Gaeng Massaman – Vegetable Massaman Curry
Thai Massaman Curry was voted the most delicious food in the world back in 2011 by CNN, and I have to say I agree. This dish has maintained its position as my favorite Thai food for the last 5 years.
With influence from Malaysia and India, the dish can vary depending on the region of Thailand it comes from. Traditionally, Northern Thai Massaman is influenced by India, and tends to be darker and richer than you would find in Southern Thailand, where it is influenced more by Malaysia, and has a lighter, sweeter sauce sometimes containing pineapple.
Massaman paste is probably the most difficult paste in the world to make, requiring each spice to be roasted and ground on its own before being mixed together into the paste. I suggest you buy the paste from the store, and not try to make it on your own. Traditional Massaman paste consists of cinnamon, cardamom, clove, star anise, coriander, pepper, cumin, tamarind, chili, lemongrass, galangal, garlic, salt, shallots, nutmeg, mace, and peppercorns.
Traditionally, Massaman is made with potatoes, onions, peanuts, and either chicken or beef, although it is just as delicious vegetarian.
What You Need: Makes 2-3 servings
1 Large Potato
1/2 large White Onion
3/4 cup peanuts
1 large Tbsp Massaman Curry Paste
1-2 cans coconut milk
1 tsp Palm Sugar
1/2 tsp Fish Sauce
Coconut Oil for frying
2 cups of Vegetables of your choice: broccoli, carrot, cauliflower, mushroom, snap pea, purple cabbage, etc.
1. In a wok or frying pan, fry a tablespoon of coconut oil with 1 large tablespoon of Massaman curry paste over high heat. Be careful not to burn the paste. Add a cup of coconut cream. You can find the cream at the top of the coconut milk can if you do not stir it. Mix the cream with the paste and fry for a minute or two.
2. Slowly add the remainder of the coconut milk, not all at once. Stir.
3. Add the fish sauce and palm sugar. Stir
4. Peel and cut the potato and add it too the sauce. Add the peanuts and onions. Let everything cook and develop flavors for 30 minutes or so over low-medium heat.
5. Taste. Need more salt or sweetness? Adjust accordingly. Too spicy? You can add more coconut milk. Less coconut milk makes for a thicker sauce.
6. Prepare the vegetables by cutting into small chunks. Add the vegetables to the sauce 5 minutes before finishing.
7. Serve over white or brown rice, or leave as a soup on its own.