By now I have discovered that I can’t stay away from Thailand. I am a total Thai-vibe addict. After spending days in Bangkok and Phuket in the past it is time to begin 2018 by exploring Krabi.
Krabi is a bunch of beautiful islands in the southern part of Thailand. Just like Phuket, Krabi is the new ideal vacation spot for people looking for white sandy beaches lined with coconut trees. It is also a paradise for people who love nature; islands, mountains, rivers, waterfalls, tropical jungles, marine adventures etc – you name it, they have it.
Island Hopping is one of the most popular things to do amongst travelers in this region. It can easily be arranged from the Ao-nang beach via the long tail boat service office. Sea kayaking is the second great thing which can be done to explore the coastline. The pricing is very reasonable at the beach itself so no need to pre book from the hotel. Island tour will cost you 100 Baht one way whereas, a single kayak will cost 150 Baht per hour. A guided kayak tour into the mangroves is something which you would not like to miss!
Krabi is relatively less crowded than any other vacation spot in Thailand which makes it easy to find a nice peaceful accommodation close to the nature. Suggested itinerary will not be more than 4 days as it is enough to explore the islands, caves, temples, beaches, indulge in Thai food, trek in the tropical jungles, dive the Andaman & relax with a Thai massage.
You’re not going to end up spending a lot on your trip as the things are so much cheaper here. A decent hotel/resort starts from 17 USD/night. I stayed in The Jasmine Resort, in the Ao-nang area just 15 minutes away from the beach and was impressed with the hospitality I received, at the price I paid.
Bike/scooter rentals are easily available for about 6-10 USD/day and will be probably the best choice to commute in and around Krabi.
My favorite topic – Food. Being at a beach means super fresh sea food. The food here in Krabi is the typical Thai stuff you probably know such as pad thai, but there are several other delicious dishes which you should try: basil chicken, Thai style salads, soups & curries. Just like me if you are interested to learn how they do it, enroll yourself for a Thai cooking course. A basic course for 3-4 hours will cost you around 1200 baht and will teach you up to 6 dishes of your choice.
Soup ready & served After doing all of this still have some time left?
Head towards the Thung Teao Natural Park and take a dip in the mineral rich, all natural emerald pool. A short walk away is blue pool, a total worth it sight. There are several tours for the same however if you good at riding a bike it’s easily accessible by road. Entry fee to the nature reserve is 200 baht/pp.
Whatever you do in this charming place is up to you but don’t forget to quench your thirst with a chilled Chang!
This is a very popular Thai dish and one of my favorite. You can see a lot of vendors preparing this dish in the streets. I love it with chicken however; beef, pork and sea food options are also available. This dish is best served with rice and a Thai style crispy fried egg!
1C. Chicken Breast (bite size pieces)
¼ C. Shallot (fine sliced)
5 Garlic Cloves (minced/fine chopped)
4 Thai Chilies (fine sliced/chopped)
1T. Oyster Sauce
1T. Dark Soy Sauce
½ T. Light Soy Sauce
½ T. Fish Sauce (optional)
½ T. Sugar
½ C. Holy Basil Leaves
Start with the stir fry sauce. Combine Dark soy sauce, Oyster sauce, Light soy sauce, Fish sauce (if using) & sugar in a bowl. Stir well and keep aside.
Heat oil in a wok; add shallot, garlic and chilies – stir fry for 30 seconds. Once fragrant, toss in the chicken pieces and continue frying. (For the bite size chicken pieces it generally takes 2-3 minutes to cook)
Add the earlier prepared sauce and keep stir frying for 30 more seconds.
Throw in the holy basil, combine it well and turn off the heat.
At this stage you would be probably drooling!
So serve and enjoy!
300G. Chicken breast (fine shredded) 2T. Olive oil
2 ½ C. Vegetables (chopped, I used carrots, peas, sweet corn & beans)
½ C. Spring onion (chopped)
¾ C. Rice
10C. Chicken broth
4. Eggs (white separated)
1. Onion (chopped)
3. Garlic cloves (minced)
¼ C. Coriander (chopped)
Salt & pepper
In a pot add olive oil and sauté onions with garlic till fragrant. Add the shredded chicken and cook on medium heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Once the chicken starts turning white, add the rice and roast along for few minutes.
Now add the chicken stock, chopped vegetables and check for seasonings. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and cover the pot. Let it simmer till the rice is cooked.
Once the rice is done add the chopped coriander and egg whites while stirring it.
Pour it in a bowl, garnish with a lime slice and enjoy!
1C. Arborio rice
½ C. White wine
2C. Vegetable stock
2T. Parmesan – Romano (grated)
1T. Lemon Juice
3T. Olive oil
Ingredients for Puree
1 Cauliflower head (minced)
1 Onion (chopped)
6-8 Basil leaves
Salt & Pepper
Ingredients for Garnish
2T. Garlic (minced)
3T. Cauliflower (minced)
3T. Mushrooms (chopped)
2T. Red bell pepper (chopped)
2T. Green bell pepper (chopped)
2T. Spring onion (chopped)
1T. Olive oil
Start with preparing the cauliflower puree. In a pan add the butter, basil leaves and onions. Once the onions start to sweat, stir in the cauliflower and season with salt & pepper. Cook the cauliflower on slow – medium heat without turning it brown. Add a cup of water if required. Once cooked properly let it sit for few minutes and puree using a blender. Set aside.
Take another pan and prepare for the garnish. Drizzle few drops of olive oil once heated add the garlic, spring onions, bell peppers, mushrooms and cauliflower. Saute for 6 – 7 minutes and reserve for later use.
Heat a flat pan on medium heat. Add some olive oil, once hot add the Arborio rice. Toast the rice till fragrant and then stir in the wine. Once the wine is absorbed add the vegetable stock. Keep on stirring to avoid sticking at the base. Also, you can add a dollop of butter to emulsify the rice. Add the lemon juice, cover and cook. Once the rice is almost done add the cauliflower puree and stir. This is the time when you will add the saffron, if using. Remove from the heat and add the grated cheese. Stir to mix the cheese evenly. Check for seasoning.
Pour some hot risotto in a plate, top it up with some prepared garnish and serve hot.
250G. Small Curd Cottage Cheese
1T. Ginger – Garlic Paste
2 Green Chili (deseeded, finely chopped)
1C. Red Bell pepper (finely chopped)
½ C. Green peas
2 Onions (chopped)
1 Tomato (chopped)
1T. Cumin seeds
¼ T. Garam Masala
¼ T. Turmeric Powder
½ T. Red Chili Powder
1T. Coriander Powder
¼ C. Milk
1T. Lemon Juice
2T. Fresh Coriander (chopped)
Heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds. Allow them to crackle.
Add chopped onions, chilies, ginger-garlic paste and saute for few minutes.
Now add the chopped tomatoes and bell pepper. Give it a quick stir and cook till they turn soft.
Add garam masala, turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder and salt to taste, stir.
Once fragrant add the milk and mix.
Stir in the cottage cheese, green peas, along with the lemon juice and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with the bread of your choice.
Tip: Any type of cottage cheese can be used for this recipe. Crumble or grate it before use.
2C. Tomatoes (chopped)
1 Onion (chopped)
1 Green chili
5 Cashew nuts
3T. fresh cream
2T. Ginger garlic paste
1T. Tomato ketchup
1T. Tomato paste
½ T. Cumin seeds
½ T. Dried fenugreek leaves
1T. Red chili powder
¼ T. Garam masala
½ T. Coriander powder
¼ T. Turmeric powder
Start with combining tomatoes, cloves & cashew nuts in a mixer jar and form a smooth puree. Set aside.
Now puree onion and green chili as well.
Heat the butter in a pan and add cumin seeds along with the cardamoms and sauté.
Now add the onion puree along with the ginger garlic paste, tomato paste and sauté on medium flame for 3-5 minutes.
Add the tomato puree and continue stirring. Once the oil begins to separate add chili powder, garam masala powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder & a cup of water. Let it simmer for few minutes.
Add the fenugreek leaves, sugar, ketchup and check for salt, while stirring occasionally.
Once the gravy reaches the desired consistency turn the flame off & add the cream.
The Makhani gravy is ready for use.
For restaurant style smooth gravy, pass the gravy through a mesh before adding crème. This will remove all the whole spices.
If you would like to freeze this gravy for future use then do not add crème as it may spoil. To use the frozen gravy just thaw it before use and add the crème in the end.