Who’d have thought that we’d ever have an actual professional chef contributing to Blackboard Special (especially after last week’s catastrophe)? Well, it isn’t so surprising when you consider that Chartwells’ culinary director at UTM, chef Sandeep Kachroo, is one of the masterminds behind the food provider’s dishes offered on campus. Kachroo started just eight months ago after wrapping up his time with the Bay—their downtown location and other accounts. His background includes luxury hotels from all over the world including Asia, Luxembourg, and the south of France.
With such a background, Kachroo obviously has quite a selection of recipes to choose from. I requested something global and settled on the first type of cuisine that he listed: Thai. From there he shared with me the below recipe for Gaeng Kiew Warn Kai, or Thailand’s famous green curry. Kachroo learned the recipe while in Bangkok when he was researching the cuisine and culture for the opening of a restaurant called Island Paradise in Bangalore, India. While his recipe calls for chicken, Kachroo says that it can be replaced with seitan, tofu, or vegetables such as broccoli or cauliflower. Furthermore, all the ingredients (despite how intimidating they may sound) can be found in Chinese or Vietnamese grocery stores across the GTA, he says.
So how do we pesky students compare to luxury hotel clientele? “I like being in touch with the next generation,” says Kachroo. “Their tastes are more evolved than previous generations.”
Not a bad compliment, huh?
Gaeng Kiew Warn Kai
- 75 g raw chicken chunks
- 30 g green curry paste
- 100 ml coconut milk
- 1 g makham (tamarind) paste
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp coriander root paste
- 2 mackroot (Thai lime) leaves
- 1 bird (Thai) chili
- 10 (preferably Thai) basil leaves
- 2 tsp oil
- 1 tsp nampla (fish sauce)
- Add curry and coriander pastes, nampla, and oil to a pan and sauté until the oil starts separating from the paste. Add the chicken chunks and sauté for 3 minutes.
- Add half the coconut milk and bring the curry to a boil.
- Add the chicken along with the makham paste, bird chili, and mackroot leaves. Cook for a few seconds then add the remaining coconut milk. Check seasoning and adjust according to your taste.
- Finish with the basil leaves and serve hot with steamed brown rice.