Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Massaman Beef Curry with Potato

Perfect for a cold winter day. It's worth stinking up your house for!  This hearty curry with mild flavors is very kid friendly.  My family gobble it up.

2 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
approx 750 grams of beef
1 large red onion, chopped
4 small potatoes or 2 large chopped to bite size
2 cans coconut milk (Do not shake your can... let it sit and seperate in your fridge before cooking)
1 cup massaman curry paste (See recipe on blog) - variations and ratios may be different depending on your paste. This recipe is based on the flavors in the paste I make myself with the recipe shown below
1/2 cup roasted, unsalted peanuts
half cup of shaved palm sugar (Substitute dark brown sugar if you cannot access palm sugar)
7 Tablespoons fish sauce
quarter cup of tamarind water

Heat oil in wok and sear meat. 
Add onion, cook about 1-2 minutes.
Add enough water to cover, bring to boil and simmer for 15 minutes.
Add the potatoes, cover and simmer until potatoes are partially cooked.
Strain out meat and vegetables, reserve broth.

Place thick cream from the coconut milk in wok, stir in curry paste, cook for 2 minutes. 
Mix in potatoes, meat and peanuts.  Stir in reserved coconut milk, add sugar, fish sauce and tamarind.
Stir until sugar is dissolved.  If necessary, stir in as much of the reserved broth to thin the sauce to your taste. Simmer until the potatoes are cooked through.
This curry taste almost better the next day, the flavors sit and marry in the fridge. Reheat gently.

Massaman Curry Paste

This mild curry, named after the Muslim people in southern Thailand, is spiced with cardamom, cloves and cinnamon, and used for hearty stew-like dishes.
It is one of the mildest and most fragrant of the Thai curries.

10 gms of dried red chilis -  I used 1 huge pod. Pick your chili dependant on the heat you want.
2 cardamom pods, roasted ( no stores in my area have cardamom pods, I opted to use 1/2 tsp ground dried cardamom).
1 1/4 teaspoon whole cumin seed, roasted
1 1/2 tablespoon whole coriander seed, roasted
1 1/2 teaspoons shrimp paste, roasted
1/4 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
2 cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 stalk lemon grass, finely sliced
1 tablespoon finely chopped, peeled galangal (Substitute ginger root if you cannot find galangal)
1/4 cup fresh chopped garlic
third cup chopped red onion

Soak chilis in warm water.
Line a tray with tin foil. Put spices  cardamom, cumin, coriander, and shrimp paste on tray and roast in oven until fragrant.
Combine peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon and roasted spices, grind in mortar and pestal for best results,... or if you don't have one put them in a zip lock bag and pound with flat side of a mallet until all are ground up and combined.
Finely chop remaining ingredients and transfer to food processor with the ground spices and shrimp paste.
Process to a paste using some of the soaking water if necessary.
Store in the fridge. Keep sup to 2 weeks. Or freeze in ice cube tray.