Thursday, August 09, 2007

Herbs: Thai Basil - sweet, holy or hairy

There are innumerable sorts of basil.
The most well-known is surely the Italian basil,
without this tasty tomatoes with Mozzarella cheese would not be complete.
In the Thai kitchen 3 different sorts Basil are used .
The taste of the Thai basil can not be replaced by other herbs or spices
and is only freshly used.

1. BAI HORAPA oder Sweet Basil

One recognizes Horapa by its dark-violet stacks
and its anise or liquorice smell and taste.
for the red and the green Thai Curry Horapa is indispensably.
The leafes are added as a whole or finely cutted at the end of the cockingtime .
One hands fried, crispy Horapa leafes also to roasted fish, etc....
Also in Viet Nam Horapa is a popular and a much used herb.

2. BAI GAPRAO oder Holy Basil

The taste is hot- peppery.
It has the name holy basil probably from India,
where it was used for ritual purposes,
but in the Indian kitchen it does not have a meaning.
In the Thai Cuisine however the more.
Unfortunately there is no common writing for the Thai language
and so people write like : gaprao, krapao, krapaw and so on
for the probably most popular dish for Thai people: PAD Gaprao,
meat or fish fried with Gaprao Basil (very hot!),
fried crispy leafes served with fried fish
or "Tua khi mau" roasted nuts with hot spices.

3. BAI MENGLAK oder Hairy Basil

Menglak has a lemonish taste
and is mostly eaten as a condiment to "Khanom jeen" a Thai noodle curry.