BAY LEAVES (BAI GRAWAN): Fresh leaves are used in the preparation of curries.
BASIL: There are three varieties:
1. SWEET BASIL (HORAPA): It is somewhat like the one used in Italian cooking. It is cooked as a vegetable and added to salads.
2. HOLY BASIL (GAPROW): The hot, peppery taste is brought out while cooking. Used in chicken, beef and fish dishes and in stir fried vegetables. Not eaten raw.
3. LEMON-SCENTED BASIL (MANGLUG): Cooked as a vegetable and also added as a flavouring.
CARDAMOM (LOO GRAWAN): Added to sweets as a flavouring.
CHILLIES (PRIK): There are 8-10 varieties of different sizes and colours. The small red ones are very pungent and the light green ones are milder. The large , light green ones are cooked as a vegetables.
CINNAMON (OB CHUEY): Used in meat dishes, curries and desserts.
CLOVES (GAAN PLOO): Only used in making Musaman, the basic curry paste. Fresh leaves are used with betel nuts.
CORIANDER LEAVES (PHAK CHEE): The roots and leaves are ground together to prepare green curry paste. The leaves are used for garnishing.
CUMIN SEEDS (YEERAA): Ground to make curry paste.
FISH SAUCE (NAM PLA): Made from fermented dish, it is used instead of salt in many dishes.
GARLIC (GRATIEM): Almost all the dishes contain garlic in one form or the other, whole crushed or as oil.
GINGER (KHING): Tender, fresh ginger is used in chicken and beef curries, drinks and tom yum the famous Thai soup.
GINGER SIAMESE (GALANGAL): Larger than normal ginger, it is widely used along with lemon grass for a distinctive flavour.
LEMON GRASS (TAKRAL): The lower part of the stalk is used as a flavouring agent in curries and tom yum.
LIME PITTED (KAFFIR): The peel and juice of this dark green, knobby lime is added to many dishes.
LIME LEAVES (MAKRUD): Boiled along with lemon grass to flavour chicken and vegetable curries and soups.
MACE (DOOG JUNN): The orange petals are added to make Musaman the special curry paste.
MINT (SURANAE): Leaves are cooked as a vegetable and added to curry paste.
NUTMEG (LOOG JUNN): The nut is crushed and added to Musaman.
PANDANUS (TOEY): It is a colouring and flavouring agent in sweets. It is cooling to the system.
PEPPER (PINK THAI): Green, black and white varieties are used. The fresh green pepper gives a piquant taste to fish and chicken curries.
SESAME (NGA): Is ground along with peanuts to make a sauce. Banana fritters are coated with this before frying. It is added to make sweet sticky rice.
SHALLOTS (HOM DAENG): These small red onions are ingredients in almost all Thai dishes.
SPRING ONIONS (HOM TOHN): Used as a a garnishing in fried rice and soups and vegetables.
TURMERIC (KHA MIN): Freshly ground tender roots are added to give colour and flavour to curries.