The first time I was introduced to curry was in a little Thai restaurant in Midtown Memphis. My friends had ordered an appetizer of chicken satay, which is still my favorite. When it came to ordering my meal, I saw coconut, curry, chicken and cashews and I figured I couldn’t go wrong with that since I loved the satay. Their interpretation of it was good.
Since then I’ve clearly moved into a love of all things curry’s. Doesn’t matter if it’s Indian or Thai – I’m going to eat it! For the last few weeks I’ve been wanting to make chicken massaman curry. I needed to do some recipe research for this one since it seemed rather specific and I’m not as educated with Thai curry’s as I am with Indian curry’s. Well, what I found is that there is the authentic way to make chicken massaman curry and then there is a whole lot of “interpretation”. Granted, some of this interpretation is a way to save time in the kitchen and I can appreciate that, Why? Because I’m going to come up with a weeknight massaman curry recipe in the near future!
In the meantime, I really did want to make one that seemed the most authentic. I stumbled upon a YouTube video with Jaime Oliver and Poo. I figured that one was a good one to try and make (even though there were soooo many steps). There wasn’t a written recipe for it so I watched it a few times and wrote it down.
I’m not going to lie – this thing took me a good bit of time. Even with having everything laid out in advance. It shouldn’t have but it did.
Oh well, because what I ended up with was amazing! Sweet, savory, salty and umami all in one.
Quick note on this recipe: The curry paste is enough for two recipes so keep that in mind if you are intimidated.
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Chicken Massaman Curry
- 1 1/4 pound chicken breasts or 2 small ones, cut into chuncks
- 1 15-ounce can of light coconut milk
- 1 cup of water
- 2 cups of quartered small potatoes
- 1/2 red onion
- Massaman curry paste
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 teaspoon tamarind paste mixed with 1 tablespoon of water
- 1-2 tablespoon sugar
- 1/3 cup roasted peanuts
- 1 tablespoon fenugreek seeds
- 1 tablespoon cardamon seeds
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
- 1 small cinnamon stick
- 1 teaspoon whole cloves
- 1 dried red chili
- 1/4 cup chopped onion
- 1 thumb size of ginger or galangal root, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1 pice of lemongrass, white part minced
- 1/3 cup coconut milk from the can above
- Start with making the paste. You want to dry roast the spices and red chili for a few minutes in a hot sauté pan. Remove and grind in a spice grinder. Then you are going to want to dry roast the onion, ginger and garlic. I know - different. You want to watch this a sauté for about 5-7 minutes. Once soft, remove and puree with the curry powder. The next step is to pour a couple tablespoons of the coconut milk. You are kinda deglazing the bottom of the pan to get all the aromatics that are stuck. Once it's bubbled up and almost gone, add in the rest of the 1/3 cup of coconut milk and have of the curry paste. Stir and stir until it's all incorporated. You are looking for it to get dark and thick, like a paste. This should take a few minutes.
- Once you get the consistency, add in the chopped onion, chicken and potatoes. Sauté to coat with the curry paste and season with a few pinches of salt. Once everything is coated (a few minutes) add in the rest of the coconut milk, 1 cup of water, fish sauce, sugar and the bay leaves.
- Simmer, uncovered for 45 minutes. Keep an eye on it as it can reduce too much. If it is though, just add in a bit of water to thin it out.
- Serve with basmati rice.
With 1/2 Cup Cooked Rice
Gluten Free, Wheat Free, Egg Free, Soy Free, Pork Free, Alcohol Free, No Oil Added