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Accha Indian Restaurant on Nimman

By Heather Allen
Ever since the Indian restaurant on soi 11 closed Nimmanhaemin has been sorely lacking Indian food. You can find just about everything else in this busy neighborhood except Indian food. Well, if you don’t mind sitting outside in a rather snug space then the new Accha Indian Restaurant set in a small area in front of Starbucks on Nimmanhaemin is the place for you.
Personally, I found it rather fun and cozy, the kind of place where you drop in for your favourite food, not expecting a gastronomic masterpiece. The menu is not huge, as is to be expected from a place with four seats at a counter and four tables but it was good enough for me and my friend.

He had a delicious mango lassi that was just a little tart, not too sweet and served in a stunning metal cup. I had a limon soda with little sugar and it came with little sugar which was a nice surprise. We each had the non-vegetarian combo plate, which we had been told was chicken tikka and dhal but it turned out to be chicken tikka and a vegetable curry. The combo comes with a generous portion of naan bread and bowl of rice. At first I was a bit concerned it may not be enough but I came out fully satiated.
The chicken tikka was delicious, a bit spicy and piping hot! The naan was really good, crunchy on the outside, softer in the middle. The rice was short grain like it should be. The vegetable curry was okay but I would have preferred the promised.
We each had the combo plate and a drink plus a bottle of water and our bill came to just over 500 baht. Good value for money considering how full I felt afterwards! The little building opens every day at 11 a.m. and does take away as well. They close at midnight I believe, so it is a good stop for a late night curry if needed! They are connected with the popular Rajdarbar Indian restaurant and although the regular menu is small they said they could do some dishes off the Rajdarbar menu as well.

RECIPES BY NOI: Nam Ngiew – noodle soup made with Ngew flowers

Nam Ngiew is a noodle soup with pork and Dok Ngew. There are a few things that need to be explained about this recipe. Firstly it is believed that this recipe comes from the Tai Yai people who live in the northern part of Myanmar. The border at Mae Sai in Chiang Rai has seen an age old exchange of people and culture, food and goods. In Chiang Khong we call Tai Yai “Kon Ngiew” but there are also other people who believe that it might be a Northern Thai recipe and that it has nothing to do with Tai Yai because Nam Ngiew has a very special ingredient in it called Dok Ngew (red cotton flower) This flower comes from a very big tree, the Bombax ceiba, mostly found in forests or rice fields and it flowers in January and February.After school is finished some kids will hurry to reserve the best tree and wait under the tree for the flowers to fall and take them back home. Dried flowers could sell for 100 baht per kilo back then (20 years ago). It was a great opportunity for the kids, no wonder we always watched the clock in school at that time waiting for the bell to ring!
Anyway, wherever it came from doesn’t matter here because I cannot give the answer as I am not a food expert, a historian or even a food historian. All I know is that Nam Ngiew must have Dok Ngew in the soup! When I cook I always intentionally accidentally add a lot of Dok Ngew.
Of course, the chili paste as Chili paste is our first priority as always; it contains dried chili, garlic, shallot, shrimp paste or fermented soybean. Pound them into very fine paste and then stir fry until it gives good smell. Then then add pork and pork bone and keep stir frying a couple minutes.
Add water, wait until its boiling then add pork blood, fermented soybean, tomato and Dok Ngew. Normally we cook it for a couple hours or if we are not too hungry we can keep it cook on low heat for several hours.
Eat with khanom jeen or rice noodles. Bean sprout, coriander and deep fried garlic are very highly recommended.

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