29 October 2012

Plate Up. Massaman Curry

I’m a lover of thai food but I’ve always found cooking it myself a little daunting – numerous ingredients (some of which I’ve never even heard of) and lengthy cooking times… But I’m proud to say I think I have mastered this one, the massaman curry, my personal favourite. This dish is delightfully fragrant, not too spicy and so delicious. It is a little complex and requires several pots but it is definitely worth it. Follow my lead… (Serves 4.)

What you’ll need
For Curry Paste
2 dried long red chillies
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 teaspoonds ground cumin
2 teaspoonds ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
½ teaspoon ground clove
3 cloves garlic
1 large brown onion, chopped coarsely
2 x 10cm sticks of fresh lemon grass, sliced thinly
3 fresh kaffir lime leaves, sliced thinly
4cm piece of ginger, chopped coarsely
1 tablespoon peanut oil (you can also use sesame depending on your flavour preference)

For Massaman Curry
800g of your preferred meat (I like to use chicken, but you can use steak or pork as well)
1½ cups chicken stock
¼ teaspoon ground clove
1 tablespoon grated palm sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 x 400ml cans of coconut cream
1 brown onion, chopped finely
4 potatoes, quartered
450g tin sliced pineapple
¼ cup roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
1 green onion, sliced thinly

What to do
First you need to make your curry paste. You can buy the bottled stuff from the Asian aisle in the supermarket if you are a little short on time, but I love to make it myself. Fry off the coriander, cumin, cinnamon, cardamom and clove in a small fry pan, stirring until fragrant. Place these spices and remaining ingredients into a blender and process until smooth. Easy! (This paste will keep for 2 weeks in a sealed container in the fridge.)

Now for the curry. Place stock, clove, sugar, sauce and half of the coconut cream into a large saucepan. Simmer uncovered until fragrant (usually about an hour, but if you are short on time 30mins will do). Remove from heat and reserve this fragrant liquid in a container.

Meanwhile, cook rice in another saucepan, and cook potatoes in a third saucepan. (Don’t worry this is the most pots you will have going at once!)

Using the empty saucepan that had the fragrant liquid in it, cook onion, chicken and 3 tablespoons of your curry paste, stirring until fragrant. Add remaining coconut milk and bring to the boil. Add 1 cup of the fragrant liquid back to the pot. Stir. When chicken is cooked, add cooked potatoes, pineapple and peanuts. Stir and remove from heat. Serve with rice and garnish with green onion.

I promise it’s worth the effort! Delicious.

Photos by Krissie.