Sunday, August 25, 2013

Blogging Marathon - Day Four - Tom Kha Gai

This summer we had gone for this most awesome holiday to Thailand with my brother in law and family.It was a wonderful vacation time where bonding happened big time at different levels. The best bond however happened between the two little boys - Big A and Small A! The two little kids discovered the joy of sibling-hood, of friendship and of love above all.So much so that even though its been almost three months now that we are back they just cant talking about the times spent together.
I too have very fond memories of that trip where me and my SIL spent endless hours chatting, sometimes into the wee hours of the night with coffee and yes wine giving us company. And when in Thailand one cannot miss the food. My last visit to Bangkok - Pattaya wasn't that interesting in terms of food..but this one truly was. More so because we had two connoisseur of Thai cuisine with us - my Sil and my Bil. They just love Thai food and helped me make the right choices! 
One such dish that got etched in my taste buds is the Tom Kha Gai  ie. Chicken and vegetables cooked in a coconut broth. It was an absolute winner. Very intricate flavours rendered into the broth by ingredients like lemon grass , galangal and kaffir lime leaves. I have been wanting to do a bit of Thai cooking so I decided to start with this one. But one major hurdle was getting fresh Thai aromatics. In this version of mine I have replaced few traditional Thai herbs with the ones I could manage to find easily and the end result has been just perfect. 


Boneless chicken - 200 gms ( chopped into bite size pieces)

Mushrooms - half a cup - sliced ( I used button mushrooms , one can use other varieties too)

Tomatoes - 1 large

Ginger - 2 tbsp - chopped into bite sized pieces + 1 tsp minced

Kaffir lime leaves - 2 nos - thinly sliced ( i couldn't get this so used normal lime leaves from my garden and it turned out awesome)

Coriander leaves - a handful 

Lime juice - 1 tbsp

Fish sauce - 1 tsp ( optional - i didn't use it)

Chicken /veg stock - 2 cups

Coconut milk - 200 ml ( I used Dabur home made coconut milk pack)

Fresh red chillies - 2-3 finely sliced ( if you cant get that use normal green chillies - i did that)

Salt - to taste

Sugar - a pinch

Olive oil - 1 tsp for sauteing the chicken and mushroom.

Note: The original recipe also calls for lemon grass and galangal. I replaced galangal with ginger and increased the qty of the lime leaves to make up for lemon grass.


The first step is to keep all the ingredients handy for easy cooking.

In a pan add the olive oil  , add the chicken and mushroom . Saute for 5 mins till t changes colour. Remove from pan and keep aside. Now originally it is not sauteed and add directly to the broth but i was a bit sceptical about the raw taste.

In the same pan add the stock - chicken or veg whatever you are using. Let it come to a boil and then add the aromatics - ginger , lime leaves , coriander leaves , salt and sugar.

Once the stock starts reducing a bit . Gradually add the coconut milk into the stock. Keep stirring gently.Next tip in the chopped tomatoes , sauteed chicken and mushrooms.

Cover and let the broth simmer on gentle heat for 15 mins. By now the stock would get a little thicker in consistency. Now add the chillies and give a quick simmer. 

Remove from heat and add the lime juice and fish sauce ( if using).

Serve hot with rice. I served it with the delightfully fragrant Jasmine rice that I had got from Thailand.

Note: You could increase the qty of coconut milk if you like a thicker broth.


  1. Ahhh... looks awesome....Galangal I get it from South City Spencer..This dish is one of our Favourites....My daughter too loves it very much...

  2. this is something my husband kept eating in Thailand. Has such a soothing light aroma and all round taste. your is awesome too. In south city you will get everything, even dried kaffir lime leaves.

    1. Thank you K and S...i always look fwd to ur comments. K u need to take me to south city spencer for a haul soon : )