From classic Thai cooking to the aromatic dishes of India, there’s a lot of wisdom and flavor in the foods of the East. Host Jesse Cool opens the show with guest Su-Mei Yu, author of Cracking the Coconut: Classic Thai Home Cooking. Su-Mei introduces Big Four Paste, which she describes as the foundation of all Thai seasoning – with a history going back at least 800 years! Made from Thai peppercorns, coriander seed, sea salt, garlic, and coriander (or cilantro) roots, this paste is used for grilling, frying and roasting, and in stir-fries, soups, curries, and noodle dishes.
Then, Jesse welcomes Maya Kaimal, author of Savoring the Spice Coast of India, which features recipes from Kerala on the southwest coast of India. Unlike the North Indian food typically found in Indian restaurants, cuisine in Kerala is tropical and coastal, featuring a lot of seafood, coconut, fresh chilies, and very savory flavors. Maya makes a delicious stir fry with beets – Beet Thoren – which she pairs with Shrimp with Cracked Pepper and Curry Leaves, while explaining for us the origins and meaning of such misunderstood terms as curry and masala.