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Party food recipes: Green Thai Curry and Som Tam Slaw

By Chef Shilarna Vaze
November 25, 2019 15:46 IST
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Planning to throw a house party? Let Chef Shilarna Vaze inspire you with 3 easy recipes. 

Green Thai Curry and Som Tam Slaw

Yield: 4–6 people
Prep Time: 15 minutes for the curry paste + 30 minutes for the curry

For the green curry paste:

  • 30 Thai green chillies (spicy Indian green chillies will also do)
  • 12 tsp coriander seeds
  • 4–6 lemongrass stalks
  • 8–10 cloves of garlic
  • 10 small shallots
  • 1 big piece of galangal
  • Grated zest of 2 kaffir limes
  • 1 cup coriander roots (no leaves)
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • 1/4 cup kaffir lime leaves (tightly packed)
  • 1 cup Thai basil (tightly packed)
  • 2 cups water

For the Thai curry:

  • 8 tbsp spinach puree (made of 4 cups/250 gm spinach)
  • 4½ cups water/stock (approximately 1 litre)
  • 3½ cups coconut milk powder (350 gm)/5 cups coconut cream
  • 16 tbsp or 1 cup green curry paste
  • 5 tsp brown sugar
  • 6 tsp tamarind pulp
  • 4 tsp fish sauce or light soya sauce
  • 12 Thai aubergine
  • 14 crushed Kaffir lime leaves
  • 22 Thai basil leaves
  • 150 gm kale
  • 1½ cup cubed pumpkin

For the Som Tam Slaw:

  • 1 raw green papaya, approximately ½ kg (once peeled and grated, you should get 2 ½ cups)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 6 bird’s eye chilli (vary the quantity according to how spicy you like it)
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 4 tsp chopped coriander roots
  • 9 tsp fish sauce
  • 8 tsp palm sugar or brown sugar
  • ½ cup tamarind pulp
  • 10 snow peas
  • 10 French beans
  • 4 tbsp roasted peanuts
  • 10 cherry tomatoes


For the curry paste:

  • In a powerful mixer, mix all curry paste ingredients (roughly chopped), starting with the toughest, like galangal and lemongrass, and moving to the softer ones, like coriander roots.
  • To make the curry: In a curry pot, add 4 tbsp oil and curry paste, and fry for 5 minutes before adding coconut milk.
  • Add the water/stock, coconut milk powder/coconut cream, brown sugar, tamarind pulp, fish sauce/soya sauce, Thai aubergine and pumpkin. Cook for 10–12 minutes or till the pumpkin is cooked.
  • Add spinach puree, then the Thai basil and Kaffir lime leaves and turn the flame off.
  • Massage kale with oil and salt and add to the curry while reheating, just before serving.

For the Som Tam Slaw:

  • Grate papaya and dry it out on kitchen paper to remove some of the moisture.
  • Bring salted water to boil in a small saucepan and keep ice water ready on the side. Add snow peas and French beans for 2–3 minutes till just cooked and transfer directly to the ice water. Make thin slices (julienne) and keep aside. Halve the cherry tomatoes and add them to the slaw.

For the Som Tam Slaw dressing: 

  • In a mortar or pestle or a small mixer, crush garlic, chillies and coriander root together. Remove and add lemon juice, fish sauce, sugar and tamarind pulp and mix till fully combined. 

Assembling the salad:

  • Mix the papaya, snow peas and French beans with the dressing till you think it is wet enough.
  • Add crushed, roasted peanuts on top.
  • Serve the curry with plain white rice and the slaw on the side

Coconut Panna Cotta with Mango Passion Coulis

Yield: 25 shot glasses/10 big glasses
Prep Time: 15 minutes for making/minimum 2 hours for setting


  • 500 ml cream
  • 500 ml milk
  • 2/3 cup sugar (130 gm)
  • 1½ tbsp gelatin powder + 1/8 cup of cold water
  • 2 cups coconut milk powder

For the Mango Passion Coulis:

  • ½ cup mango pulp
  • ½ passion fruit puree
  • 2 tsp cornflour
  • 1 tbsp water

For the garnish:

  • 2 tbsp sabza (basil seeds), soaked in double quantity water (optional)
  • Baby mint leaves
  • Edible flowers


For the mango passion coulis:

  • Heat both the mango pulp and the passion fruit puree in a saucepan.
  • Make a cornflour slurry by mixing the cornflour and water. Add this to the boiling mixture, stirring continuously till thick. Allow it to cool and refrigerate.

For the coconut panna cotta:

  • Add the cream, milk and sugar to a large saucepan. Slowly add the coconut milk powder and heat the mixture over a medium flame. Bring it to boil and remove from heat.
  • Bloom the gelatin in 1/8 cup of cold water. Add this to the above mixture when still warm and whisk well. Strain for any lumps.

For finishing off the panna cotta:

  • Pour into the desired mould or shot glass and allow it to chill for 2 hours in the fridge.
  • Once the panna cotta is set, pour the coulis over it and serve with fresh mango and soaked sabza seeds.

Spanish Paprika Prawns

Yield: For 3–4 people
Prep Time: 30 minutes for the sauce + 15 minutes for the prawns


For the aglio olio sauce:

  • 1 cup chopped garlic (150 gm)
  • 1/4 cup chilli flakes (30 gm)
  • 1/4 cup oregano (10 gm)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1½ cup olive oil (approximately 360 ml)

For the Spanish paprika prawns:

  • 12–15 pieces tiger prawns or 1 kg medium-sized prawns
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup cream

For the garnish:

  • Couple of sprigs of parsley, chopped
  • Crusty bread
  • Lots of lemon wedges


For the aglio olio sauce:

  • Add olive oil and chopped garlic to a saucepan, and let it cook slowly on a low flame for 20 minutes while stirring. Take the garlic off the heat and add chilli flakes, oregano and salt. This sauce keeps for two weeks in a glass jar at room temperature.

Prepping for the prawns:

  • Keep the shell on the prawns. Use kitchen scissors to cut down the middle to remove the vein. Wash and pat dry. Rub salt on the prawns.

For the Spanish paprika prawns:

  • Take 1 tsp of just the oil from the garlic-and-chilli-flakes mixture. Heat a large, wide pan till very hot. Add oil and prawns.
  • Press the prawns down so that the shell gets a nice char. After 2 minutes on each side, add about ½ cup of the aglio olio chilli oil and cook for 5 minutes or till done.
  • Add lemon juice and cream. 
  • Take it off the heat and top with chopped parsley. Serve with crusty bread and lots of lemon wedges

NOTE: The sauce for this dish is a dream to have stashed in your fridge. Toss up everyone's favourite aglio olio pasta with it or simply use as a dipping sauce for freshly baked bread. It also works amazingly well with fish and chicken.

Excerpted from Party Like A Star: Recipes And Hacks From Bollywood's Favourite Chef by Shilarna Vaze, with the kind permission of the publishers, Penguin Random House India.

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Chef Shilarna Vaze