It’s been over a week since the last post.
I was unwell for a while, you see. But I’m on my way to feeling better!
The thing about convalescence though, is that I end up feeling as hungry as a tiger.
So, I made some Massaman Curry.
1. Because I am a firm believer that hungry tigers love Thai food. (No, really they do. You really don’t know anything about tigers, do you?)
2. Because my husband has been telling me that it’s been a while since I posted ‘real’ food on the blog (Hmph. Like he’s perfect. He’s been acting that way ever since he made some killer chicken tikka masala two days ago. I’ve been trying to wheedle the recipe out of him. No luck so far though)
Now, even though I’m South Indian and have spent most of my life eating curry in some form or the other, I have to say that this is definitely on my top five curries of all time!
What I love about this (other than the fantastic flavor combination of coconut milk and peanuts) is that its perfect for cold winter days when you’re snowed in (yes, again. will this never end???).
Also, I’ve found that even if I make double the normal amount, we’re always out of this stuff by midnight.
Why double you might ask. Apparently this curry tastes even better on the second day. But I’m sorry, I really couldn’t tell you if that’s true.
Anyway, I found this recipe on one of my favorite Asian foodblogs – Rasa Malaysia. I’ve altered it a bit, because the original recipe is for a beef curry. This recipe is so good, I don’t think you’ll have to look anywhere else!! Try it and let me know!
Lets get started.
Get some chicken (boneless, skinless), peanut (or vegetable) oil and some Massaman Curry paste.
Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces and place in a bowl. Drizzle some oil on the chicken.
Now, get the Massaman paste out. You can make this at home. I’ve never tried, but I must say the store bought paste makes really good curry. And it smells heavenly!
Mix the paste well with the chicken and oil until it looks like this.
You know, at this point, it looks so good that if it weren’t raw chicken, I’d have tried sampling some of it.
Let the chicken marinate for a while.
During this time, get all the other ingredients you’ll need for the curry.
Shallots, potatoes, basil (Thai basil, if you’re lucky, the regular kind, if you’re not), coconut milk, brown sugar, fish sauce, tamarind paste and the spices. (you will also need roasted peanuts, but mine were in the oven when this photo was taken)
Now, before I move on, a couple of things:
1. Fish sauce is not evil.
Repeat after me.
Fish sauce is not evil.
Fish sauce is probably the reason this curry tastes so amazing. Just don’t try sticking your nose in the bottle and inhaling, thats all.
2. Do not buy that rubbish that sells as ‘lite’ or ‘low fat’ coconut milk. If you’re doing this, please do this right.
Or I’ll pour a whole bottle of fish sauce on your head.
Oh, I really will.
Now for the spices.
I can’t begin to tell you how amazing this is. It looks beautiful and smells even better!
Cinnamon and cardamom.
Lets get started with the curry then!
Heat some oil in a heavy bottomed pan/pot/whatever you like.
Get the spices out.
I highly recommend giving the pods of cardamom a good whack with either the flat part of your knife or a mortar and pestle.
You don’t want the pods exploding when they hit the oil. You really don’t. Trust me.
Especially because I know you’ll be leaning into the pot to get a good whiff of those spices.
Hot oil up your nose = no fun.
Once the oil gets nice and hot, pop in the spices.
And let them fry for about half a minute.
In the meanwhile, peel the shallots.
If you end up with really large shallots (like I have), quarter them.
Add the shallots to the spices and stir fry on a medium/high flame until they look like this.
It’s now time to add the chicken thats been marinating and absorbing all those wonderful flavors.
Cook the chicken until it goes from looking like this….
to looking like this.
Then add the coconut milk, fish sauce and water.
Follow it up with the potato (that you’ve peeled and quartered), roasted peanuts and half the basil.
Bring the curry to a boil.
Then lower to a simmer and cook covered for 30 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked through.
After this, I like to take the lid off the pan and cook the curry down until it reaches the right thickness (it usually takes me about 3 minutes), but you don’t have to if you like the curry the way it is.
This is the perfect time to get the jasmine rice cooking.
I love jasmine rice.
Its smells divine… Sigh… Total knee buckling moment whenever I open the jar and inhale.
After 30 minutes of cooking, take the pan off the flame.
Add the tamarind paste, brown sugar and the remaining basil.
Check the seasoning.
I always find I need to add just a little bit of salt, but thats totally up to you.
Serve hot with steaming jasmine rice.
And let me know if you have any left over for the second day!
I bet you won’t though!!
chicken breast - 1 pound (boneless, skinless)
massaman curry paste - 3 tbspns
cardamom - 8
cinnamon - 2 sticks
star anise - 3
shallots - 6 small/3 large (peeled, quartered if large)
coconut milk - 2 cans
water - 1 cup
fish sauce - 1 and 1/2 tbsp
potatoes - 2 medium (peeled, quartered)
tamarind paste - 1/2 tbsp
brown sugar - 1 tbsp
peanuts - 3-4 tbsp (roasted, unsalted)
peanut/vegetable oil - 2 tbsp
Thai basil leaves - a handful, chopped.
Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces.
Add 1 tbsp of the oil and the massaman curry paste to the chicken. Mix well, and set aside to marinate.
Heat the remaining oil in a pan.
Once the oil is hot, fry the cinnamon, cardamom and star anise in it for 30 seconds.
Add the shallots and fry until golden-brown.
Then add the chicken, lower the flame and let it cook for 3-5 minutes.
Add coconut milk, fish sauce, water, potatoes, peanuts and half the basil.
Bring the mixture to a boil.
Cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked through.
If needed, remove the lid and cook until the curry reaches desired thickness.
Remove the pan from the flame.
Stir in the tamarind paste, brown sugar and remaining basil.
Serve hot with jasmine rice.