2-in1 Recipe: Massaman Curry & Paste

Massaman Curry Paste

I love Thai food – however, saying that, I always get the same dish when I eat out: Massaman Curry. This is one of my all-time favourite curries, but I think a lot of people bypass it for a trusty Pad Thai or Green Thai Curry instead. If you’ve never tried Massaman Curry, now’s your chance! Once you’ve got your hands on some curry paste, it makes a super quick and easy dinner, great for a delicious weeknight feast.

If you’ve got a decent spice collection, Massaman curry paste is not very difficult to make, and is worth the effort; plus, the recipe makes loads, so once you are addicted to Massaman Curry like me, you can make it over and over again! However, you can buy pre-made paste in larger super markets if you don’t feel like making your own. Despite the amount of chillies in the paste, it is actually a fairly mild curry, so don’t be put off by the mass of red chillies you need!

Vegetable-wise, this Massaman Curry is pretty simple: onions and sweet potatoes. The sweet potatoes soak up all the amazing flavours of this recipe, and totally make the dish; however, you can also use regular potatoes if you prefer, or throw in a carrot for good measure. Fried tofu in Massaman Curry is amazing, however I did not include it in my original recipe. Next time I make this dish (which will later this week!), I’ll fry some tofu up using this method and toss it in with the potatoes.

Massaman Curry Paste

  • 4 large red chillies, roughly chopped
  • 4 large red chillies, de-seeded and roughly chopped
  • 2 shallots, roughly chopped
  • 1 stick lemon grass, roughly chopped
  • ½ piece of ginger or galangal, peeled and  roughly chopped
  • 1 ½ teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 star anise, crushed (optional)
  • seeds from 3 cardamom pods (crack the pods, then reserve seeds and discard pods)
  • ½ teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • zest of 1 lime
  • juice of ½ lime

Place all ingredients in a food processor or mortar and pestle, and grind until a soft paste has formed; if you use a mortar and pestle, it is advisable to first finely chop the chillies, shallots, lemon grass and ginger, to save yourself some time and energy!

Please be careful when handling all those chillies – keep your hands away from your eyes!

Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 1-2 months, or freeze to preserve for longer.

Inspired by: http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/massamancurrypaste_4953 & http://foodandspice.blogspot.co.uk/2010/02/homemade-massaman-paste.html

Sweet Potato Massaman Curry

Sweet Potato Massaman Curry

You could easily add in some fried tofu or chicken to increase the protein of this warming curry.

Makes: 2-3 servings

  • coconut or Olive Oil
  • 1 onion, roughly sliced
  • approximately 3 Tablespoons Massaman Curry Paste
  • 400mL can of coconut milk
  • 300 mL vegetable or chicken stock
  • 2 sweet potatoes (approximately 600g / 1.3 lbs), cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 taeaspoon Demerara sugar
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1-2 Tablespoons cashews or peanuts, toasted and chopped, to garnish
  • cilantro (aka Fresh Coriander), chopped, to garnish
  • brown rice, to serve

Heat a couple tablespoons of oil over medium heat in a large pan. Fry the onion for about 4 minutes, until softened. Add in the curry paste, and lightly fry for an additional 2-3 minutes, until fragrant, stirring frequently. Pour in the coconut milk and stock, and bring to a simmer for a few minutes. Add in the sweet potato, and simmer, covered, for approximately 15-20 minutes, until the sweet potatoes are tender; make sure to stir everything occasionally. (Now is a good time to cook some rice to serve with the curry.) Once the potatoes are ready, stir in the sugar and lime juice, season, and cook for a few minutes, until the sauce has reduced a little.

Serve on a bed of rice, and garnish with peanuts and cilantro. Delicious served with a wedge of lime and flatbreads too! (Gluten Free Flatbread recipe coming soon…)

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