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THE HOT SEASON (March to June)

With the cool of the winter gone, the searing summer heat and dryness upon the land, the barren forests suddenly burst forth with a profusion of new growth. These tender new leaves provide a bountiful harvest for the forest gatherer.

hot season foods
Khanoon , call Banoon in the Northern tongue, is a kind of jackfruit. Better known as the huge yellow-fleshed fruit eaten as a sweet in most parts of Thailand, with big seeds tasting like chestnuts, the preference in the north is different. The young fruits are picked when still small, and make a popular curry. They are also boiled and dipped in Naam Prik.
Gratoong Maba or Paak Huan Moo in the north, is a climbing plant with a tough woody stem. The tender young shoots are highly prized for their medicinal properties and add a slightly bitter dimension to curries.
Liab , Paak Heuak in the northern dialect, a kind of fig tree with young leaves that are bright orange, is greatly esteemed for the sharpness it gives to curries.
Ma Room , or Ma Kon Gom in the language of the North, is called the horseradish tree. The pods and seeds of this tree give an unusual spiciness to hot season curries.
Paak Goom is a shrubby plant that has soft dark green leaves that are used fresh or boiled in a wide variety of seasonal dishes.
Paak Sieng Da , a climbing plant that flourishes in the sunlight beneath the bare forest trees, has thick, spongy leaves that are prized as an additive to many curries.
Paak Wan is a small tree which has a flush of yellow-green growth in March. Having a slightly sweet sap. It brings a subtle sweetness to many a curry.
Gratiem March is the season for harvesting fresh garlic, Gratiem, call Hom Tiem by the northern folk from one kitchen garden. With its sharp fresh flavour, it adds a special savour to food which is not matched by the stored corns the rest of the year.
Paak Seeow , a tree with leaves the shape of butterflies, puts forth its new growth in the summer heat. These succulent young leaves taste great in curries.
Grathin, a small tree which flowers in April, first puts out its young shoots in March. These are especially tender and delicately flavoured and can be eaten fresh or dipped into Naam Prik.
Cha Om , Paak La in northern speech, is a forest tree with unusual new growths on its spring stems. The leaves are a bluish-green and look like hair when they first emerge. It is extremely versatile and can be used in curries, as a Naam Prik dipping vegetable or fried with chicken.
Yod Makhaam, the young leaves of the tamarind tree, are used in a unique-tasting curry, to which they imbue a pleasant slightly bitter taste.
Cha Plu , or Kae in the northern tongue, is a kind of climbing pepper vine. The leaves can be used as a food wrapper which is filled with various other foods and eaten. It is also coked as an essential past of the curry called Gaeng Khae.


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