Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Lunch@Ging Kalpapruek

One of my all time favourite restaurants in Bangkok is Kalpapruek in Soi Pramuan, Silom Rd. However, parking in Pramuan can be quite difficult at times and the easy way to get there is catching the Metro and Sky Train. A few years ago they have branched out to Siam Paragon and they call it Ging Kalpapruek which can be translated as Kalpapruek Branch (Kalpapruek is actually a tree with beautiful flowers - or Wishing Tree in English and Cassia bakeriana Craib in Latin) . It is on the Ground Floor (more like basement).

Among my favourite dishes at Kalprapruek  is Beef Green Curry (with Bird-eye chillies) and Roti. You can buy frozen roti paratha from Asian groceries. If t they are not available in your area, make your own with this recipe. I will use half/half plain/self-rising flour and melted margarine and a bit of Canola oil with roti since I like mine a little fluffier than the traditional ones. 

Also try making green curry with beef fillets so it melts in your mouth. You can also use chicken but in my opinion it is a little too bland to go with roti. This is how I make my Green Curry with beef.

½  packet of Thai Green Curry Paste (I use Mae Ploy & Nam Jai) – if you can stand the heat, use the whole packet

250 grams of beef (fillets will be nice), cut into thin strips

150 ml of coconut milk (if coconut cream is used, reduce the amount to 100 ml and add more water -add more coconut milk if the curry is a bit too dry or if you like more curry sauce)

100 ml diluted stock

A little bit of palm sugar to taste

3-4 bird eye chillies, bruised (if they are not available just use a couple of red chillies, sliced diagonally, but the curry will not be as hot)

4-5 kaffir lime leaves torn in halves

3-4 tblsp Thai basil

80 grams round aubergines, quartered (you can use normal aubergine, cubed and cook a little bit longer but if you don’t like their bitter taste you can always use frozen peas))

Fry the paste in a little bit of cooking oil and 2-3 spoons of coconut milk in a wok on medium heat. Add little bit of coconut milk at a time until fragrant and the oil surfaces. Be patience, don’t use too high heat. This bit takes time.

Add beef and fry until it is sealed. Add kaffir lime leaves, more coconut milk and stock. The commercial curry paste is normally salty already so do not be too heavy handed with seasoning to start with. Add sugar and fish sauce if needed. 

Bring to the boil, add round aubergines, chillies and basil. Reduce the heat, cook further for a few minutes. Serve warm with roti or rice.

Note: In my grandparents’ kitchen (ages ago) we used freshly pressed coconut milk by mixing warm water into finely shredded coconut and squeezed the liquid out. The liquid from the first press is called ‘Head’ and its consistency is almost like coconut cream, the second and third press is more diluted. Liquid from the third press is called ‘Tail’ and would be used to cook the meat separately – if the meat is of tougher cuts and needs more time to be tenderised or to dilute the curry later on.

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