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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Massaman-ISH Curry

Yesterday, I really wanted a curry. And I love making curries.  As well as eating them. Actually,  I love eating curries more than I love making them, to be truthful, but I still love making them because people love curries and it's so satisfying to have someone dig in to food you've just made and look so happy.  So, I initially wanted more of an Indian style curry, but ended up making this kind of Massaman Thai curry instead.  Now, I need to emphasise that this is not a true Massaman Curry, for the simple fact that I could not find all the ingredients!  I tried really hard, but the Asian food stores in my neighbourhood stocked neither lemongrass nor shrimp paste. I was a little bit irritated, because I love them both, but what's a girl to do when she's living in a country where she doesn't speak the language???  Try for a bit, then give up and go home and see what happens with the ingredients she has I guess.  

This was the result:


What do you think?? I'm sure there's a great way to photograph curries.  At Chefinyou AND Veggiebelly,  they always take beautiful photographs of their curries. Alas, I am a beginner, and this will have to do. 

It really was tasty, and if you want a more authentic Massaman curry, there are plenty out there. One that's particularly good AND gives a bit of info on the Massaman, can be found here: http://www.shesimmers.com/2010/07/massaman-curry-recipe.html#comment-form

Also, you can easily add beef or chicken, but it really did taste beautiful without meat.  I even fooled Roddy into thinking there was meat in it for a bit.  But not the whole meal.

So, here is the process.  Note that shrimp paste and lemongrass in the paste would have added a whole other level of deliciousness.

Ingredients

Paste:
  • Tsp peppercorns, toasted
  • Tsp cumin seeds, toasted
  • Tsp coriander seeds, toasted
  • 1/2 tsp cloves, toasted
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 tsp each of cumin, cinnamon, salt, pepper and coriander, ground
  • 2 of the really hot red chilis
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp ginger
  • Zest of lime
  • 1 tbsp oil
Other part:
  • 1 onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 zucchini
  • 5 mushrooms
  • 3 potatoes, cooked 3/4s of the way in boiling water, in bite sized pieces
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup crushed cashew nuts
Directions

For the paste, just blitz all the ingredients in a hand blender, or pound it in a mortar and pestle, depending on how much time and pent up anger you have to get rid of.

Then.  Heat up a little oil in a deep-ish pan, and add the paste.  It's probably WAY better if you make the paste the day before so the flavours can come together more,  but I'm not that much of a planner, so same day paste must do!

Sautee that for around 5-10 mins, so that you can really smell the flavours. Mine was a little bit dry, so I added a bit of the coconut milk to it for added moisture.  Then add the onion, chopped to your desired size.  Cook that up for a bit,  I covered the pan as well.  Then, add (in this order, giving each time to cook before adding the next), garlic, zucchini and mushroom.  Finally add the coconut milk and later the nuts.  Did I forget anything?  YES. The potatoes. Add them right before the coconut milk.  Let that simmer as long as you can.  Mine was not sweet enough so I ended up adding a bit of sugar to it. And i snuck in a bit more cumin as well.  It just depends on how you like it.

I let it sit and simmer on low heat for as long as I could before I cooked up the rice, but I imagine the leftovers in my fridge are going to taste even better for letting those flavours mix together even longer!!



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