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Thai Flavours

When it comes to the foundation of just about every Thai dish, it’s got to be a flavour-packed spice blend. Salty, sweet, spicy, bitter, and sour is their motto. There is so much diversity in Thai cuisine and it all starts with a powerful combo of spices. Traditional Thai cuisine loosely falls into four categories: tom (boiled dishes), yam (spicy salads), tam (pounded foods), and gaeng (curries). Deep-fries, stir-fries, and steamed dishes tend to be influenced by nearby nations like China. But like so much of Asia, the difference from one region to the next is profound. Every corner of Thailand has its own way of cooking its signature dishes, so it is a country of many, micro cuisines.

History & Influences

Under its previous name of Siam, the Kingdom of Thailand was a frequented intersection of the east-west trade route with much of its culture, religion and food influenced by the Arabs and Persians bringing rich spices to the region. Western influences started in the 1500s and until then, Indian neighbours taught them how to use chillies to make rich, spicy curries. During the Columbian Exchange, travellers from Portugal and Spain brought raw produce from Europe and the Americas, including tomatoes, chillies, corn, papaya, pea eggplants, pineapple, pumpkins, cashews, coriander and peanuts. As with many Southeast Asian countries, there are correlating flavours and recipes found between regions – Isan from the northeast is influenced by Laos and Khmer cultures, while southern Thai food is much closer to Malay and Indian cuisine. Central Thai food is the cuisine of the flat and wet central rice-growing plains, the site of the former Thai kingdoms of Sukhothai and Ayutthaya, and the Dvaravati culture of the Mon people from what we now know as Myanmar or Burma.

What is Thai cuisine?

On every street in Thailand, wafting from hawker stalls and carts are the unmistakable scents of lemongrass, Thai basil, and chilli. This trifecta perfectly depicts Thai food – fresh, zingy, sweet and, more often than not, mega spicy! Offset by the saltiness of fish sauce, the umami hit of shrimp paste and the earthy savouriness of galangal, Thai flavours are splendidly balanced,  offering the sensory pleasures of taste, smells, and vibrant colours all in one.


Chicken makes a wonderful flavour carrier in this dish. Click here to access to recipe.

Sweet, tender prawns work perfectly the spicy/sweet balance of the blend. Click here to access to recipe.

An earthy combo of potatoes, peas and tomatoes combined with sweet, creamy coconut milk. Click here to access to recipe.

A hearty blend of slow-cooked beef, potatoes, peas, and capsicum combined with sweet, creamy coconut milk. Click here to access the recipe.

Iconic Thai Dishes

Fresh, zingy, sweet and, more often than not, mega spicy, Thai food is a harmonious balance of flavours and a truly sensory experience including punchy salads including nuts, fruits and herbs; colourful, wok-tossed stir-fries, Pad Thai noodles, or hearty, rich curries like their famous creamy coconut Massaman. Hawker stalls serve sweets of black sticky rice and colourful Luk Chup bites with refreshing lemon iced teas and sweet milk.

Thai spices

Thailand’s single most prevalent ingredient is chilli. From the sweet to the spicy to the mega-spicy, a wide variety of dried and fresh chillies are grown and sold. They also produce highly aromatic herbs and spices, including basil, lemongrass, galangal, turmeric, coriander and cumin. Some of Thailand’s most popular chillies include the Thai Scud Chilli, Prik Ki Nu (unfortunately translating to rat poo due to its shape), and the hottest of them all – the Bird’s Eye Chilli – a small, bright red pepper with a big hit of heat.

Thai Massaman

Thai Massaman is a mild, creamy stew with aromatic spices, coconut, and lemongrass. This versatile, mouth-watering curry can be made with seafood, beef, chicken, or vegetables, and is mild enough to have everyone asking for more.

Flavours of the world

Comprising 6 regions, 12 countries (and counting) and 48+ delicious accompanying recipes, Flavours of the World opens the doors to the world’s spice route and allows everyone to explore the countries and cuisines that have shaped our culinary world today. Sugar-free, filler-free, and preservative-free, our blends make cooking wholesome, authentic meals from around the globe simple and affordable; offering step-by-step instructions and a catalogue of free online recipes to suit all diets.


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