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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Massaman Curry

This curry is one of my favorites in Thailand. Typically, restaurants or stalls run by Muslim families would have this curry as an option. Though the curry part has a long list of ingredients, it really is simple and produces delicious results using things you probably already have in your kitchen if you eat the local food. Try putting everything in your pressure cooker to speed it up or add tenderness to any tough cuts of meat. Fresh lemongrass is becoming more available locally, but if you don’t find it, the pure dried lemongrass tea works just fine. Also, you may notice from my picture that I made the mistake of allowing the dried lemongrass to float freely in the curry. While it tasted great, I would not recommend this unless you want stab wounds in your mouth! It would be good to wrap it up in a small bit of cloth that you later remove from the curry. 


Massaman Curry
500g beef or chicken, sliced thinly
2 cups water + 1 stock cube
1 small onion, chopped
2 medium potatoes, cut into small chunks
Fresh coriander, optional

Curry Sauce:
1 thumb fresh ginger, appx. 1 inch by 2 inches
6 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tablespoons lemongrass, fresh or dried
1 dried red chili (more or less to taste)
¼ cup peanuts or cashews
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon cumin seed
½ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
3 cardamom pods, opened
1 teaspoon tamarind paste or lemon juice
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
¾ teaspoon shrimp paste (sub: tom yum paste)
2 Tablespoons fish sauce
1 can coconut milk
Chop the ginger, garlic, nuts, and black seeds from the cardamom pods as finely as you can. A mortar and pestle does this really well. Heat 1 Tablespoon oil in a large saucepan and add all the curry sauce ingredients except the coconut milk. Fry in the oil about 1 minute until the curry paste smells really fragrant. Add the water and stock cube stirring until the curry paste has evenly spread out into the liquid. Add the meat, onions, potatoes, and coconut milk to the pot. Bring to a boil then lower the heat, and simmer covered for about 30 minutes. If you like the curry sauce thicker, then remove the lid after about 25 minutes and allow some of the liquid to evaporate. Check that the potatoes are fork tender. If not, continue cooking a few more minutes. Remove the lemongrass pouch, and serve over rice.

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