HYDERABAD: Alittle sweet, a tinge of sour and a dash of spice is what makes Thai cuisine what it is. It is always a good idea to bring the tropical country’s cuisine to the city that is passionate about food. Okra at Marriott Hyderabad is all set to bring in a tempting Thai experience with its 11-day food fest beginning April 20. This will feature a myriad of Thai dishes bursting with exotic Thai flavours.
Chef Ninja, who brings with her the experience of 17 years in the culinary art, has been roped in for this. She wants to ensure that the fusion of Thai herbs surprises foodies. While the food fest will cater a bountiful options for vegetarians, homemade Thai recipes will have a lion’s share this time.
Speaking on the multicultural history of the country, Chef Ninja points out the clever combination of Eastern and Western influences that the cuisine incorporates.
“Although traditional Thai cooking involves stewing, baking or grilling, over the years with Chinese migrating to Southeast Asia, techniques including stir-frying and deep-frying have been introduced, giving diverse flavours to the cuisine. Moreover, it draws culinary influence from Portugese, Dutch, French and Japanese,” Chef Ninja elaborates.
Meanwhile, the samplers came in the form of Satay Gai (Grilled chicken marinated with turmeric paste and herb), Som Tum (Raw papaya salad), Tom kha het (Mild coconut soup with mushrooms), Gai phad met mamuang (Stir fried chicken with cashewnuts), Thalay phad cha (Stir-fried prawn with peppercorn).
An array of Thai delicacies rolled in one after the other. Chef Ninja explained how she doesn’t have to Indianise the Thai dishes.
“Hyderabadis prefer spicy food much like Thais. So, understanding the taste and cooking here has never been a stumbling block to showcase my culinary skills,” the chef says with a glee.
Her signature dish, Phad Thai, where wok fried flat noodles are assorted with tofu and bean sprouts. But what makes it lip-smacking is the tangy flavour that comes with tamarind sauce. Imagine spicy noodles tossed with tamarind.
Isn’t it worth trying? Moreover, succulent chicken sticks marinated in herbs served with red curry paste and chicken minced with coconut milk are a must-have. Alternatively, there are mushroom and babycorn, which form an integral part of vegetarian starters.
Vegetarians no more have to cry over the limited options the cuisine offers. The appetising aroma of Khao hom ma li, steamed rice punched with jasmine and Kaeng kiew wan jea, a thai green curry jazzed with Thai herbs, make up for a sumptuous meal.
The star of the fest, however, is the dessert platter. Lemon grass mousse with pseudo pandan ice-cream breaks the thought that herbs can be well infused into a dessert.
The mousse, a mix of custard, pandan and lemon grass, melts in the mouth to give you a sweet buzz. On the other hand, tender coconut mousse with mango and jasmine pudding makes the experience mesmerising.