A few days back I read in Nancy Chandlers’ web site on Bangkok maps that Siam Jusco at Laksi has closed down. This had been one of my favourite shopping malls way back in 1989. When I revisited in 2002, there had been some decline no doubt, but the complex was more or less the same.
In the world the British are delightfully traditional. They take lots of pains in preserving their heritage, their traditions and theirlandscape. At Stratford-upon-Avon, we are told, that Shakespeare’s house has been preserved in its pristine glory. For some thing to change colour is a sad thing. The only solace is that if at all there has to be change, it should be for the better.
Another dish I had a few times while I was in Chiang Mai was this curry called gang hang lae. It is sometimes called a Burmese curry. Northern Thailand was occupied by the Burmese for several hundred years and this is one of the dishes that was adopted. I remember also eating this dish in Sangklaburi in Kanchanaburi Province. This is also near the Burmese border. In some ways it is a bit like a mussaman curry which I have eaten often. It even has peanuts. They also both taste sweet, sour and salty. There are of course different versions of this recipe but it is usually made with pork belly and ribs.
Two curry pastes are used. First curry paste: red chilies, galangal, lemongrass, ginger, red turmeric, red shallot, garlic, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, star anise, cassia bark, cloves and cardamon pods. Next, a garlic and ginger paste. To cook this dish, first blanch the pork belly and ribs. Then, in a pan heat some oil and fry the garlic and ginger paste until golden brown. Add the curry paste and pork and simmer for a few minutes. Then add shallots, ginger, pickled garlic and peanuts. Season with palm sugar, fish sauce and tamarind water. Pour in stock until it covers everything and simmer for about one hour. This dish tends to keep well so restaurants always cook a lot in one go. If you go to Chiang Mai, then shop around as you will find different versions.