Chao - Truly Asian

A recently conducted workshop by Chennai Food Guide on Thai cooking, brought my interests back to this cuisine.I learnt a lot from this workshop, and my affinity for the cuisine is growing. 

I  gathered up my courage to taste Thai food in Chao, when it came my way through Chennai Food Guide. 

I should say my experience was totally wonderful and will never stay away from Thai Food in the future. A Visual treat of the dishes we were served at Chao. 

Devil's potato : Crispy fried and sauteed potato wedges 
Crisp on the outside and soft inside, it had  the perfect blend of flavors

Green Mango Salad : Juicy Raw mangoes, cut in julienne along with onions , green chilies and lime.
It was tangy and crunchy. I loved this dish a lot. A simple dish that can be recreated at home.

Corn Tartlets - Tartlets filled with crispy corn kernels.
A very convenient finger food, which can be assembled for parties in no time.
One thing which surprised me was the presence of Curry Leaves on the Tartlets.

Veg Dim Sums : Ahh my favorite in Chinese and Thai Cuisine. The shape was different from the normal ones, and the filling was a little bland . I wish to make them at home some time.

Wasabi Prawns - Crispy fried Prawns tossed in smooth Wasabi mayo. 

Basil Chicken - Fine Minced tender chicken served in hot basil sauce

Being a vegetarian, I do not know about the taste first hand. But my fellow CFGians said that it tasted good

Mushroom Pepper Salt - Crispy & juicy mushrooms tossed in pepper, chili flakes and garlic and served on a bed of fried noodles. Fried noodles were made of rice and reminded me of Arisi vathal. Mushrooms tasted good

Vietnamese Rice Roll - Stir Fry Vegetables rolled in paper rolls.
The rolls are not neither deep fried nor steamed. I would say the easiest dish to make, if the filling is ready.

Singaporean Bee Hoon - Fine Rice noodles with bean sprouts.
I almost felt like having veg Semiya, the appearance was so similar to it.
But the taste was Thai. 
Vegetarians having so many options is Thai cuisine is something new to me
Or may be I did not venture into it, for so long.

Jasmine Rice : I had an idea that it would smell Jasmine, but I was wrong. It is a wonderfully flavored rice when had with Thai Curries tastes very good. We were served Thai Green Curry to have along with Jasmine Rice

Thai Green Curry : Signature dish of Thai Cuisine. Thai green curry that is very aromatic and beautiful to serve

Cashew Garlic Garden greens - Stir fried vegetables mildly cooked with Garlic sauce and cashews
This dish was spicy and tasted the same spiciness when mixed with Jasmine rice .

Tub Tim Grob - Water chestnuts in coconut milk served with crushed ice
This is my favorite in the whole menu, I had two servings of this dessert. 
Simple yet tasteful.

A word about the ambiance in Chao. They have a number of wood carvings that decorate the walls. And a wonderful arrangement of lights to complement the walls. One thing in particular that caught my attention was the ceiling, it gave the feeling of Autumn, dried leaves. The interiors are done by Ramesh Thamilman Chao also has a private lounge in its basement where you can organize your private parties

I have always stayed away from Thai food after the first disastrous experience, which was 5 years ago. Now I have started liking Thai food after the dinner at Chao. I completely enjoyed it.

I only wish that they maintain the standards of quality, quantity and taste in the years to come. Wishing them all the very best. 

Chao is located at 

49, North Boag Road, T. Nagar, Chennai

044 65555553, 044 65555554

My ratings

Ambience : 9/10
Food : 8/10
Service : 8/10
Pricing : 7/10


Donuts ... Donuts... Donuts...

A sudden voice in me, kept on telling me to make Donuts. I knew it was a huge leap with regard to my cooking skills as I have never ventured beyond regular cooking. So yesterday after I reached home, went in search of Yeast and found it in Amma Naana. I adapted the recipe from Ria's blog. She is a wonderful , warm person. We built a good friendship over the net and got to meet her in person recently when she was in Chennai. She is such an adorable person so it her son Ian. 

I had her recipe opened on the tab next to me and was measuring everything as perfect as I could. This is my very first venture outside my normal cooking to create something like this. I was very excited when the results showed up. It felt a sense of accomplishment in me. I took these to my office and it went off like that. People loved it and said it was very nice. They made my day. 

I made two variations, Sugar Donuts and Chocolate glazed ones. 

Sugar Coated Donuts

After a bite

Chocolate Donuts

Packed for Office 

Thai Cuisine Simplified

 Thai cuisine is the national cuisine of Thailand. Blending elements of several Southeast Asian traditions, Thai cooking places emphasis on lightly prepared dishes with strong aromatic components. 
The spiciness of Thai cuisine is well known. As with other Asian
cuisines, balance, detail and variety are of great significance to Thai
chefs. Thai food is known for its balance of three to four fundamental taste senses in each dish or the overall meal: sour, sweet, salty, and bitter

Some facts of Thai Cuisine that I learnt

Thai and Indian cuisine have so much in common
Thai Cuisine does not use any oil, they use coconut milk instead
Thai curries are not tomato based
Basil is the leaf that is used for tempering, like our curry leaves


Sara Koshy, makes any dish sound simple and doable even to people who are new to cooking.

Dishes on the menu for Thai Cooking were

Tofu Satay
Chicken Satay
Tom Yum
Tom Yum Gai 
Red Curry (veg and non veg)
Thai Fried rice 
(veg and non veg)
Buoroy(Peanut and Jaggery stuffed Lychees in coconut 

A lovely basket with the basic ingredients required for making Thai Dishes in display.

Our expert chef Sara Koshy, explaining what Thai Cuisine is all about to the audience

Lychees ready to be filled with Peanut Jaggery stuffing

Participants trying their hand to make small balls of peanut and Jaggery 

Stuffed Lychees

It was more of a hands on session as participants were involved in every step of the workshop

Stuffed Lychees ready to bathed in Coconut milk.

Lychees setting in the refrigerator.

Now that the dessert is done with, let us start with Peanut sauce for the Satays

Marinated Chicken ready to be grilled

Sara cutting a block of Tofu to be marinated and grilled

Marinated Tofu

Sara teaching the participants to skewer the marinated tofu

Participants skewering tofu

Skewered Tofu

Skewered Chicken

Our Grill Master, Nikhil Moturi. Making the Satays

Twisting and turning them

This is a cute age old device that is used for pounding small quantities of garlic, ginger, onion, tomato or make rasam powder. Hand pound powders and curry base has a distinct flavor and aroma to it rather than the ones that are done in a blender. I plan to buy one for myself soon.

CFG's big boss at work

Stock getting ready for the soups

Vegetarian Soup ( Tom Yum )

Hand pound onion and  red chili paste

Chicken Soup ( Tom Yum Gai )

Vegetarian Thai Red Curry

Chicken Thai Red Curry

Thai Veg Fried Rice 

Vegatarian and Chicken Thai Red Curry served for the participants

Vegetarian Thai Red Curry

Thai Chicken Fried Rice

A full plate served to participants of the workshop

It was a wonderful experience learning to make an international cuisine, from the hands of an expert. Sara Koshy continues to inspire me to learn new cuisines and try different dishes.

A huge thanks to Chennai Food Guide for organizing such a superb workshop

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