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Thai Fruit Salad (Wednesday Photo)

Michael Babcock, Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

Fruit Salad, Thai-Style

Thai Fruit Salad

Thai fruit salad

Fruit salad in Thailand can be very different than what we are used to in the United States.

One of the joys of traveling around Thailand is going to specific restaurants where you can get a dish unlike anything you find elsewhere. One of Kasma’s favorite Chiang Mai restaurants is Kaeng Ron Baan Suan, located outside of the city off the freeway near the Equestrian Club at the foot of Doi Suthep. It has a great listing of northern dishes seldom seen elsewhere. They have a fruit salad that is, perhaps, my favorite dish there.

Kasma has come up with her version of the recipe and  teaches it in a couple of her advanced classes (one of the evening series, Set G, and in the weeklong Set 2D).  She calls it Thai-Style Hot-and-Sour Mixed Fruit Salad (Dtam Ponlamai). You may notice that it has a word that also appears in Green Papaya Salad, or Som Dtam; they both have the word dtam, which means to pound, for some of the ingredients are pounded in a mortar and pestle.

Although her version in the U.S. uses different fruits than are found in Thailand, the basic flavors are the same. The fruit is flavored and complimented by garlic, chillies, dried shrimp, fish sauce, limes, palm sugar and interesting texture is added by long beans and carrots. I always look forward to the classes where it’s taught: it’s a wonderful thing to take a bite of a fruit salad and be surprised by flavors you would never think to add to fruit.


The Wednesday Photo is a new picture each week highlighting something of interest in Thailand. Click on the picture to see a larger version.

Thai Monk (Wednesday Photo)

Michael Babcock, Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

Thai Monk in Kalasin Province

Thai Monk

Thai Monk in Kalasin Province

Kasma took this picture of a monk kneeling in front of the altar at Wat Phra Phuttasaiyaht Tham Phu Kao in Sahatkhan, Kalasin, Thailand.

It’s hardly possible to travel in Thailand without coming across Buddhist monks. Monks are universally revered as representatives of the Buddha; it is the robes and “The One Who Knows” that is being revered, not the individual self dressed in the robes.


The Wednesday Photo is a new picture each week highlighting something of interest in Thailand. Click on the picture to see a larger version.

Muslim Yellow Rice (Wednesday Photo)

Michael Babcock, Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

Muslim Yellow Rice

Muslim Yellow Rice

Muslim Yellow Rice


One of my favorite dishes in the south is Kao Moek Gkai (Muslim Yellow Rice with Chicken and Roasted Spices), which we often enjoy at our favorite Takua Pa restaurant. It’s a rich rice dish, cooked a bit like a risotto and spiced with cardamom, cloves, ginger and chillies, with succulent chicken and all topped with a sweet and sour chilli sauce.

Although it is estimated that Thailand is 90% Buddhist, the south has a much higher proportion of Muslims, who lend a distinct flavor to southern culture, including influencing the cuisine.

This picture was taken by Kasma at a bus stop in Mae Sae, near Pai in the northern mountains between Mae Hong Son and Chiang Mai. She says there are a fair number of Muslims in that area and that this is a Muslim dish rather than a southern dish.


The Wednesday Photo is a new picture each week highlighting something of interest in Thailand. Click on the picture to see a larger version.

Hmong Girl (Wednesday Photo)

Michael Babcock, Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

Hmong Girl in Mae Hong Son

Hmong Girl

Hmong girl in finery


Kasma took this picture of a young Hmong girl in January and this young girl is dressed up in her New Year’s finery. (The Hmong celebrate their New Year according to the lunar calendar).

Recently looking at the Index of Wednesday Photos I realized that I’ve not really posted enough pictures of the people of Thailand, perhaps the best thing about the country. Every year Kasma takes her small-group trips to several hill-tribe villages, choosing villages that are not 100% dependent on tourism.


The Wednesday Photo is a new picture each week highlighting something of interest in Thailand. Click on the picture to see a larger version.

Making Roti (Wednesday Photo)

Michael Babcock, Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

Roti in Songkla

Roti in Songkla

Roti in Songkla


When traveling in the south of Thailand we have two favorite spots for eating roti (Pan-fried Muslim Bread). I’ve already blogged about the Thai-Muslim Food Shop in Takua Pa. This picture shows our favorite roti maker in Songkla; she’s got a shop near the night market. She makes the largest roti I’ve ever seen; basically, she just combines uses more dough before she starts spinning the roti out.


See also:


The Wednesday Photo is a new picture each week highlighting something of interest in Thailand. Click on the picture to see a larger version.

Kasma Makes Green Papaya Salad (Wednesday Photo)

Michael Babcock, Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

Kasma Pounds Som Tam

Kasma Makes Green Papaya Salad

Kasma pounds Green Papaya Salad

Although Green Papaya Salad (Som Tam) (or Som Tam) is an Isaan (Northeastern Thailand) dish, it’s available all over Thailand, especially as street food or in markets (usually made by a transplanted Isaan vendor).

Here Kasma is showing the students in her weeklong cooking class (First Week) how to make green papaya salad.


See also:


The Wednesday Photo is a new picture each week highlighting something of interest in Thailand. Click on the picture to see a larger version.