Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Journey From Bong to Thai :)

Once the crazy hormones have subsided, life can be calm and serene once again. After having fought with A for no reason at all on Friday night (I was PMSing hardcore...he wanted to come over...I wanted to meet him but at the same time didn' he ended up getting thoroughly confused & pissed off by my erratic behavior, and we ended up having a big fight), I decided to make it up to him by cooking him dinner last night. For company, I asked my sister & brother-in-law to join us.

I was initially planning to cook Bong food for the lot...rice, kosha mangsho & eelish (was borrowing a recipe from The Knife)...but my sister vetoed it. In fact, she vetoed anything Indian. My other options were Chinese, Thai & Italian.

Now, Chinese food, I think, is best left to restaurants. Home-cooked Chinese just doesn't taste as good, maybe because we don't add the fatal ajino moto to it when we cook it at home! So I turned to my ever favorite pasta, which was shot down by both A & my brother-in-law, at the last minute (hmpfff...shouldn't men just be thankful they're getting cooked food magically on their plates)?

Then a friend & her boyfriend called & asked if they could come over. I suggested they stay back for dinner.

With just a couple of hours to go for dinner and an undecided menu, the panic button was pressed. After a quick inspection of my fridge, my sister, who's an expert at damage control of any kind (I stand & hyperventilate while she goes about finding a solution to the problem/crisis at hand), spotted Thai green curry paste, fish sauce & soy sauce, and came up with the idea of making Thai green curry with chicken & Thai fried rice.

While I made a mad dash to the grocery store to buy boneless chicken, she went about boiling the rice & chopping the ingredients. She had also brought along a caramel pudding mix (I would suggest not bothering with the mix, it has too much sweetener & vanilla essence in's much better to make caramel pudding from scratch at home, though it's painful). We quickly ordered a couple of starters from a nearby Chinese restaurants.

What we ended up with were two decent starters - crispy fried lamb & red chilly pepper fish, a good Thai green curry (though it was more white than green courtesy all those cans of coconut milk) & a disaster of a Thai fried rice.

You see, neither my sister nor I have quite mastered the art of cooking rice, so we have pretty much resigned to the fact that our rice will always be limp, sticky & more like 'mashed' rice. The caramel pudding too was a mild disaster. We tried making it with skim milk (mistake # 1 - the mixture became too thin in consistency), added too much of it, and tried to do damage control by adding some custard powder to it (mistake # 2 - the mix became lumpy).

Over dinner, we pretended every dish was made from scratch and no readymade mixes were used, but men who stay/spend a lot of time with women who can't cook know better, and our bluff was called! That's when I decided to drop the bomb and said I should've just stuck to my original plan of cooking Bong food. I heard a collective scream of "NO!" go up. You see, all three men at the party were Bongs :)


The knife said...

hey congrats for cooking for so many people and at such short notice. Am proud of you.

Bongs in Cal would like to avoid Bong food. I would have. Then.

Actually one can make quite a good hakka noodles at home. I made it without ajino moto witch chicken franks the other night.

And chilly chciken is easy - fry onions, chillies, chopped garlic, bung in chicken, soy sauce, salt, vinegar and 1/2 a tea spoon of ajino (lot less than restaurants), pepper powder and chopped capsicum

Don't bother about the rice. Rice in thailand tend to be sticky. they serve plain, steamed rice, with curry

Scarlett said...

@The Knife - Thank you :)

The issue with Bongs being in the house was that they get to eat such good Bong food at their respective homes, they didn't want me, a non-cook, experimenting with Bong food! They were pretty sure it would've been a disaster! LOL :)
BTW, I differ on the "Bongs wanting to avoid Bong food bit". There are SO MANY Bongs I know - at work & outside - who go to Bong restaurants for lunch/dinner all the time!

We had originally planned to serve steamed rice with our green curry but looking at the rice we cooked, we were forced to change our mind :)

The knife said...

That's interesting. Hardly anyone wanted Bong food when I was there. I guess the plethora of bong restaurants which have opened is testimony to what you are saying.

Try draining the rice and making it the way you would with pasta or noodles...very simple

Scarlett said...

@The Knife - Yeah, will do that. Till now I've been following my mum's technique of adding exactly twice the amount of water as rice. The rice will soak up all the water & there would be no need to drain. She somehow manages to do it perfectly that way, I can't :(

The knife said...

here's the clincher...draining the rice means that all the fatty starch is gone

Moonshine said...

Thats quite a lot of people you had over!!!! Very impressive!!!

Rice cooker is easy.. while i have never tried any pulavs or stuff in a cooker.. apparently it works quite fine!!!

Scarlett said...

Anyone know how to make rice in a microwave? As in, proportions etc.