In my entire life, I would have never tried a raw papaya salad just by the sound of it. But my recent visit to the Blooms restaurant in Eros Hotel, Nehru Place completely flipped around my perspective. Now, if you just take some raw papaya, and mix it with some cabbage, sprouts, and some dressing of your choice – it would certainly not please your palate. But a Thai papaya salad, with roasted peanuts, carrots and long lean in a chilli (lemon dressing) is no less than a miracle for a salad; it is sweet, with a slight tanginess to it and makes for a perfect juicy starter to a dry summer evening.
If you fancy non-vegetarian food, go for 'Larb Gai' or the Thai minced chicken salad with roasted sticky rice and peanuts. The chefs at Blooms make sure that each and every ingredient is fresh, and I think, that's the main reason why everything tastes so juicy, tender and refreshing.
All this is happening at the Eros Hotel, Nehru Place, New Delhi, which is hosting a culinary journey of Thai cuisine, under the banner, "Taste of Thai", until April 28. The festival celebrates the cultural heritage and traditional
customs of Thailand that boasts of a rich past. Hence, as a tribute to its historical glory, the festival offers truly authentic Thai recipes perfected with colour, texture and the balance of five flavours – sour, sweet, salty, bitter and umami.
After having a refreshing salad with some chilled wine, I went ahead to get some skewered delicacies from the grill counter. Looking at the plethora of choices in vegetarian and non-vegetarian food, the confusion becomes obvious. In vegetarian, there is fresh Zucchini, pineapple and cherry tomato, cottage cheese and bell pepper, mushroom and cauliflower, fried tofu with potato, apple and Pineapple, and lastly, broccoli with mushroom. Whereas in non-vegetarian (my personal favourite), they have chicken, prawn and lamb satay marinated with lemongrass, galangal, light soya sauce milk, salt, and turmeric powder. What gives these satays their real flavour are the sauces – peanut sauce, sweet chilli sauce, and Thai chilli dressing. They are so sweet and delicious, that you won't even need anything else to finish it with.
Apart from the satay, you can also go for some corn cakes, vegetable spring rolls, crispy wonton, and fish cake at the fry counter but I doubt that these would make you drool as much as the famous Thai curries.
Served in three different variations, colour and taste, these curries are the real deal at the 'Taste of Thai' festival. It could be either yellow curry – with a selection of vegetables, coconut powder, palm sugar, kafir lime and salt; red curry – with minced chicken, or the sweet and sour prawn with green crisp Thai basil curry.
Served with jasmine rice or Padthai noodle, these curries just smoothly goes down the throat and leaves a sweet tingling sensation in your mouth. Even if you have a full bowl of these curries, you would ask for more until your stomach bloats of all the over-eating. These curries will make you fall in love with Thailand and its food and you could just imagine yourself sauntering around the lanes of
Thailand with the smell of fresh curry being prepared for dinner. No wonder people all over the world love Thai curries.
As far as the desserts are concerned, Thai desserts cannot match the Indian palate for sweetness.