May 15, 2009

Thai Massaman Curry

Lamb Massaman Curry
MUNCH RATING: 5/5
This is more of a stew than a curry, but it’s delicious and there is just enough spice to make your tongue tingle. The sauce is thick and even though it contains the obligatory coconut milk, the tamarind gives it a nice zing, so I don’t find it as sickly as normal Thai Red Curry. Steve doesn’t normally like potatoes, but they’re a common ingredient in this dish, and he really liked them in this as they soaked up a lot of flavour from the sauce and were nice and sweet.

I’ve found that Massaman/Mussaman paste isn’t that widely available in your average supermarket, so I bought mine from www.bartspices.com (it is also available from Waitrose). I’ve also bought a different brand from a Chinese supermarket, which was better value but wasn't nearly as good as the Barts one. The paste usually contains chilli, shallot, tamarind, coriander and lemongrass and it is Muslim in origin.

I adapted this recipe I’d saved from one of Steve’s Neo Magazines. I slow-cooked this is my Tefal 4-in-1, but you could cook it on your stove top or in the oven for a couple of hours.
  • Serves: 2 very generously with rice (or 4 if serving with starters or other dishes)
  • Tefal 4-in-1 Slow Cook: 6-9 hours
  • Tefal 4-in-1 Rice Cook: 20 minutes

Ingredients:
  • 2-3 Tablespoons of vegetable oil for frying
  • 500g stewing beef or lamb*
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 350g new potatoes, washed and cut in half (new potatoes hold their shape better, I used Charlotte’s)
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons massaman curry paste (I used Bart’s)
  • 400ml can coconut milk (I used reduced fat)
  • 200ml vegetable stock
  • 2 teaspoons tamarind paste (I used Bart’s)
  • 2 Tablespoons dark soy sauce (or fish sauce)
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar

Directions:
  1. Heat a Tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan and fry your meat until brown and sealed. Put into your slow cooker.
  2. Fry the onions, potatoes and garlic until golden brown**. Add these to the slow cooker.
  3. Add a little more oil to the pan, then fry the curry paste on a high heat for a couple of minutes, until it smells really fragrant.
  4. Take the pan off the heat, then add the coconut milk and stir it in really well. Return the pan to the heat and bring to the boil, stirring constantly.
  5. Add the stock, tamarind paste, soy/fish sauce and sugar, then boil the sauce for 5-10 minutes to thicken until it has reduced by a third.
  6. Add the sauce to the slow cooker and stir well to coat all the ingredients in the pot.
  7. Close the lid and check you have the slow cooker set for 6 hours cooking time.
  8. Transfer the curry to a large pan and simmer for 10 minutes to thicken the sauce a bit more.
  9. Meanwhile cook the rice in the cooker, which should take about 20 minutes.
*It is most commonly made with beef, but I used lamb as that’s what I had in the freezer. I used 1 inch cubes of frozen lamb, which I cut into smaller 1 cm pieces after I’d browned them in the pan (this makes the meat more tender and it goes further!).

**For the best results it’s important to brown the meat, onions and potatoes. I have tried adding potatoes without browning them first and it just wasn’t as good!

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