One chef, one recipe: Veena Arora makes the perfect kai kraphao (stir-fry chicken with basil)

Chef Veena Arora, who was born and brought up in Thailand, has been associated with The Spice Route restaurant at The Imperial New Delhi since its inception in the 1990s. It is now one of the top Southeast Asian cuisine restaurants in Delhi. Chef Arora loves experimenting with Thai food and over the years has created varied menus to suit different occasions and seasons. However, what remains a top favourite with the guests is this stir-fry chicken with basil, which is a simple recipe and a complete meal in itself.

In Thailand, where people have this with jasmine rice, it is available at restaurants and street food markets. It’s a healthy and flavourful dish, using less oil and retaining the protein’s freshness. It is very easy to make it at home and hardly takes a few minutes.

Kai kraphao

Kai kraphao or stir fry basil chicken- thai food
Kai kraphao is usually eaten with rice in Thailand. Image: Shutterstock


  • 1½ cup chicken breast boneless minced
  • ⅓ cup Thai basil
  • 1 tsp garlic
  • 1 tbsp fresh red chilli pounded
  • 1½ tsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp dark soya sauce
  • 1 pinch white pepper


  • Pour oil in the wok.
  • Add pounded garlic and chilli and stir till light brown.
  • Add minced chicken, stir for a while, till half cooked.
  • Add all the sauces and sugar.
  • When chicken is cooked, add basil and stir for a second.
  • Serve hot with steamed rice.

Note: In place of chicken, you can use pork, prawns, tenderloin, fish or even vegetables.

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