While I was in Bangkok, I saw Gaggan Anand post a video on Instagram on this very exotic dessert being made at one of the stalls in Or Tor Kor Farmers Market, by a 72 year old lady who has been doing what she does best for the last 50 years! I’m a total fool for grandmas, so I was naturally on the next cab there.
Or Tor Kor Farmers Market is pretty much right next to Chatuchak Weekend Market, which is another must-visit when in Bangkok. We headed there on our second last day in Bangkok, which just so happened to be a Saturday (meaning Chatuchak was open again as it was the weekend).
I’m one of those people who wakes up earlier on vacations than on usual days, because sleep is for the weak and any time spent in a foreign country must be spent exploring it. If I wanted to sleep, I could have stayed home, am I right or am I right? Naturally, I woke up hours before M, got ready, and headed downstairs to have breakfast at our hotel (Movenpick Sukhumvit) , and had a dinner plate full of that heavenly Thai papaya. Not the wisest decision for someone who is no longer 20 and might quite possibly be pre-diabetic, because we left for Or Tor Kor Farmers Market right after I was done (naturally M missed breakfast), and just as we reached (after a 40 minute cab ride), I had to pee SUPER BAD.
Sign outside the toilet at Or Tor Kor Farmers Market
Thus, the first lesson we learnt as soon as we reached Or Tor Kor Farmers Market was that bathrooms are not easy to find. We finally found some hidden at the end of the flower market part, and suffice to say they weren’t the cleanest, had no soap or toilet paper, and were my very own personal nightmare. Thank God for the paper napkins, hand sanitizer and toilet seat covers in my bag. Too much information? Ok, I’ll stop now.
Moving on to happier times. With bladder emptied and spirits lifted, I skipped back to the food section of Or Tor Kor Farmers Market, with a dismayed M in tow- probably reflecting on whether he would have been better off had he stayed single. Now, I was even able to appreciate the stunning variety of orchids in every size, shape and color! Oh how abundant and inexpensive orchids were over there! My heart aches and grip around wallet tightens when I see the prices in Dubai.
With a newfound spring in my step that was ready to beat the humidity and start drinking everything in sight! We started with the freshest, most refreshing, creamy, chilled coconut milk. Oh sweet lord. You haven’t lived until you’ve had some of this coconut milk. It was SO GOOD! Nothing like the vile, watery, disintegrating, processed stuff they sell here.
I could have had more, so much more, but I got distracted by vacuum-sealed packs of sticky rice, pink rice from Chiang Mai, and even black rice! Sadly, I wasn’t wise enough to buy the black, but got several packs of the sticky and one pack of the pink to bring back to Dubai.
We saw all sorts of exotic things, some of which are photographed below:
TONNES of dried fish, TONNES! this would have been my mother in law’s heaven.
M’s mom makes these condiments all the time. they’re served with rice, and one can add them in to adjust the heat and spice in just about any dish as per their preference. Sometimes these alone are eaten with rice, with no need for any curry. Her usual combinations include garlic, chilies, dried shrimp….sometimes camel meat, even. What we saw here was a whole new world though. I mean….snake skin?
All sorts of seafood, really. I was particularly fascinated by the mantis shrimp.
There was also a Som Tam stand selling Som Tam with add-ins I’ve never even heard of, like water bugs, for instance. Mild cringe.
Then there was this whole grilled chicken, skewered without actually being punctured.
There was actually a whole food court of cooked food.
I was extremely curious to know what these beauties were, bad sadly, we didn’t speak Thai and no one around us spoke English.
Thai mangoes are THE absolute best in the world. My mom gets so personally offended when I tell her this, because for Pakistanis, mangoes are a matter of national pride. There’s no denying the truth, ok?
Then there were these TINY grapes! I’ve never seen grapes so tiny!
Oodles and oodles of mangosteen! Mangosteen is one of my favorite fruits!
M was literally about to throw up when he tried this sweet corn juice. I, on the other hand, absolutely loved it. It was delicious and refreshing!
Lychee love!!! Oh how I wish I had the room to bring this bunch of lychees pretending to be a pineapple, back to Dubai!
More unidentifiable gorgeousness that made my eyes turn heart-shaped. Please comment below if you know what these are!
I was truly in Thai vegetable heaven and wanted to buy EVERYTHING.
We found only ONE lady at Or Tor Kor Farmers Market who spoke english, which was fantastic because I was able to explain to her that I’d like for the seeds in the bittergourd I wanted to take back to Dubai, to be removed. She understood right away because that’s actually common knowledge when wanting to extend the life of the uncooked bittergourd. M of course , had to argue and tell me that the seeds are supposed to be eaten. Sigh. Let the record show that M never sets foot in the kitchen.
In all the excitement, I almost forgot why I was really there, when suddenly, I saw her. The lady from Gaggan’s video! She was only supervising from her throne though, and two younger girls were making the very unique (to us tourists) dessert.
The exterior was made of sticky rice paste, and the filling was most unusual with peanuts, coconut, and brown sugar, and the oddest part was that you have it with a green chili and cilantro, wrapped up in a lettuce leaf! Whaaaat? This a bit extra, even more me.
While I was in Bangkok, I saw Gaggan Anand post a video on Instagram on this very exotic dessert being made at one of the stalls in Or Tor Kor Farmers Market, by a 72 year old lady who has been doing what she does best for the last 50 years!
I actually still don’t know what exactly this is called. I just call it the Gaggan Recommendation.