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Thai Ingredients
February 27, 2006 55,461 View Author : Horapa Rate :
 Gratiem (Garlic)

Use : Almost all Thai dishes - soups, curries, salads, sauces and pan-fried dishes – contain garlic.

Medicinal Properties : Cures and prevents atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, aids digestion, relieves cold symptoms, fights some intestinal parasites, helps heal wounds, fights infections, strengthens heart, and clears chest congestion.

Method of Preparation : Garlic is ground in curry paste, crushed in salad dressings, or chopped and fried before adding to other ingredients in pan fried dishes.

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Hua Hom (Shallots)

Use : Shallots are ingredients of all kinds of curry pastes, hot sauces and salads.

Medicinal Properties : Aids digestion, relieves cold symptoms, increases appetite, and regulates menstruation.

Method of Preparation : Ground in curry pastes or sauces, cut up finely in salads and pan-fried dishes.

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Gaprao (Ocimum sanctum red, or white basil, or holy basil)

Use : Gaprao is used in Pad Gaprao (fried meat with fresh chili pepper, garlic and gaprao), Gang Pa, Gang Kae, and Tom Jew.

Medicinal Properties : Relieves flatulence and indigestion, helps release phlegm, and increases milik supply for breastfeeding mothers.

Method of Preparation:
1. Add fresh gaprao to fried ingredients just before removing from the pan. The heated gaprao will add the flavor to the dishes.

2. Deep fry gaprao until crispy and add to the dishes as garnish.

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Horapa (Sweet Basil)

Sweet basil has a strong exotic scent.

Use : All kinds of Thai curries and some pan fried dishes, i.e. fried long egg plant, shellfish dishes; contain Horapa. Horapa can be used fresh in salads and as an accompanying vegetable for regional dishes.

Medicinal Properties : Aids digestion, increases perspiration, relieves coughing, fights parasites of the digestive tract, relieves constipation, and cures scurvy.

Method of Preparation : Add to the cooked dishes just before removing from the heat. Horapa provides full fragrance while heated but not overcooked.

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Mangrak (ocimum canum, Hoaru Basil)

Use : Gang Liang (spicy vegetable soup) and regional clear vegetable soup contain Mangrak leaves. This kind of basil can be used fresh to accompany Thai hot sauces : Namya, Namprik.

Medicinal Properties : Mangrak leaves aid digestion, increase perspiration, relieve coughing, and cure scurvy. Mangrak seeds relieve constipation and promote body weight reduction.

Method of Preparation : Mangrak is best while fresh. It is should be added last as ingredient to the soup just before removing from the heat.

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Khing (Ginger)

Medicinal Properties : Aids digestion, helps release phlegm, relieves stomachache and nausea, increases perspiration, dilates capillaries, helps cold and sore throats and poor circulation, soothes minor burns, and cures wounds.

Use : In pan-fried chicken with ginger

Method of Preparation : Finely shredded ginger is added after the chicken is cooked and seasoned. The cooked ginger will give off its flavour and its hot taste will be milder.

Use : In Tomson Pla Too (sweet and spicy mackerel soup). Shredded ginger is an essential ingredient of a tomsom. The ginger covers up the smell of fish with its pleasant taste and smell. The sweetness of the liquid will be less noticeable under the ginger taste.

Method of Preparation : The ginger should be added after the fish and the soup come to a boil to bring out the ginger flavor.

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Takrai (Lemon grass)

Use : Lemon grass is an essential ingredient of a Tomyam, a popular Thai dish served in most restaurants around the world. It gives a pleasant flavor and covers up the fish and shrimp smells.

Medicinal Properties : Aids digestion, relieves stomach pain, increases urine production, and relieves gall stone problems and high blood pressure.

Method of Preparation : Add the lemon grass to the boiling water. If the water is not yet boiled, the lemon grass will retain the purplish pink color in lime water. The lemongrass should be cut into bit-size pieces for easy eating.

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Kha On (Young Galangal Root)

Use : Tomkha Gai can be literally translated to boiled Chicken with Galangal. The galangal gives a pleasant flavor, covers up the natural chicken smell and nullifies the fatty taste of the coconut milk. It is an essential ingredient of this delicious and popular dish.

Medicinal Properties : Relieves skin rash, diarrhea, indigestion and body pain due to crash and fall.

Method of Preparation : Scrape off the outer skin of the young galangal root, cut into thin slices and soak in lime water to prevent the brown discoloration. The acidity of lime helps retain the natural whitish pink color of galangal pieces. The galangal should be added to the boiling coconut milk to bring out full odors. The taste of the dish will be greatly improved when the galangal pieces are bitten.

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Kha (Mature Galangal)

Use : Beef and chicken Tom Yams need mature galangal roots to improve the flavor of the beef and chicken. The dishes will have a better aroma and taste.

Method of Preparation : Slice the galangal into thin strips. Add to a boiling soup stock before adding the beef or chicken for best result.

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Prik Kee Noo (Fresh hot Chili Peppers)

Use : Hot chili peppers give the uniquely hot taste and aroma of Thai cooking. It is the star ingredient of most dishes. Almost every dish will taste better with a small addition of these tiny hot chili peppers. Tom Yam and Tom Kha cannot be made without them.

Medicinal Properties : Relieves diarrhea, stimulates digestion and the heat, increases blood flow to taste buds and thus increases appetite, relieves infection, dissolves blood clod, and prevents intestinal cancer.

Method of Preparation : The fresh hot chili peppers must be crushed and added last into the Tomyam and Tomka. For best results, all other ingredients should be cooked before fresh chili peppers are added to the dishes.

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Bai Pak Shee (Coriander Leaves)

Use : Tom Yam, Tomkha, soups and salads require coriander leaves as flavorful and colorful garnish.

Medicinal Properties : Aids digestion, prevents constipation, cures scurry, pellagra and beriberi, increases appetite, and relieves cold symptoms.

Method of Preparation : Coriander leaves taste best while fresh. It should be added last when the food is ready to serve.

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Rak Pak Shee (Coriander Roots)

Use : Coriander root is an important ingredient in soup and curry mixtures. It is also used in stewing soup stocks and most meat dishes.

Medicinal Properties : Aids digestion, prevents constipation, cures scurry, pellagra and beriberi, increases appetite, and relieves cold symptoms.

Method of Preparation : Add the crushed of ground coriander roots into boiling water for best aroma.

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Bai Magrood (Kaffir Lime, Leech Lime or Bitter Orange Leaves)

Use : Tom Yam, Tamkha, and all kinds of Thai curry contain kaffir lime leaves

Medicinal Properties : Aids digestion and relieves stomachache.

Method of Preparation : The leaves must be torn or shredded to let out the aroma. The torn or shredded bai makrood should be added last to the cooked ingredients.

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Nam Makham Piak (Tamarind Juice)

Use : Tamarind paste can be used in place of lime juice. It is an essential ingredient of Kaeng Khua, Tom Khlong and some spicy salad, which require sweet and sour flavours. It lends a beautiful colour to Tom Khlong.

Medicinal Properties : Prevents and relieves constipation, relieves cold symptoms i.e. coughing, runny nose, and sore throat, and relieves indigestion, loss of appetite and tastelessness.

Method of Preparation : To make tamarind juice, mix dried and peeled tamarind with warm water. Add the tamarind juice while the broth is boiling after all ingredients are cooked.

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Jeera (Caraway or Cumin)

Both Caraway and Cumin give slightly sweet tastes and similar aromas, but the seeds of Caraway are bigger in size while Cumin has better and stronger adors and is spicier.

Use : Add to curry paste and meat dishes such as Satay, roasted chicken, roasted beef, soup, sausages and ham as well as pickles, preserved fruit, cake, cookies and biscuits. Jeera is also used in salad cream and soup in certain countries. American mixed spices called “ Chilli Seasoning ” also contain Jeera.

Medicinal Properties : Stimulant, antispasmodic, carminative Relieves diabetes, constipation, indigestion, nausea, fatigue and insomnia.

Method of Preparation : Jeera must be crisp fried before being used as ingredient.

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Krawan (Cardamom)

Cardamom is in a lotus flower-like small round shape and white color with soft shells. Cardamom seeds are black, have good aroma like lemon and taste little spicy and bitter sweet. Cardamom leaves look like Kaew or Orange Jasmine leaves. Dried cardamom leaves are brown.

Use : Krawan (Cardamom) is an important ingredient of several Thai dishes such as Masaman and beef curry. Grounded cardamom is used in certain kinds of pastries and cake or added to hot beverages in some countries.

Medicinal Properties: Relieves dyspepsia, nausea, loss of taste, indigestion, bad breath of Halitosis, hoarseness, Pharyngitis and sore throat, cough and cold, phlegmatic cough, diarrhea, dysentry and exhaustion.

Method of Preparation : Cardamom should be roasted before use.

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Lukchan (Nutmeg) Dokchan (Mace)

Nutmeg is not a nut, but the kernel of an apricot-like fruit. Mace is an arillus, a thin leathery tissue between the stone and the pulp; it is bright red to purple when harvested, but after drying changes to a amber.

Use : Nutmeg must be roasted and grounded before use in several kinds of food such as beef curry, beef soup, some western egg and fish dishes, and in wine, hot and cold beverages and some desserts like cookies, custard, pastries and bread. Mace, which should be grounded first, is used in main dishes, desserts and beverages such as cocoa and chocolate.

Medicinal Properties : The tonic principle is Myristicin. Oil of Nutmeg is used to conceal the taste of various drugs and as a local stimulant to the gastro-intestinal tract. Powdered nutmeg is rarely given alone, though it enters into the composition of a number of medicines. The expressed oil is sometimes used externally as a gentle stimulant, and it was once an ingredient of the Emplastrum picis. The properties of mace are identical to those of the nutmeg. Dose, 5 to 20 grains.

Both nutmeg and mace are used for flatulence and to correct the nausea arising from other drugs, also to allay nausea and vomiting. Nutmeg is an agreeable addition to drinks for convalescents. Grated nutmeg mixed with lard makes an excellent ointment for piles.

Method of Preparation : Nutmeg must be roasted before use for good aroma. For some dishes, it must be roasted and grounded before use.

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Kanphlu (Cloves) look like nails and have good aroma 

Use : Roasted cloves with sweet aroma and spicy taste, either as grounded cloves or whole cloves are used in several kinds of Thai soup (Kaeng), desserts and beverages. They can also used as garnish. In Indonesia, cloves are mixed with tobacco in the tobacco industry.

Medicinal Properties: Antiseptic. Helps flatulence and indigestion, relieves muscular cramps, cholera, nausea, gum and teeth ailments, headache, heaviness in head due to cough and cold, throat irritaion due to cough, and bronchial afflictions.

Method of Preparation : Cloves must be roasted before use for good aroma.

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Obchoey (Cinnamon or Cassia)

Cinnamon is the dried bark of various laurel trees in the cinnamomun family.

Use : Cinnamon can be used as spice both in main dishes and desserts.

Medicinal Properties: Stimulant. Helps reduce vomiting and flatulence, relieves diarrhea, bad breath, loss of taste sensitivity in the tongue, hoarseness, Pharyngitis, sore throat, headache caused by exposure to cold air, cough, acne, blackheads and pimples and insomnia, improves complexion, and betters memory.

Method of Preparation : Cinnamon must be roasted or grilled before use for sweet and tender aroma. It can be used either as whole sticks or as ground spice.

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Poeykak (Aniseed)

Poeykak (Aniseed) is a star-shaped flower with seed inside. It has tender good aroma.

Use: Aniseed can be used both as wholes and as ground spice in main dishes and disserts.

Medicinal Properties : Aids digestion, helps body dispose of toxins, and increases perspiration.

Method of Preparation : Aniseed must be crisp fried before use for good aroma.

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Luk Phakshee (Coriander Seeds)

Luk Phakshee (Coriander Seeds) Coriander seeds are small and white or pale brown and taste fizzy like licorice. Coriander leaves smell and taste better.

Use : Stir-fried coriander powder is used as spice in clear soup, curries, stew, duck, chicken, pork and goose dishes, or added to apple pies, custard, fruit salad, cream and even in gin.

Medicinal Properties: Relieves swellings, high cholesterol, diarrhea, mouth ulcers, anaemia and kidney problems.

Method of Preparation : Coriander seeds should be crisp fried and ground for more durable aroma while coriander roots and leaves should be eaten fresh or added in food.

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Kha-Min (Turmeric, Cucurmin )

Use: Turmeric (KHA-MIN) are bright orange roots used for the coloring in yellow curries and several oriental-styled dishes such as Ngob Pla, Ngob Kung, Kgob Moo, Kaeng Som and Kaeng Luang. White turmeric, a different type, is used as a raw vegetable and resembles ginger.

Medicinal Properties: Relieves flatulence, indigestion, and muscle strain, regulates menstruation, relieves common cold, blocked nose, dry cough, sore throat, acne, wounds, boils, tropical skin diseases, cracks in the soles, itching and sole infection.

Method of Preparation: Turmeric should be added to food in the form of powder.

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Prik Thai (Cayenne or Red Pepper)

Use: Used as ingredient in Kaeng Liang, red curry and Kaeng Pa paste. Used as garnish In many dishes, soup and boiled rice.

Medicinal Properties: Helps constipations, flatulence and nausea.

Method of Preparation: Fresh pepper is added to Kaeng Pa paste while dried pepper is added to Kaeng Liang and red curry paste. Grounded pepper can be used on top of main dishes to better aroma.

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Nam Manao (Lime Juice)

Use : as ingredient in Yam, Tom Yam and Kaeng Som and also as beverage.

Medicinal Properties: Relieves coughs, sore throat, swollen gum, tooth bleeding, constipation, dizziness, the lack of Vitamin C, and phlegm.

Method of Preparation: Squeeze limes for lime juice and add lime juice to food as desired.

Source :: ThaiTaste.org 

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