Chef Rungtiwa Sorlae talks about the difference between Indian and Thai cooking styles
JW Marriott Pune is hosting The Great Thai Festival where you can experience an irresistible culinary journey through Thailand in your very own city as Chef Rungtiwa Sorlae visits Spice Kitchen. Famously known as a connoisseur of Thai cuisines, Sorlae is serving a plethora of dishes inspired from her motherland. The vibrant menu will showcase delicious options, from colourful and spicy Thai curries to the traditional Thai jasmine rice and much more. The buffet spread curated from the Asian country brings distinct tastes and flavours to its overall culinary repertoire. Dishes such as Khao Soi Soup, Som Tam, Satay and tropical fruits will leave patrons asking for double servings.
Talking about the menu at the festival, Sorlae says, “I am a part of the JW family, so I was introduced to the JW Pune and was asked to curate the Thai Food Festival. This time I am making authentic Thai Food from the ingredients available in the city itself. We are offering Clear Noodle Soup, Khao Soi Soup, Chicken and Tofu Satay and so much more.”
She is also using homegrown herbs in her dishes. Sorlae adds, “I am making the curry paste using fresh herbs and sauce to maintain the originality of the dishes. The herbs will bring out the flavours and the dishes will taste exactly like what is served in Thailand.”
But to cater to the foreign visitors, she is trying to create a balance in the spice level. She explains, “The food will be medium spicy and I am aware that Indians like to gorge on thick curry, so to appeal to both Indians and foreign customers, the curry will be medium thick. Indian style of cooking involves a lot of spices while the Thai style has a lot of herbs like galangal, lemongrass, etc. Indians also use a lot of cream and ghee while we use a lot of coconut paste.”
Sorlae herself is quite fond of South Indian dishes since she believes it is close to Thai cooking style. She says, “The taste and use of coconut is what stands out. Also in the homemade dishes, they don’t add artificial flavours which is what makes them special.”
But a lot of time people are skeptical about trying international dishes since the chefs create a fusion between Indian and other cuisines.
Explaining this, she says, “I believe in talking to my customers and explaining them what exactly I am serving. I think people do not try new things if they don’t really know what is being served to them but if we actually explain to them what and how the dish is prepared, they may take an interest. Some restaurants don’t really have Thai chefs but they still serve a Thai menu so obviously you can’t expect authentic food. They use colours as alternatives to make the dish look good.”
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The ongoing Great Thai Festival at Spice Kitchen, JW Marriott Hotel Pune, SB Road, will continue till August 19 from 7-11.30 pm