December 2, 2009

Massaman Curry

"Massaman" means "Muslim" or "Musulman." The curry is an Indian inspired dish from Southern region of Thailand that contains spices indigenous to India. The legend is that the Muslim traders carried these rich spices like cardamoms, cloves, turmeric from Middle east and India to East Asia where they mingled with the local flavors. This is a rich coconut based curry made with potatoes, preferably beef (you can substitute it with chicken and lamb), massaman paste (we used store bought paste which tastes equally good as the homemade one) and a combination of spices (cardamom, bay leaves, cloves). Some people like to add some fish sauce and peanuts to the curry. Enjoy it hot with plain white rice or roti prata and ajaat (slightly pickled cucumber salad) on the side.


4 chicken tighs/drumsticks - bone in and skin on (we prefer leaving the skin on as the fat from the skin adds another depth to the curry making it more flavorful)
1 can coconut milk + 3 tbsp coconut cream
1 1/2 medium red onion diced
2 small potatoes diced into medium sized pieces
4 1/2 tbsp store bought massaman paste
7-8 cardamom pods
1" cinnamon stick
3 bay leaves
1/4 tsp or less palm sugar
1/2 tsp tamarind paste
5 tbsp peanuts roasted and unsalted
1/4 cup water
2 tbsp olive oil

Method: Heat oil. Add the massaman paste and keep stirring till it imparts aroma (2-3 mins). Add the chicken, mix well so that the paste gets absorbed by the chicken pieces. Fry for 5 mins. Now add the coconut cream. Coat chicken with this and stir fry till oil separates from the dish. You will begin to notice red color standing at the top of the dish. Now add the coconut milk along with the spices, potatoes, onions. Mix well, cover the pan and simmer for 15-20 mins on low heat till the chicken is cooked. Add the peanuts, tamarind paste and palm sugar. Mix well and simmer for 2 more mins. Eat it hot with plain white rice and ajaat on the side.



musical said...

I make this often with tofu and assorted vegetables! Quite a yummy curry, always livens up dinners :). How was Thanksgiving?

Divya said...

Thanksgiving was fun -- in the sense that got to spend time with our loved ones, relax and we weren't too bad with our diet too (;-). Tofu would be good too -- will try adding that next time. Do you add salt at the end?