Essentials for a Thai Cuisine Kitchen | Recipes | Chef Sanjeev Kapoor

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Essentials for a Thai Cuisine Kitchen

In India, Thai Cuisine is slowly gaining popularity at the restaurants as well as home kitchens. Sure, our favourite family restaurant doesn’t really serve ‘authentic’ Thai cuisine, but the flavours Thai cuisine offers is nothing short of awesome. And if you’ve been wanting to make the classic Thai Red Curry or any other authentic Thai recipe, these few ingredients are a must-have in your kitchen arsenal.

Jasmine Rice

Rice is in almost every meal in a Thai household, and If there is one speciality of rice that Thai people love, it’s Jasmine Rice. This long-grain rice is known for the intoxicating aroma of Jasmine, and its white colour reminiscent of the flower. The rice is indigenous to Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, but is easily available in departmental stores these days.

Fish Sauce

Thailand is a tropical region, surrounded by sea, so it is imperative for fish to be included in their diet. And more importantly, fish sauce is commonly used in many of its dishes, even a few vegetarian dishes. It is known to give it a distinct flavour that completely sets the tone of the dish. When browsing through the supermarket, make sure that you pick Thai Fish Sauce, instead of the regular Chinese fish sauce.

Coconut Milk

Another thing that is abundantly available in tropical regions is coconut, and coconut milk plays a huge role in Thai Cuisine. The delicious Thai Curry, whether red or green cannot be made without the inclusion of Coconut milk. It not only makes the curry rich but also gives it a distinct taste. Apart from the curry, Coconut milk is used in many other Thai dishes too, so always keep it handy.

Palm Sugar

This sugar is particularly used for making curries, dishes and sweets too. Even though this might look similar to brown sugar, both have considerably different sweetness flavours, and cannot be truly substituted. It also helps in balancing out other strong spices while adding a subtle contrast overall.

Fresh Herbs- Lemongrass, Cilantro, Thai Basil

Thai cuisine is full of aromas and flavours. It goes without saying that herbs play an important role in executing an authentic Thai dish. Thai recipes revolve around a selection of herbs, like lemongrass, Thai basil leaf Cilantro root etc.

Tamarind paste

Thai cuisine is known to be pungent and tangy sometimes, and that delicious tanginess comes from various sources, one of them being fresh Tamarind. Tamarind paste is easily available in departmental stores across the nation. You can also make your own by soaking fresh tamarind in warm water.


Galangal or Thai Ginger is something truly out of the ordinary. When you first look-up galangal, it’ll look something like a crossover between Turmeric and Ginger. Galangal is exactly that. It is as chunky and big as ginger, and orange on the inside. It is harder than ginger and is commonly used in Thai, Malaysian and Indonesian cooking. It’s strong in flavour with an earthy, sharp, and extra citrusy taste.

Bird’s Eye Chillies

We’ve saved the best for the last. Thai cuisine is known for its spice quotient, and all that delicious spiciness comes from these- Bird’s eye Chillies. Definitely not for the faint-of-heart, This is one of the spiciest kinds of chilli found in Thailand and lends a distinct taste to the curries, soups etc.

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MasterChef Sanjeev Kapoor

Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine. He is Chef extraordinaire, runs a successful TV Channel FoodFood, hosted Khana Khazana cookery show on television for more than 17 years, author of 150+ best selling cookbooks, restaurateur and winner of several culinary awards. He is living his dream of making Indian cuisine the number one in the world and empowering women through power of cooking to become self sufficient. His recipe portal is a complete cookery manual with a compendium of more than 10,000 tried & tested recipes, videos, articles, tips & trivia and a wealth of information on the art and craft of cooking in both English and Hindi.