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MASSAMAN CURRY

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Cook: +- 35 minutes

MASSAMAN CURRY

Ek het in my lewe nog nooit van “Massaman curry” gehoor nie, tot net onlangs. En omdat ons bly in ‘n land waar tamarind, lemongrass, speserye, coconut ens. alledaags beskikbaar is, het ek besluit om dit ‘n “go” te gee. Ek het nie “red curry paste” gehad nie, maar het die elemente net enkel bygesit. Die resep vra vir hoender. Ek het vis gebruik. Dink dit was Tilapia fillet. Met hoender of bees sal ek die vleis vinnig bruin braai en dan later saam met die sous kook tot gaar. Vis kook te vinnig gaar, so ek het dit gebraai en 5 min voor ek opdien, dit deur geroer.

  • Curry Paste:
  • 60 g store bought red curry paste (I used chili, fresh ginger, garlic and fresh lemongrass)
  • 1 teaspoon toasted ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika (or ordinary, NOT smoked)
  • Curry:
  • neutral oil (I used coconut)
  • 600 g diced chicken or fish fillets (I used fish fillet)
  • 100 g shallots, sliced (onion)
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 x 400 ml tin full-fat coconut milk
  • 200 g potatoes, peeled and cut into small chunks
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tamarind paste
  • 30 g roasted peanuts
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • Cilantro, chopped

Place al the ingredients for the curry paste in a blender and blend together until well combined. Set aside.
In a large enough pot or deep frying pan, heat the oil over high heat.
Add the diced chicken or fish fillets to the pot and sear for 5 minutes on both sides until browned – DO NOT STIR. You may have to do this in batches. The chicken doesn’t need to be cooked through, as it’ll cook through in the curry sauce.
Remove the seared meat of your choice from the pot and set aside.
Reduce the heat to medium-high, add a little more oil to the pot, add the shallots and sauté until translucent and slightly browned.
Add the curry paste to the shallots and fry for about 3 – 4 minutes until fragrant. Keep stirring to prevent the curry paste from burning.
Add the cardamom pods, cinnamon stick and bay leaves to the curry mixture and fry for another 30 seconds.
Pour the coconut milk into the pot and stir slowly, bringing the mixture to a boil.
Add the potatoes, seared chicken, brown sugar, fish sauce and the tamarind paste and stir.
Simmer the curry and spice mixture over medium-heat for 15 – 20 minutes or until the sauce has reduced to a thickness you desire and the chicken and potatoes are cooked.
If you used fish fillets, instead of chicken, add the seared fish at the end of the cooking process, just before serving.
Do a taste test and add more fish sauce (or even shrimp paste) for more saltiness or sugar for sweetness.
Remove the cardamom pods and bay leaves from the dish if possible.
Serve on rice and garnish with peanuts, lime wedges and cilantro.

Notes:
To make this recipe vegetarian/vegan, just replace the fish sauce with soy sauce and use tofu or tempeh instead of chicken.
Adjust the thickness of the curry dish with water if needed.

Curry Paste:
I was in a rush and didn’t blend the ingredients to a paste, but it was very tasty, even using all ingredients individually – just to say, shortcuts isn’t less tasty.
I added red pepper strips and mange tout for something fresh to the dish, when potatoes are almost done, didn’t want it to be soggy.

Recipe tested and photo: Carmari Fourie Strobos

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