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Archive for the ‘Thai Beverage Recipe’ Category

Almost, My Thai Herb Garden

Harvesting Lemongrass

Harvesting Lemongrass

Lemongrass – Takrai – ตะไคร้

I always try to enjoy my hometown of Phuket as a tourist would do, but my favorite part is visiting, catching up and dining with my family and relatives in the village. One of my fun days at home in Phuket was following my brother-in-law and admiring his Thai herb garden. We harvested some herbs for my sister Rudee and some for me. The Thai herb garden, with its scents of fresh citrus, wild lemongrass leaves, pungent cumin leaves, and the so-sweet anise aroma of Thai basil, is close to heaven. It has a timeless quality like that of a dream of a childhood day of wonder.

I took many pictures of the herbs from his garden; please check them out. The herbs that we cut with a knife are cumin leaves (Bai Yeerah – Tree Basil plants – Ocimum gratissimum), Thai Basil (Bai Horapa – Ocimum basilicum) and holy basil (Bai Kraprow – Ocimum tenuiflorum).

Thai Ginger, Lesser Ginger and White Turmeric

Thai Ginger, Lesser Ginger and White Turmeric

The Thai herbs that we dug up for the rhizomes were galangal (also known as Thai ginger), lesser ginger and white turmeric.

The lemongrass stalks can be easily removed at ground level, just above the root, with a sharp knife, but my brother-in-law removed the whole cluster and gave me all the trimmed lemongrass stalks.

Lemongrass - Takrai - ตะไคร้

Lemongrass – Takrai – ตะไคร้

As I headed back to my apartment kitchen in Phuket, accompanied by the scent of lemongrass from 30 lemongrass stalks, I knew what would I do with them: make Lemongrass Tea – Nam Takrai – ชาตะไคร้

Lemongrass - Takrai - ตะไคร้

Lemongrass – Takrai – ตะไคร้

You can use any part of the lemongrass plant to make lemongrass tea, from roots to leaves. I often save the leftovers pieces of lemongrass trimmed from my cooking and freeze them until I have a enough to make a tea. In Thailand lemongrass is inexpensive and freshly available everyday. Use the cleanest and freshest lemongrass you can get.

Lemongrass Tea – Cha Takrai – ชาตะไคร้

Lemongrass Tea - Nam Takrai - ชาตะไคร้

Lemongrass Tea – Cha Takrai – ชาตะไคร้

Lemongrass Tea – ชาตะไคร้ – Cha Takrai 

Yield 12 cups

Whenever I give students a demonstration on how to prepare lemongrass for Thai cooking, I always recommend that they save the trimmings and freeze them for making fresh lemongrass tea or a lemongrass simple syrup. Today, my lemongrass tea recipe is made in a large quantity, but you can scale it down to make smaller amount or to adjust the concentration to your desired taste.

12 lemongrass stalks, trimmed and smashed 

1/2 cup sugar, optional

Wash and prepare lemongrass stalk as shown on Pranee’s video

Bring 13 cups of water to a boil in a large pot on high heat. Add lemongrass and let boil for 10 minutes. Strain. If sugar is to be added, bring the tea back to a boil and stir in the sugar until it is dissolved.

Serve hot as a tea, or chill in the fridge and serve as cold drink.

I Love Thai cooking
Pranee teaches Thai Cooking classes in the Seattle area.
Her website is: I Love Thai cooking.com 
Lets connect on  Twitter,  FacebookYoutubeInstagram and Pinterest
 
Related Links from Pranee’s Thai Kitchen
 
Lemongrass Paste and Lemongrass Tartar Sauce Recipe
 
Grandma’s Steamed Fish with Lemongrass Recipe
 
Lemongrass Vinaigrette Recipe
 
Thai Steamed Clams with Lemongrass Recipe
 
And much more by using key word “lemongrass” on this blog
 
How to Prepare Lemongrass for Thai Cooking
 
https://youtu.be/58rSRxb_BMU 
 
 

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Amazing Fruit

Bael Fruit Tea-

Bael Fruit Tea-ชามะตูม

Bael fruit is not as mysterious as you might think. If you are one of the many people who have never heard of it, this recipe will provide you with a sweet and fragrant opportunity to learn about it. Its history is ancient, having been used long before the advent of Hinduism, and it carries religious significance. The bael fruit trees grow abundantly throughout the Indian subcontinent and southeastern Asia. In Thailand, we know bael fruit – matoom – มะตูม – both as a component of a popular cold drink during the summer, and for its leaves, which are used in religious ceremonies.

The Drink

Dry Bael Fruit มะตูม

มะตูม – Matoom – Bael Fruit aka Bengal Quince

For most Thais, bael fruit is a favorite that is instantly recognizable by its unique, sweet and aromatic flavor. It is also believed to be good for the digestion. Thais use the expression หอมเย็น ชื่นใจ to convey that the cold tea is fragrant, cool and refreshing. To my students it was a pleasantly delightful drink. They were even more surprised when they learned about the bael fruit. Now you can learn how to make hot or cold fruit drink from matoom.

Dry-Sliced Bael Fruit

Dry-Sliced Bael Fruit

Dry sliced bael fruit can be found at the Asian Market or an online grocery store. In a Thailand supermarket you can find matoom drink in a plastic bottle, or as an instant tea powder to which you simply add hot water. But there is nothing like making your own matoom drink.

IMG_3347

8 Pieces Dry Sliced Gael Fruit

In Thailand, a dry sliced matoom is heated over charcoal before making it into a drink. You may also put it in the toaster or place over a gas burner or gas grill. The direct heat will set off its sweet fragrance. In my kitchen in Seattle, I simply place 8 slices of sliced dry bael fruit on a baking sheet and put it under a preheated broiler for 1 minute or more on each side. You will smell a sweet, delightful fragrance.

Add 6 cups water and bring to a boil

Add 6 Cups Water and Bring to a Boil

Then place the slices in a medium sized pot, add 6 cups water, and bring it to a boil. Let it boil on medium heat for 20 to 30 minutes. The sliced bael fruits that remain in the pot will look pale and soft after all their essence is released into the tea.

Bael Fruit Tea - ชา

Bael Fruit Tea – ชามะตูม

Delightful Beverages

During the winter months in Seattle I serve it warm from the teapot just like any other tea. In the summer months in Seattle and Thailand, I love to serve it over ice as a cold drink just like iced tea. It is a very satisfying drink either way. The taste is less sweet than it smells, but it does the trick – I often don’t add any sugar. Serve it at any time and for any occasion. I received a lot of admiration from my students and Thai friends for introducing and reintroducing this drink to them.

Bael Fruit Tea – Cha Matoom – ชามะตูม 

Yield: 4 cups

8 to 10 pieces dry sliced bael fruit

6 cups water

Sugar to taste

Pre-heat the oven on  broil.

Place 8 slices of sliced dry bael fruit on the baking sheet and put under the preheated broiler for 1 minute on each side, until it is fragrant but not burnt. Place the heated bael fruit in a medium size pot and add 6 cups water. Cover.

Bring to a boil then, then continue to cook on medium heat until the tea is a nice brown color, about 15 to 20 minutes. The remaining dry fruit should be pale and soft after all the tea is extracted.

Discard the bael fruit and strain the tea through the fine sieve or cheese cloth. Serve warm like a tea; stir in sugar as desired. For a cold drink, simply pour over ice before serving.

I Love Thai cooking
Pranee teaches Thai Cooking classes in the Seattle area.
Her website is: I Love Thai cooking.com 
 

Related Link

http://matoomherb.blogspot.com/

Bilva or Bael Fruit and Hinduism (astropeep.com)

 

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Blue & Purple 

Dok Anchan – Butterfly Pea – Clitoria ternatea

What is that flower behind your ear? นั้นดอกอะไรอยู่หลังใบหูของคุณ. In a Thai village, the answer might be that it is a jasmine, hibiscus or butterfly pea flower. You often see women or men in Thai villages wearing flowers behind their ears on special occasions. For me personally, my answer would be that it is a blue butterfly pea flower.

In addition to wearing a blue butterfly pea flower – ดอกอัญชัน (dok anchan) or Clitoria ternatea – behind my ear while working in my garden, I would like to introduce you to its properties as a Thai culinary flower. Butterfly pea is an annual vine that is native to the land in southeast Asia near the equator. Thais love dok anchan for it beautiful unique looks and for its culinary uses as a food coloring and as an edible flower. My friend Somrak uses dok anchan in her Thai cooking at home, shredding it into a fine ribbon and adding it to rice salad, or for making a tea, or adding blue color extract to steamed jasmine rice. Many hotels in Thailand greet guests with a welcome drink made from dok anchan. But above and beyond all of these uses, our ancestors recognized it for its medicinal benefits, which include its anti-depression, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties. The blue concentrate added to hair products also promotes healthy hair growth (please see related links below).

In Thailand I grew butterfly pea plants on a trellis, but often enjoyed the harvest from friends’ gardens. In the Thai village lifestyle in the old days we shared or exchanged our surpluses with one another. The vines can produce many flowers a day, so often they went unused. This meant that at any  moment there were always flowers waiting for you in someone’s garden and we helped ourselves when needed. The pigment in the flowers comes from anthocyanins, and has long been widely used in Thai and Malaysian cuisines for blue or purple food coloring for butterfly pea sticky rice. In Thailand, any foods prepared with shades of blue, purple or pink come from dok anchan. In addition, southeast Asia uses the flowers in traditional Ayurvedic medicine.

Double pedals butterfly pea flower

Where can you get dried butterfly pea flowers? In the U.S. you can mail-order homegrown organic air-dried butterfly pea flowers from Etsy.com and Alibaba.com. If you wish to plant them next summer for your backyard vine, this may be the right time to purchase them. Check online for a few sources where you can purchase butterfly pea seedsThompson & Morgan has the seeds for Butterfly Pea Fabaceae

Thai desert with dok anchan blue color

Khanom Chan – ขนมชั้น – Thai one-layer cake with anchan flower food coloring gets pale purple when cooked.

Thai snack, a dumpling with purple rice flour dough

Chaw Muang – ช่อม่วง, steamed dumpling, a famous Thai appetizer ใช้สีทำขนมช่อม่วง, ขนมดอกอัญชัญ


Chaw Mueng – purple dough and filling

Chaw Muang is a traditional Thai snack that can have a sweet or savory filling. After preparing a butterfly pea purple water infusion, the water is added to the dough according to the amount required in the recipe.

Step-By-Step Instructions for Making Blue and Purple Butterfly Pea Color Extracts

ขั้นตอนการทำน้ำดอกอัญชัญผสีฟ้าและสีม่วง

Blue color from dried butterfly pea flowers

Nam dok anchan (น้ำดอกอัญชัน)

First, steep 12 dried or fresh butterfly flowers in 1 cup boiling water.

Dried butterfly peas after 15 minutes of soaking in boiling water

Fifteen minutes later, or when no color is left in the petal, strain the liquid and discard the flowers. You will get deep blue water.

Fifteen minutes later, deep blue color is ready to use as blue food coloring.

Add a little lime juice to get a purple-red color

Add a few drops of lime juice. This will change the ph level and you will get purple water.

Pranee’s Tom Yum Martini with Butterfly Pea Coloring

I made butterfly pea simple syrup a day before my dinner party in order to make my signature Tom Yum Martini. A friend requests that I make them each year when I visit home.

I Love Thai cooking
Pranee teaches Thai Cooking classes in the Seattle area.
Her website is: I Love Thai cooking.com  

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Add Zing to Your Limeade

Ginger Limeade

During August I try to slow down my summer activities and I enjoy staying home and working in the garden. After a hard-working day in the yard, I reward myself with a homemade ginger limeade. This recipe is used often in summer cooking classes for kids. This week it worked out perfectly for me to test the recipe one more time before sharing it with you and savor the results at the end my gardening day. I planned ahead to have the  freshest limes and ginger on hand, then I made the limeade in the morning so all the flavors would have a chance to blend and chill to the highest delight.

Lime – มะนาว

Thai cuisine depends on lime flavor. It is in almost in every dish. One should always have at least half a dozen limes on hand.

น้ำเชื่อมขิง – Ginger Simple Syrup

Crush the ginger until juicy and softened before adding it to the pot of sugar and water.

Ginger Limeade

Nam Manoa Khing

น้ำมะนาวขิง

Before you put together the ingredients to make ginger limeade, I would like you to follow closely my culinary insight on how to make ginger infused simple syrup. I didn’t make this technique up, it has been in my family for a long time. Infused fresh ginger provides a different flavor than dry powdered ginger or the fried ginger used in savory dishes. Crushing the ginger until the juice comes out helps break down the ginger’s cell walls. Thais use smashed ginger in a simple syrup for many dessert dishes. The aroma and taste of fresh ginger syrup is the first entry to sweet dishes such as Bua Loi Nam Khing (glutinous rice ball in sweet ginger syrup). I add ginger syrup to my limeade for a refreshing drink to enjoy in the hot summer or with a Thai meal.

Serves: 6

4 cups hot water
6 (1-inch) ginger pieces, peeled and smashed, about 3 ounces or 86 gram
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 to 1 cup lime juice, from 4 to 6  limes
10  slices of  limes, from one lime, for garnish
6 cups ice cubes

To make the brown sugar-ginger syrup, bring water, ginger and sugar to a boil in a medium-size pot. Let it boil on medium heat for 15 – 20 minutes. Remove ginger and strain. After it has cooled to room temperature, stir in lime juice.

Set aside enough lime slices for six glasses of limeade, then add remaining lime slices to a nice pitcher and pour in the limeade mix. Chill overnight, or for at least 6 hours. Before serving, add 2 cups ice cubes to the pitcher and stir. Fill six tall glasses with ice cubes and garnish each with a lime slice before adding the limeade.

Pranee’s note: 

To peel or not to peel? Peeling ginger is a personal option. I prefer to just peel off any tough skin or bruised parts. Ginger is abundant in Thailand. It is reasonably priced and I always had some at home, fresh and in the freezer.

© 2012 Pranee Khruasanit Halvorsen
I Love Thai cooking 
 Pranee teaches Thai Cooking classes in the Seattle area. Her website is: I Love Thai cooking.com .
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Discontinued Mango Black Tea Smoothie

Late in the spring last year I went to my regular smoothie place. I stood in line and when it was my turn to order I found out that my favorite mango black tea smoothie was no longer on their menu. It had been discontinued! Disappointed, a few day later I made my own version in my kitchen, just like my mom would do. There is something about food cravings and fulfillment. For food lovers, satisfying a craving is taking care of our soul.

The mango smoothie I made last year was a good one. It was right at the peak of mango season and it tasted great. I call it a Lychee Black Tea Mango Smoothie. I was ready to share the recipe with you then, but the mango season was gone before I could capture a picture of my new drink. Since the recipe depends on just three ingredients—mango, lychee black tea and honey—you’ll want to pick the freshest, best quality mangoes for your smoothie. The other key to this recipe is balancing the deep flavor of the tea with the fruity and sweet flavors of the mango and honey.

I love lychee black tea. It is fun to drink this black tea with its alluring aroma and note of sweet floral lychee. However, this tea may be difficult to find if you do not have an Asian market nearby. There are a few online sources for lychee black tea. The alternative is to use any fruity black tea that you think would work well with mango and honey. Just give it a try!

Honey, lychee black tea, and mango

A fresh honey mango or a Manila mango is ideal for this drink, though any mango will work. Let it sit in a brown paper bag until it fully ripens. (I tested this recipe late last summer with a fully ripened peach and it was amazingly good as well.) Mangoes and peaches are available frozen all year round, so you can enjoy this lychee black tea mango smoothie as often as you wish. All you have to do now is find the perfect lychee tea to add to your tea collection.

Lychee black tea, mango, and honey smoothie

Lychee Black Tea Mango Smoothie

Nahm Lynjee Chadum Mamuang Pun

น้ำลิ้นจี่ชาดำมะม่วงปั่น

I love this smoothie recipe, which came to me effortlessly. I always have lychee tea at home and a supply of honey from my friend’s garden. When mangoes are plenty and I have one that is fully ripe, I simply place all of the ingredients in a blender, blend and pour into two glasses. Cheers to double antioxidants!

Serves: 2

Yield: 3 cups

2 to 3 tablespoons lychee black tea or 2 bags black tea
1 cup boiling water
Steep for 5 to 10 minutes
2 large mangoes, peeled and sliced, about 2 cups
1 tablespoon honey
2 pinches salt
1 cup crushed ice

Steep lychee black tea in 1 cup boiling water, letting it sit for at least 5 minutes, or steep for 8 to 10 minutes to make a deep colored tea. Set tea aside to cool while peeling and cutting the mangoes.

Place cooled tea, mango, honey, salt and crushed ice in the blender. Blend until smooth. Serve right away!

I Love Thai cooking
Pranee teaches Thai Cooking classes in the Seattle area.
Her website is: I Love Thai cooking.com  

Follow Me on Pinterest

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A Cough Remedy

Honey-Lime Tea, a cough remedy

I have had this Honey-Lime Tea recipe written since last year when my son was sick and missed a week of school with a fever and annoying cough. When it comes to home remedies for coughing, my grandma’s honey-lime tea, which I have had countless times for coughs, that stands out in my memory. It was my son’s tired face on a rainy day in September 2011 that took me to the kitchen here in Seattle to prepare some. It had been a long while since I had made it, but there is nothing difficult at all about this simple three-ingredient recipe made from lime, honey and salt. All that’s needed is the right balance of salty, sweet and sour to sooth the aching and irritated throat.

kişisel resim

Honey image via Wikipedia

Lime is a great source of Vitamin C and “Honey has also been used for centuries as a treatment for sore throats and coughs and, according to recent research, may be an effective soothing agent for coughs” (from Wikipedia). The risk for honey is only in children under a year of age because of a rare occurrence of infantile botulism, otherwise it is a well-established natural cough remedy in many cultures.

Lime มะนาว - plenty of lime in Thailand

In my kitchen, with the honey, limes and salt in front of me, I recalled standing side by side with my grandma in her kitchen, watching her stirring, tasting and adjusting the sour, sweet and salty. The sour from lime would make my eyes squint, but adding enough honey to cut the sharp edge of the lime would allow my eyes to open once again with sweet delight and the mixture to comfort my sore throat. Then she would add enough salt to pronounce its existence and make the honey and lime dance together in  harmony. The warmth of the tea also soothed the sore throat. I would sip this tea slowly as if to allow each sip of honey-lime tea to absorb and sooth and melt away all the discomfort. It is not often I get a credit for my home remedies, but my son did find a tremendous comfort from this tea last year. As I tested this recipe one more time, he took part and enjoyed this tea once again, as both of us had mild colds this week. As we sipped, we both agreed that we appreciated this recipe before and now.

Honey-Lime Tea

Honey-Lime Tea

Cha Nam Pung Manao

ชามะนาวน้ำผึ้ง

Don’t judge this recipe by the amount of lime and honey. It is not a tea for daily drinking, but more of a cough remedy for those times that we need all that vitamin C from the lime and the medicinal qualities of the honey. I would recommend that you prepare it according to the recipe and taste it before making any changes or adjustments. Take a good sip and swallow it slowly to allow the warm, well-balanced tea to linger in your throat.

This tea also good for drinking warm just for pleasure, in which case I would reduce the lime juice to 4 tablespoons. I recommend using the full 6 tablespoons of lime juice for use as a cough remedy.

Serves: 1

¼ teaspoon salt plus 2 pinches
2 tablespoons honey
6 tablespoons hot water
4 to 6 tablespoons lime juice
 
Put the water on to heat then prepare the ingredients as follows.

Place salt and honey into a tea-cup and pour boiling water or warm water over it, stirring until the salt and honey dissolve. Add lime juice, stir one more time and serve. For use as a cough remedy, use the whole 6 tablespoons of lime juice and sip it slowly. For tea, use just 4 tablespoons lime juice. This is also an ideal summer drink poured over ice. 

 
© 2011 Pranee Khruasanit Halvorsen
I Love Thai cooking
Pranee teaches Thai Cooking classes in the Seattle area.
Her website is: I Love Thai cooking.com .
 
 Related articles

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Drink Me

It has been exactly a week since I returned from Thailand and I am still trying to catch up with our Seattle summer. My friends have all assured me that I didn’t miss much during the past month as we are still having the same cold weather we had in June. This July, Seattle hit the record lowest temperature for summer, so all I really need to catch up on is eating the plentiful seasonal fruits and vegetables from the local farmers markets and nearby towns.  

Hami Melon

During my first grocery shopping back here in Seattle, my cart was full with all sorts of berries. And then my eye caught on a good-looking melon that I haven’t tried: Hami melon. It is grown in California and available from mid-May to July and from September to December. I let it ripen at home for a few days and its sweet aroma was inviting me to taste it. The sweet scent reminds me of the Thai long muskmelon that I used to grow a long time ago in my organic garden in Phuket—it grew abundantly despite my lack of knowledge and farming experience.

Hami Melon

Hami melon is a type of muskmelon, a Chinese melon variety. A good one can taste sweeter and have a higher sugar content than most other varieties of melon. I decided to make a smoothie with coconut milk to duplicate Taeng Thai Kati, a famous Thai muskmelon dessert made with coconut milk, but we will drink ours instead of eating it. I kept the flavor profile and the amounts of ingredients the same as in Taeng Thai Kati, but added a generous amount of crushed ice and simple syrup to turn it into a nice cold smoothie. I used only one-third cup coconut milk in my recipe, a perfect amount to make a smoothie, a healthy summer drink. But if you are looking for a nice milkshake-like drink and dessert combo, add a scoop or two of coconut ice cream; it would taste heavenly. When a sweet flavor is needed, honey or palm sugar simple syrup are good choices to add a dimension of sweetness and aroma.

Coconut Melon Smoothie

Stock up on a few cans of coconut milk, then anytime the sweet floral scents of melon invite you, all you have to do is prepare this recipe. Hami melon is hard to resist, especially when it is combined with alluring fresh coconut milk. Drink me.

Coconut Melon Smoothie

Nam Kati Taeng Thai Smoothie

น้ำกะทิแตงไทยสมูทตี้

Serves: 2 to 4

Yield: 3 cups

16 ounces (see note) diced Hami melon, seeded, peeled and diced, or substitute honey-dew melon
⅓ cup coconut milk or coconut ice cream, more as desired
1½ cups crushed ice
2 tablespoons palm sugar simple syrup, optional (see note)
pinch of salt

Place melon, coconut milk, ice, sugar and salt in the blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a tall glass and serve right away with a straw.

Pranee’s Note

A 4-pound Hami melon (medium size), seeded, peeled and diced will yield about 2 pounds of diced melon.
 
To make palm sugar simple syrup, place a disc of palm sugar (about 4 tablespoons) and about ¼ cup water in a saucepan.
Bring to a boil and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes. Cool and chill. Keeps in the refrigerator for up to a week.   Yield: ¼ cup.
 
© 2011 Pranee Khruasanit Halvorsen  
I Love Thai cooking 
 Pranee teaches Thai Cooking classes in the Seattle area. Her website is: I Love Thai cooking.com .

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Pandanus leaf (Bai Toey), a Thai Culinary Treasure

Something about spring made me want to share my favorite cup of tea recipe with you. Maybe it is the fragrance of fresh pandanus leaf, which is like fresh green grass, or jasmine rice that makes me anticipate more spring. The long narrow leaf looks like a gladiolus leaf however pandanus belongs in the screw pine genus. It is known in Southeast Asia as Pandan. Besides using the leaf for cooking, I grow Bai Toey as a decorative plant and use it in flower arrangements. In my village in the old days, every household grew them near a damp place in their garden. If you are interested in growing Pandan as a house plant, please check with your local nursery. The scientific name for Bai Toey is Pandanus Amaryllifolius.

Pandanus Leaf-Bai Toey

Thai cooking depends on Bai Toey much like Westerners depend on vanilla. That is a simple comparison I often use when I introduce this plant in my cooking classes. But pandanus leaf has so many uses I would need many pages and recipes to show and tell you all of them. But I will try to make it short and just highlight the plant’s significant qualities. Over time I will provide recipes in upcoming posts that highlight the broad uses of Bai Toey.

Below are pictures and short descriptions of how I have used pandanus during the past four months while I was in Thailand and in my classroom and my kitchen here in Seattle.

Roses made from Pandanus leaves for worship or air freshener

Thais use pandanus leaves to make  rose flowers for worship or to use as an air freshener.

Please click the picture to see Pranee’s YouTube video and learn how to make rose flowers from pandan leaves.

Pandanus leaf cups

Thais use Pandanus leaves to make decorative containers.

Adding green color extract from pandanus leaf to pearl tapioca pudding

Thais extract the green color from Pandanus to use as food coloring in Thai desserts.

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A Perfect Thai Herbal Tea

My usual cup of tea is a light tea that I brew from a combination of pandanus leaf and jasmine tea. I grew up with this tea in a village where, in addition to the famous Thai Ice Tea, it seemed to be available everywhere,  rain or shine, in everyone’s kitchen, or to welcome guests at a big gathering. For funerals or other large  functions, this tea is brewed in large quantities, steeped in a pot that can serve up to 100 people. I love this tea both warm and cold. The fragrance and flavors of pandan leaves and jasmine tea seems to be a perfect pair – my favorite combination. Not to mention that my favorite hand lotion from Thailand is a combination of pandan leaf and jasmine—classic Thai aromatherapy. Please click here to learn more about pandan leaves and their medicinal benefits.

Pandan leaf is available fresh or frozen at Asian markets.

Jasmine Pandanus Tea

Cha Mali Toey Horm

ชามะลิใบเตย

Jasmine and pandanus is a classic fragrant infusion for Thai tea and desserts. This tea is very popular,  but it is served mostly at large group functions such as funerals. In my village it is prepared in a large pot three feet in diameter by three feet tall, ready to serve tea for the whole village. It can be served with a snack, dinner or dessert. Serve plain without sugar. The tip is don’t make the tea too strong.

1 to 2 teaspoons loose jasmine tea
1 pandanus leaves, torn lengthwise into narrow strip and tied in a bun, or folded to fit the teapot
2 cups boiling water

Place jasmine tea and pandanus leaf in a teapot. Pour boiling water over all and let it steep for 5 minutes. Serve right away.

© 2011 Pranee Khruasanit Halvorsen
I Love Thai cooking
Pranee teaches Thai Cooking classes in the Seattle area.
Her website is: I Love Thai cooking.com .
 
 

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Thai Basil Seed Drink, a Fun Summer Time Drink   

When the weather was very hot and dry in my Thai village, I used to run to the drink stand for fresh basil seed drinks with ice floating in a pink rose floral flavored drink. It made the summer day bright and special for me and all the Thai kids back then.   

We sometimes harvested our own lemon basil seeds by shaking and rubbing dry flowers over a cloth until all the seeds came out. Then we would blow out the impurities and dust before soaking seeds in water. Then we added simple syrup or honey, rose-water or flower essences and ice. It was a fun drink to make and enjoy. I loved to make this drink with friends. It was fun to see a black seed changing in water to look like a fish egg, dragon fruit or kiwi seeds like in 10 minutes.  It looks strange but it tastes so good, and has natural fiber. This jelly-like seeds can be added to Thai desserts for texture, just like you do with tapioca pearls in bubble tea drinks. It is great with toddy palm seeds and longan drink also. Similar drinks are known to all Southeast Asian countries such as Vietnam, Malaysia, India.     

Thai Basil Seed Drink -- Nam Mengluck

 

At home in Seattle, I either made this drink with simple syrup and natural flavor extract or honey. You may use  Hale’s, Torani or Grenadine syrup with your choice of  flavor and color. The hard part for you will be to find basil seeds. They comes in a small package under: Sweet Basil Seed (Med Mengluck) [Thai], and Natural Dried Basil Seed (HOT E) [Vietnam]. Good luck (Chok Dee).   

Thai Basil Seed Drink   

Nam Mengluck   

Serves: 2   

1 tablespoon basil seeds, culinary seeds only
6 tablespoons simple syrup, Grenadine, Torani or Hale’s syrup.
2 cups ice-cubes
1 cup cold water
2 basil sprigs or flowers for garnish 

Combine 1 cup water and basil seeds in a pitcher and let it sit for 15 minutes. Then stir in simple syrup, grenadine syrup or Torani, ice-cube and cold water. Pour in two-chill-tall glasses and garnish with basil sprigs or flowers. Serve cold.   

© 2010  Pranee Khruasanit Halvorsen  
 I Love Thai cooking 
 
Pranee teaches Thai Cooking class in Seattle areas, her website is: I Love Thai cooking.com

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My Milo  

Most Thai kids grow up with hot milo just like American kids do with hot chocolate. However, growing up in Thailand more than 45 years ago, daily products such as milk, butter and cheese were rare commodities. We grew up with milk powder or UHT milk and of course sweetened condensed milk. There are many ways to make this quick drink for your kids. I have modified the method my mom used to make for us, based on sweetened condensed milk and hot water, to this healthier recipe with a hint of sweetened condensed milk and 2% milk for my kid. Any Thai mom would have done the same back then based on availability and affordability.   

Milo is a chocolate malt beverage mix. It was created by Thomas Mayne, an Australian industrial chemist in 1934. It is marketed in Thailand as an energy food drink. Perhaps that why most parents serve to school children. 

 

 

My Milo

 

This morning, I made some Milo for my son. The sounds I made were not the same as the sounds from when my mom prepared one for me. I remember waiting with anticipation, hearing the sound of a teaspoon whisking around and hitting the side of the glass mug. Here in my kitchen, it was a whisk against a stainless steel sauce pan. But I knew that my son was waiting for his morning drink with an anticipation too.

My Milo Hot Milk 

Khrueng Duam Milo 

1 1/2 cups milk
3 tablespoons milo powder, plus 1/2 teaspoon for garnish
1 tablespoon sweetened condensed milk, optional

Heat milk in a medium-size sauce pan on medium heat until the steam appear, about 5 minutes. Stir in milo powder, sweetened condensed milk and whisk for 30 seconds until it well blended and foamy. Pour in a heat proof glass and garnish with 1/2 teaspoon milo powder on the top. Serve warm or cold over ice. 

© 2010  Pranee Khruasanit Halvorsen  

 I Love Thai cooking 
 
Pranee teaches Thai Cooking class in Seattle areas, her website is: I Love Thai cooking.com

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Drink for Our Complexion 

I grew up in Phuket, an Island off of Southern Thailand, where I never saw tomatoes until I was a teenager.  We learned to like tomatoes because there was a saying that it was great for our complexion. People from the Northern part of Thailand had the most beautiful complexions due to the fact that they grew and ate a lot of tomatoes. And of course at that time, tomatoes were only known in Northern cuisines such as Nam Prik Ong, Nam Prik Nom and green papaya salad. Howevery, today tomatoes are available at the markets every day in Thailand. And it is a well loved and acquired taste to all Thais.

Tomato-Celery Drink

The Europeans brought tomatoes to Thailand around the 16th century. It is true that ” tomatoes contain lycopene, a powerful antioxidant, which improves the skins ability to protect against harmful UV rays”

Now seeing fresh sweet tomatoes everywhere including from my garden and at the local farmer market. It is appropriate to blend my childhood smoothie that I used to have from Phuket Smoothie Stand.

Now that so many variety of local tomatoes available in the market, I hope that you will enjoy this recipe as much as I do. Cheers to our complexions!  

Tomato & Chinese Celery Smoothie
Nam Makruatade Punt
 

Serve: 1 

1 cup crushed ice
1 cup tomato, diced–sweet variety
1/4 cup chopped Chinese celery or any celery, plus one stem for garnish
1 tablespoon simple syrup
A pinch of  salt
A pinch of chili powder
1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce

Place ice, tomato, celery, simple syrup, salt, chili powder and Worcestershire sauce in a blender and blend until smooth. Place in a chilled-tall 12-ounce glass, garnish with a celery stem. Serve cool. 

 © 2010  Pranee Khruasanit Halvorsen
 I Love Thai cooking
 
Pranee teaches Thai Cooking class in Seattle areas, her website is: I Love Thai cooking.com

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Tamarind Drinks – All Natural Thai Drinks  

During the day, I often open a fridge and look for a drink. My eye was on tamarind concentrate – a leftover from Thai cooking class another day. I spent three minutes making a syrup. Now I have syrup ready for making a tea and soda.

Tamarind syrup is a good recipe to have. I always make one recipe to keep in refrigerator or more if I plan to freeze them. Mostly for the cocktail and soda but in the emergency situation –  it can be a cold remedy – it can be use in Phad Thai or curry. It has a hint of sweet, fruity but not as tart when add sugar. In Thai village we use tamarind and honey as a tea for a cold remedy. It is high in Vitamin C and also good for digestion.      

 

 Tamarind Syrup  

 Nam Chuem Makham

น้ำเชื่อมมะขาม 

 Yield: 3/4 cup

1/2 cup tamarind concentrate, freshly made or from the can 
1/4 cup brown sugar or honey

Combine tamarind concentrate, brown sugar and water in a pot and bring to a boil on high heat. Stir and let it cook for 2 minutes. Strain into a clean jar, when it is cool then store in the fridge for a week or keep in the freezer for 3 months.

 Tamarind-Honey Tea 

Cha Nampung Makam 

ชาน้ำผึ้งมะขาม

3 tablespoons tamarind syrup, from recipe above 

To make a tamarind tea,  combine 3 tablespoons tamarind syrup (make syrup with honey instead of brown sugar) with 5 tablespoons boiling water in a tea-cup and serve warm.

Tamarind Soda 

 Nam Kham Soda 

น้ำโซดามะขาม

 Serves: 1

 1 cup ice cube
3/4 cup sparking mineral water
3 tablespoons tamarind syrup, from recipe above
1 mint sprig

Place ice cube in a glass, follow by sparking mineral water and tamarind syrup. Stir lightly and serve. Garnish with mint sprig.  

© 2013  Pranee Khruasanit Halvorsen
I Love Thai cooking
Pranee teaches Thai Cooking classes in the Seattle area.
Her website is: I Love Thai cooking.com 
 
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Watermelon Delight 

This recipe was inspired by an I Love Thai Cooking Facebook request for a watermelon cocktail. After creating Watermelon Ice with watermelon liquere, I am excited to try to create a new cocktail. I have half of a watermelon left from the party on the Fourth of July, and I am happy mix this cocktail up. I pulled out some Melon liqueur, Lychee Liqueur and coconut vodka. I took one piece of watemelon and chewed it slowly while inhaling the melon and lychee liqueur and coconut vodka. I knew it would go together nicely. I used less melon liqueur because it is overpowering but I needed some, the lychee liqueur was a delight with sweetness and floral scents, and coconut vodka summed up the cocktail by adding a hint of coconut flavor. I ran to my garden to add some minty flavor. After the first mix, I was happy.  

Watermelon Cocktail

I like to create a cocktail recipe that I don’t need to mix one by one for friends, so in the kitchen today I blended together four cocktails based on my recipe shaking for the one created yesterday. 

I took one workshop a year at IACP conference on cocktails. It was inspring to listen to the experts talking and discussing about ideas and trends. It is a watermelon-delight- flavored cocktail for friends in the summer. 

Watermelon Cocktail

Serves: 4 

Spicy Rim 

1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 teaspoon paprika
1 lime wedge

Place salt, sugar, paprika on 6 inch-wide plate. Rub 4 martini glass with lime juice by holding lime wedge move along the rim. Hold the martini glass stem and place the rim against the salt-sugar-paprika mix and cover on the rim well with the mix. 

Cocktail 

2 cups cool diced watermelon
4 oz coconut vodka
2 oz lychee liqueur
1 oz melon liqueur
2/3 cup crushed ice
16 mint leave
4 pieces watermelon for garnish–see photos

Place watermelon, coconut vodka, lychee and melon liqueur and ice. Blend it until smooth. Add mint leave and blend for5 seconds. Pour into prepared martini glasses. Serve right away. 

 © 2010  Pranee Khruasanit Halvorsen  
 I Love Thai cooking
 
Pranee teachs Thai Cooking class in Seattle areas, her website is:  I Love Thai cooking.com

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It’s a mango day!      

A perfect crisp green mango is hard to come by in Seattle, just like getting a crisp and sunny day in the month of June. I grabbed this unique food opportunity and heightened the day by having two friends over for lunch so that we could celebrate both the sunsine and the mango. It was a beautiful day.         

Fifteen minutes before the door bell rung, I turned on the rice cooker and prepped for green mango salad. Then, I had some mangos, bananas and pineapples ready in the blender for a smoothie.  My menu was very simple, it consisted of a Thai Green Mango Salad served with Prawn and Mango Smoothie with an optional cocktail.         

When my girlfriends arrived, the conversation started flowing and I was enjoying it. After all this is the first summer that I am spending in Seattle in fifteen years without having an intensive travel plan. I asked if anyone was interested in adding Triple Sec and Tequila  for their smoothie/cocktail, and yes was the majority answer. Three minutes later, we clinked to salute our kids moving up celebration. Then I took another three minutes to prepare Thai Green Mango Salad, next we sat and ate in the warm-cold-warm sunshine.        

Summer is the ideal time for having friends over for casual lunches and catching up. I am happy to stay in town this summer regardless of the weather in Seattle.      

Thai Green Mango Salad

 

 I teach this recipe with granny smith apples, something that you can count on, so use green tart apples to substitute for green mangos when it not available. It is a great alternative. For dry shrimp, use any dry shrimp from the AsianMarket and pulse in food processor until it becomes a fine powder.     

Thai Green Mango Salad with Prawn         

Yum Mamuang Goong         

Serves: 4        

16 medium size prawns, peeled and deveined
2 tablespoons fish sauce
3 tablespoons lime juice, about 1 large lime
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon chili powder, or one fresh Thai chili, minced
2 tablespoons chopped shalot
2 cups shredded green mango, from about 1 green mango
3 tablespoons shrimp powder
1/4 cup chopped dill, mint and cilantro
2 tablespoons chopped Vietnamese mint, aka Rau Ram , optional plus one sprig for garnish
1 tomato, sliced for garnish

To cook prawn, add 3 tablespoons water with prawn in a frying pan and bring to a boil on high heat. Stir on high heat until the prawns are pink and opaque. Strain and let it cool.       

To make salad dressing, whisk fish sauce, lime juice, sugar and chili powder until sugar is dissolved. Mix in shalot, green mango, shrimp powder,cooked prawns, mixed herbs and Vietnamese mint. Mix well and serve. Garnish with sliced tomato and Vietnamese mint sprig.       

Thai Vegetarian Option: Use sea salt instead of fish sauce and ground roasted peanut instead of dry shrimp powder    

Thai Cooking for Kids: Omit chili powder in the recipe instruction. After removing kid serving portions then may add chili powder as desire for adult.    

Gluten-Free Recipe    

© 2010  Pranee Khruasanit Halvorsen  
 I Love Thai cooking
 
Pranee teachs Thai Cooking class in Seattle areas, her website is:  I Love Thai cooking.com

 

 Mango  Smoothie     

Nam Mamuang Pan       

Serves: 2       

2 cups ripe mango, peeled diced – can be fresh or frozen
1 banana, peeled and diced
1/2 cup diced pineapple–can or fresh
A pinch of salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup crushed ice
 
To make a smoothie, place mango, banana, pineapple, salt, lemon juice and crushed ice. Blend until  smooth. Serve Cold.
 
 Mango Margarita
 
 Serves: 4    

 

1/2 cup Gold Tequila
1/4 cup Tripple Sec
4 mint sprigs, for garnish

Add gold tequila and Triple sec to blender on top of the smoothie from recipe above and blend for 5 seconds, served in 4 chilled- margarita glasses and garnish with mint sprigs.       

Cheers,       

© 2010  Pranee Khruasanit Halvorsen  
 I Love Thai cooking
 
Pranee teachs Thai Cooking class in Seattle areas, her website is:  I Love Thai cooking.com   

 

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Vietnamese Coffee, Ca Phe Sua

Vietnamese Hot Coffee with Sweet Condensed Milk, Ca Phe Sua

I love Thai hot coffee with sweetened condensed milk and I also love Vietnamese coffee. Honestly I drink Vietnamese hot coffee every morning and sometimes once more before noon. I love the contrast between the bitter and the sweet of the coffee and the sweetened condensed milk. Thai coffee’s flavor is closer to Cafe Dumonde, which is made of coffee and chicory. As for Thai coffee, I don’t have it t in the morning, but I save it for special occasions such as with Thai dessert.

To make Vietnamese coffee one must have a special coffee filter like those shown in the photos whereas for Thai style you will need  fine cotton over your strainer- or you can buy one ready-made specifically for Thai coffee or Thai Tea filter.

I have  tried a few kinds of coffee from Vietnam and personally I like Trung Nguyen. It is easy to find, reasonably priced, and I like the buttery-rich flavor. Sometimes I use espresso blend that is a dark roast, rich intense, and caramelly sweet as an alternative or substitute.

Life is short, so have coffee and dessert (sweet condensed milk) first thing in the morning.

Serves: 1

1/2 to 1 tablespoon sweet condensed milk
2 tablespoons Vietnamese coffee or espresso blend dark roast coffee
2/3 cup boiling water

Pour sweet condensed milk to a coffee cup. Place Vietnamese coffee filter on top and add coffee. Place coffee insert part on top and secure before pouring boiling water on top. Cover with the lid and wait until all the water drips through.

Before you  drink the coffee, stir it lightly if you don’t like it too sweet, or strongly if you want all the sweetness.

© 2010  Pranee Khruasanit Halvorsen  
 I Love Thai cooking
 
Pranee teachs Thai Cooking class in Seattle areas, her website is:  I Love Thai cooking.com

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Drink a memory of a tropical garden in Bangkok

Lychee & Mint Smoothie

น้ำลิ้นจี่กับใบสะระแหน่ปั่น

Lychee & Mint Smoothie

Just two weeks ago I was in Bangkok at the famous Jim Thompson’s house near the National Stadium. I always enjoy taking a break at the restaurant near the lily pound. I had Lychee & Mint smoothie, a very simple refreshing drink that was just perfect for a mid-day break in the month of March when the heat can climb up to 95 degrees during the day.

To make this smoothie is as simple as putting all these ingredients in a blender: 5 Lychee fruits and ½ cup juice from a can plus ½ cup  crushed ice and ¼ cup fresh mint leaves. Add sugar to taste before blending in a blender and serve. Garnish with a mint sprig. That’s all there is to it, but don’t forget to imagine that you are looking at a beautiful old Thai house surrounded by a  beautiful garden while sipping this refreshing smoothie.

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