Khao Soi – Found In Burma And Thailand But Dished Up In Style At Nana Chowk!

This is a whole new year and a whole new me. I’ve really surprised myself. We’re 3 weeks into the new year and I find myself doing things I wouldn’t have given a second thought before. My diet and quest for good health is in full bloom, I’ve taken up kickboxing which is shocking because I actually abhor any form of exercise and now I’m willingly paying someone to come home and kick my ass into shape. I find myself generally happier and much calmer than usual and while this is all refreshing the most shocking change so far has been my eagerness and willingness to get my hands dirty and enter the kitchen.
 
If you know me then you’re probably as shocked as I am because I do not enjoy cooking. I never have because maybe I didn’t give it a chance. Thanks to my diet plan I find myself looking for meals that work for me. However I have suddenly found great joy in feeding people. I think that is the motivation I needed and now I’m ready to go. I made a chicken and a mushroom recipe which I shall post later but my third attempt was a Khao suey which is something I enjoy and really wanted to make. It took me ages to get a recipe I was comfortable with and I use the one generously given to me by Tes a food blogger I know from Pune . Actually I think all her stuff is great and will attempt them but for now this is my version ( slightly altered because the first time I tried it I didn’t have a few ingredients) of Tes’s awesome khao Soi recipe 🙂 I tried both a chicken and vegetarian version of this recipe and have documented both however the pictures are only from the veg recipe because the first time around I was too busy getting it write and forgot to take pictures!
 
CHICKEN KHAO SOI/VEGETABLE KHAO SOI
Ingredients -( Serves 6)
1 kg chicken ( In case of vegetarian you can add mushroom baby corn pakchoy and broccoli )
500grams egg noodle
1 cup vegetable oil
3 cups of coconut milk
For Curry Paste –
6-8 dried red chillies – Deseeded and soaked
10 cloves garlic
10 shallots  or 3 onions
1 tsp turmeric powder
Kaffir lime
2 Tbsp chopped Galangal ( Thai Ginger)
2 Tbsp palm sugar
1 Tbsp Thai yellow curry powder
3 Tbsp fish sauce
2 cups water
2 Tbsp chicken stock
For Garnish –
3 onion fried
10 cloves garlic fried
Chopped coriander
Chopped spring onion
Chili flakes
Roasted peanuts
 
Method –
For Garnish
Fry the onions and garlic separately. Chop the eggs, coriander and spring onions separately.
For Noodles – Cook as per instructions on the packet.
For Curry
1. Add the turmeric, onion, garlic, red chilies and galangal into a food processor and grind until its smooth.

2. In a medium saucepan or vessel heat 1 cup of coconut milk till it boils. Add the paste and cook till it’s aromatic and a little oil starts to surface. Add the yellow curry powder in a little water and add it to this mixture. Cook for about 2- 3 minutes.

3. Add the chicken and stir fry till the chicken turns slightly white outside.
If you’re making a vegetarian version then at this stage I would add the baby corn, Kaffir lime and Thai baby brinjal.

4. Add another cup of coconut milk and 2 cups of water, palm sugar and fish sauce. Add the chicken stock and bring it to boil and then simmer for 30 – 45 minutes. You can add a little water if the mixture becomes too dry too fast and check the seasoning. If you haven’t added the Thai baby brinjal and kaffir lime then you can add it now.
If it’s a vegetarian version then at this stage I would add the broccoli and mushroom and along with the rest ( coconut milk, sugar, fish sauce etc) and continue cooking. I would add the pakchoy a little later as it cooks very fast and then wilts.
 
5. When the chicken is done add the rest of the coconut milk and cook further till the curry is about to boil and turn off the heat. The curry should be thick and smooth. Check seasoning and add more fish sauce or sugar if needed.


 
Notes –
 
The first time I made this recipe I used chicken but I didn’t have galangal and used normal ginger and didn’t add the kaffir lime or the baby brinjal. That’s absolutely fine it won’t be traditional Thai flavours but it’s still a great chicken curry.
 
I didn’t have palm sugar at any point,the chicken and veg version both have normal sugar, that’s also no problem.
 
I have yet to find Thai yellow curry powder. Every shop has a ready Thai curry paste which is easy and convenient but I’m old school and like to grind my masalas. So because of no Thai powder I just used our normal Indian red curry powder and it tastes fine. Adds a bit of heat but the real Thai flavours come from the galangal and the genius that is kaffir lime.
 
When I made the chicken curry I used homemade chicken stock but you can use those maggie cubes. While making the vegetarian version I didn’t have to put any stock but I think it gives a great flavour so I added Beef stock to it. We regularly make and store fresh beef and chicken stock which I think enhances any dish.

This recipe doesn’t have salt in it because the fish sauce contains enough salt, however if you’re making the veg version and avoiding the fish sauce or you feel it needs salt please add it according to your taste.
 
Traditionally this is eaten with noodles and all the garnish and you make it in your bowl but I find this curry by its self is great if eaten with rice as well. Of course a different flavour entirely but equally satisfying.
 
I would suggest you make your garnish first and keep it aside. That means fry the onions garlic and chop the other condiments and keep it on the side. Then make the curry and towards the end make the noodles so you can serve it fresh and the noodles don’t get cold and congealed by the time you sit to eat.