, the aroma of Thai food mixed in exotic sauces and sweet tamarind is leaving visitors, especially Malayalis craving for more.
Here’s a peek into the Thai pavilion and what makes their food so delectable.
The Thais are masters in drying and preserving all that’s edible. From fish to fruits to vegetables, everything is dried. Sweet tamarind, salted, dried and rolled into balls is a wonder to behold. There’s more of dried stuff to come…jackfruit, durian, tomato, orange and mushroom. The Thais aver that all these stimulate the enzymes which make eating a pleasure. A spoonful of this dried stuff mixed with water and boiled sufficiently enough would make for an ideal fruit-veggie-dry fish soup. And it’s a whole lot of comfort on one’s tummy! No aches, no bloating, no breaking wind!
Sweets made from peanuts, cashew nuts, badam and nuts of all sorts, mixed and mashed with jaggery are also a big hit at the pavilion.
What floors foodies are the Thai chips. Dry fish seasoned in thick jaggery and then dried again is a great crispy. Anchovies (natholi) and squid (koonthal, kanava) are best for this fryum. The Thais have started marketing their trademark sweet fish chips. No easy task it is. The fish is first cut into manageable sizes, seasoned in jaggery and fed into machines which press them into compact sizes. They are then dried and packed in air-tight packets.
There’s more to come. SomTam Papaya salad- a mouth-watering combo of boiled prawns, raw papaya, red chilies, beans, salt, honey, a pinch of sugar and those wonderful Thai sauces- it is nothing but yum. The Thais throw in a pinch of sugar or jaggery into almost all their dishes. Sweet and sour, of course!