Tuesday, March 31, 2009

It's a vegan world - Thai

Dear Foodies,

Update: Find the round-up of recipes from this event Here and Here!

Whenever I've participated in food blog events or see others enthusiastically host one at their blogs, I watch woefully. I long to host one, but could never muster up the courage to seek out an event to do it. I was too chicken for it :D But while sending my entry to the Italian edition of IAVW, I added an extra line to my email, offering to host the event if needed. A few weeks later, I was pleasantly surprised to see Vaishali's reply, inquiring if I was ready to take up the offer! Yes! Oh yes! So here it is, Vaishali's brainchild 'It's a Vegan World' is moving out of its home and coming to stay with me all this month. It's a first for me and this blog in hosting an event. I am feeling really nervous and I need all the help I can get, from you :) I've already been having nightmares about having an empty mail box at the end of the month :(

Most of you might already know Vaishali, she hosts a wonderful blog called Holy Cow!. She has a way with words and I enjoy reading her posts. Her love for animals is more than evident from the stories she shares with us about her adorable pets. By extending that love towards her food options, she chose to be vegan and treats us to tonnes of delicious vegan food at her blog. 'It's a Vegan World' is an event she created to celebrate the cuisines of the world, vegan style! We've traveled to beautiful Italy and enchanting Mexico over the last two months. Now pack your bags again, because we are heading a little further, to Asia, and will land at the exotic Kingdom of Thailand! I invite all of you to join me on this wonderful tour, introducing - 'It's a Vegan World - Thai'

Thailand is an independent country nestled in the heart of Southeast Asia. It's cuisine is popular the world over and is widely known to be hot and spicy, and for having a perfect balance of the five basic flavors - hot, sour, sweet, salty and bitter - in all its dishes. The cuisine makes use of fresh ingredients like galangal, lemongrass, lime, chilli, garlic, coriander leaf and coconut, that are locally grown in this tropical wonderland. As is seen in many Asian countries, rice is a staple food and forms an essential part of most Thai meals. The popular, sweet smelling Jasmine rice is indigenous to Thailand along with 5000 more varieties of rice which are preserved in a rice gene bank to treasure them forever. With its fiery and flavorful dishes, use of exotic & familiar ingredients, Thai cuisine easily finds its way into the hearts of most food lovers.

Thailand's official name was Siam until June 23, 1939. It is interesting to note that the name was derived from the Sanskrit word 'Syâma (श्याम, meaning "dark" or "brown"), a word also used to describe Lord Krishna. Here are a few stats pertaining to the country - its the world's 51st-largest country in terms of total area, roughly equal in size to Spain, and the 20th most-populous country, with approximately 63 million people! Thailand is also one of the most devoutly Buddhist countries in the world. It's one of the only Southeast Asian countries never to be colonized by the Europeans (more info...; Image source)

Thai cuisine, like most cuisines of the world has been influenced by its neighbors. The cultures and traditions in Thailand are significantly influenced by those of India, China and other western countries. You will notice many Indian spices and flavors as part of a Thai curry, but its almost impossible to confuse one with the other. The addition of local spices and ingredients like Thai holy basil, lemongrass, and galangal (Thai ginger) give it a completely distinct identity. Other countries near Thailand, such as Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Burma, and Malaysia have also pitched in their flavors, creating a very unique and complex blend of spices that we have come to love in Thai food. (more info...)

The other wonderful thing about Thai cuisine is that, it is easily adaptable to vegetarian/vegan food choices. Thai curries usually are bursting with colors from the variety of vegetables and herbs used in them. With Spring creeping up in most parts of the world, its also a perfect excuse to enjoy fresh, local produce. Tofu, which is a food of Chinese origin, is an essential source of protein in a Buddhist's vegetarian diet. With the rise of the religion in Thailand, tofu found varied use in its cuisine. The use of dairy products in most dishes is also limited. With its inherent use of coconut milk and the very versatile tofu in most dishes, makes it easy to veganize a Thai dish.

So are you ready to join me on this culinary tour of Thailand ?
It's a Vegan World - Thai
A few guidelines for participation: Deadline for submissions is April 30th, 2009
  • Make sure your dish is vegan, that means no meat or meat products like -honey, eggs, gelatin; no seafood, no dairy products like - cheese/ghee/milk/yogurt/butter - to name a few. You can surely use vegan meat or cheese substitutes.
  • I would prefer if you could cook specifically for this event :-)
  • Link back to this page & Vaishali's event announcement page.
  • Feel free to use the event logo on your blog/post to spread the word.
  • Bloggers, send your entries to akshayapaatram at gmail dot com, using the subject line 'IAVW-Thai'
  • For the Thai food lovers who don't have a blog, go ahead, cook up a storm and send me the recipe along with the pictures to the above email. I will post them here with due credits before the round-up.
Also include in your email
  • Your name:
  • Blog name:
  • Name of the dish:
  • Post permalink:
Since its my first time, I still have not decided the format for the round-up. So I don't have any specifications for the photographs, I will take them from your blog when needed (with your permission) If you have any questions related to this, do email me :)
Here are a few websites to help you get started - Vegan Thai food, Popular thai dishes. The Jugalbandits have recipes for vegan curry pastes and a glossary, here; I also found some on Sia's blog and at Pel's. Check if your local library has this book or this one. Ready made vegan curry pastes sold by this brand are widely available. You will find tonnes of recipes on food blogs and other online sources. I, along with you, will be cooking up Thai dishes all this month and sharing more about the exotic land in the coming weeks. Happy cooking and I hope to see all you in a month's time, at the round-up. (fingers crossed)

43 thoughts:

amna said...

that picture is brilliant!! :)

Sonia said...

my my...wht a mind blowing pic Priya and ur template looks so good and refreshing. :)

veggie belly said...

youre not going to have an empty mailbox, not with a thai theme!

Priya said...

Nags, thank you! and what timing, your comment came in within seconds of my posting it :)

Sonu, gal you are quick! I went all out and changed the template to match the theme, hehe :D I am banking on a entry from you!

Sala, I sure hope so :D, thank you for the confidence boost :)

Sonia said...

and u r super quick gal...hehe:) an entry from me...???

Sonia said...

just check out ur inbox pls.

Nirmala said...

I am actually drooling over some of the Thai curries I have seen in Sia's and Jai and Bee's. So count me in ;)

bee said...

we have something for ya. will post it later this week.

Coin genius said...

I was longing to try my hands on Thai Cuisine..hope this event will fulfill it. Event Announcement was so clear and usefull, and i love the Picture/Logo.

karuna said...

love the picture. its so fresh. wht shld i say abt thai food. I can have it may be three times or more a week. love the food. lets see if that love, makes me cook something for the event.I am hopefull

sunita said...

Beautiful picture Priya :-)

Sia said...

gorgeous pic and lovely theme :)

Alka said...

Honestly speaking i don't know whether i will be able to send you an entry (i am hell bound up with crazy stuff) but be sure tht the round up will be bookmarked by me to try out Thai food.I am really in awe of the bursting flavors of herbs and ingredients used in that cuisine,though till date i haven't ever tasted anything Thai.But Pad chai and some glorious soups are on my mind from long
And did i mentioned what a lovely logo it is...undoubtedly one of the best looking logos around :-)

Asha said...

Cool! Love Thai food, will send you something! :)

Pavani said...

Great theme for IVAW Priya.. How much do you want to bet that you're mailbox is going to be overflowing with entries. Happy Hosting and I'm sure you are going are going to do great.

Priya Suresh said...

Lovely cuisine, that a gorgeous logo..count me in!

suvi said...

Think this is my first time here...we love thai food, will post something soon!!

Priya said...

Sonu, yes, from you :D

Nirmala, yayy! thai dishes do have that effect on ppl :)

Bee, will be waiting :) I'm going to trying out the curry paste recipes from your blog this weekend.

Lavi, I am glad you liked it, thank you :) I found a lot of interesting tidbits on the web, and had to stop myself from making the post lengthy. Will share more in the coming posts. I hope you get to try out all the yummy curries :)

Karuna, thank you and ditto about eating it 2-3 times a week. Making them at home is very simple, give it a try and you will surely end up liking it even more.

Sunita, thank you :-) I fell in love with it and added it to the header too :D

Priya said...

Sia, thank you :)Your recipes are going to be really helpful

Alka, thank you sooo much! I spent hours over the weekend trying to finalize the logo :D I hope you miraculously find time to cook something this month, but even otherwise do try it out soon. I am sure you will love it.

Asha, I can't wait to see feast you will cook for us :)

Pavani, going by the comments, I might end up with a few entries after all ;-)

Priya, thank you. I am already counting you in for more than one :)

Aquadaze, Welcome! I'll look forward to your entry :)

Soma said...

That picture is one of the prettiest of yours.
Don't worry, U WILL NOT have an empty mail box:-) I never cook Thai, only becoz whenever went to a restaurant i get entirely put off with the fish sauce smell.. but I will make this the start of my making it at home:-)

Unknown said...

Very beautiful pics, all Thailand is captured in that one shot. Love love their curry pastes.

Nandini Vishwanath said...

Priya! :) Come back to Atlanta, I say!

I heard you know Rads. The world is way too small eh?

Vaishali said...

Priya, the blog looks beautiful! Am looking forward to cooking lots of Thai food this month, and can't wait to see what everyone else cooks up.

Manasi said...

Beautiful picture! Loved it, I do hope I will be able to contribute!

Red Chillies said...

Beautiful picture, Priya. I am here after a long time. All I have been doing is staring at that beautiful picture.

Vishali said...

wow what a wonderful capture!...

never made Thai before but will definetly try to do something for this event....;)

Manju said...

count me in!! and that picture is awesome!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Priya,

Thanks fr the lovely comments on my blogsite. Please do add me on to your blogroll. Also let me know what is the amazing camera that clicked hte pic of the sauces and the basil and everything else...Lovely!!!!


KonkaniBlogger said...

Love thai food, but never attempted to cook. Will check out the links you have given.

Miri said...

Great! I have just cooked up a Thai meal and will be posting the recipes this month - so just in time for this event :)


Unknown said...

Happy Hosting!!Lovely choice!

Priya said...

Soma, same case with me, you never know what goes into the dish at the restaurant. Making them at home is really easy. And if you are using store bought curry pastes, its much simpler. I am really happy with the way this photo turned out too :)

Madhu, thank you soo much :) So I can count on you for an entry right ?

Nandini, I have fallen in love with Atlanta, been there 3-4 times in the last 2 1/2 yrs. Next time I visit I am surely going let you know. The world seems to be getting really small :))

Vaishali, Thank you! I am looking forward to trying out new dishes too, and explore dishes other than the ever so popular curries.

Priya said...

Manasi, thank you, I hope you can send an entry too :P

RC, welcome back ;) and Thank you, the pic turned out better than I imagined! you will be cooking something for me right ?

Vishali, thank you :) do try it at home. You will be surprised how simple it is. I linked to a few pages that will help you with easy recipes.

Superchef, you are in the must-have-entry list :)

Shoba, thank youu :)

Maya, cooking that at home is really simple if you use store bought curry pastes. Jai & Bee and Sia have really simple recipes on their blogs. You can also email me if you have trouble, and I will help you with what I know.

Miri, perfect timing! Can't wait to look at what you have.

Divya, thank you, and you are going to send me an entry right ?

Jaya said...

Nice pic n cool header. I m going to give Thai a shot (well foto n otherwise - sorry couldn't resist the PJ). And if turns out well, you can expect an email! Good going.. hope the hosting goes well!

pelicano said...

An empty mailbox? I think not... I look forward to round-up party!

Anonymous said...

beautiful picture! even the ordinary dhaniya looks great
thai receipes r quite new. i havent tried only lemon grass put in tea is known to me
keep it up

Priya said...

Jaya, given your enthusiasm to cook, I'm sure you will enjoy making Thai food at home. So I'll be looking for an email from you :)

Pel, how about a few more Thai 101 posts from you ? Please ? :)

Anon, Thank you! If you like spicy, flavorful food, you'll surely love Thai.
My mom used to use lemon grass in tea too, we had it growing in our garden at our old home in India. Never knew we could make such yummy curries with it then. :) Please do give it and join us at the round-up ?

Cham said...

I came to know ur the host, Thai is great selection, I will send something vegan!

Gayathri said...

Superb pic and a great posting too

Anitha said...

I am very new to this blog world.. but very interested in this event...

Soma said...

just mailed u my entry.

Priya Narasimhan said...

Hello Priya,
Your nightmare is definitely not going to be true. I have sent in my recipe to the event. Do check out.

Sonia said...

I have mailed u my entry. Got it?

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