“Massaman” Curry

This is my 100th blog post, meaning I have been blogging for just over three months now.  I just wanted to take a moment to say how much I am enjoying sharing my experiences thus far, and in honor of my 100th post, I wanted to attempt a recipe my family truly loves.

One of mon mari’s very favorite dishes in all the world is massaman curry, and I actually introduced him to it years ago at a little Thai restaurant near the beach where we lived at the time.

I have noticed that some Thai restaurants vary the ingredients a bit, but to me, the very best version of massaman curry is made with chicken, avocado, potato, carrot, onion, and cashews.

In an effort to save us a trip to our favorite Thai place, I thought I would try to recreate massaman curry at home with a rich coconut milk sauce and some curry paste from the market.  I couldn’t find massaman curry paste, so I used red curry paste instead (hence the quotation marks), and the flavor is pretty comparable.  I’m trying to be modest, but I think I did a super job!

“Massaman” Curry a la Madame Verte
Serves 4.

As a disclaimer, mon mari likes his food on the mild side, so I tried to tone down the heat in this curry as much as possible.  Obviously, it’s easy to make the dish spicier — just add more curry paste!  Whew!

Ingredients:
2-3 chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
2 peeled potatoes, cut into rough cubes*
2 peeled carrots, sliced*
* My local Thai restaurant cuts its vegetables with a scalloped-edged cutter, so I did that too, but you certainly don’t have to.  See photo below.
1 large onion cut into bite-size wedges
1 1/2 cans of coconut milk
3 tablespoons of red curry paste
1 1/2 tablespoons of sweet red chili sauce
1/4 teaspoon of lemongrass paste
1 can of low sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons of brown sugar
2 tablespoons of fish sauce
2-3 tablespoons of fresh lime juice (I really love lime flavor, so I may have added more)
1 ripe avocado, cut into chunks and sprinkled with a bit of extra lime juice to prevent browning
3 handfuls of cashews, mine were lightly salted


Method:
Begin by preparing the vegetables (carrot, onion, potato) and cutting the chicken breasts into pieces.

Here are all the veggies with their scalloped edges.

In a large skillet, begin the curry sauce by warming a can of coconut milk.  Once the coconut milk is warm and bubbly, stir in the red curry paste, sweet red chili sauce, and lemongrass paste.  Combine well so that the curry sauce is smooth and a velvety, red-orange color.

Add the chicken to the pan and cook for 5-7 minutes on medium-high heat, allowing the sauce to bubble gently.

Add in the chicken and stir the sauce to begin the curry.

Next, add the brown sugar, fish sauce, remaining half can of coconut milk, and chicken broth.  Cook 2-3 minutes to develop the sauce.

Add in the rest of the liquids to finish the sauce.

Add in the vegetables.  Stir to coat the potatoes, carrots, and onion wedges in the curry sauce.  Cook the curry for 20-25 minutes or until the vegetables are just fork-tender, with a bit of bite left to them.  Add the lime juice when about 5 minutes of cooking time remain.

Add in the vegetables and cook 20-25 minutes until they are mostly tender, with a bit of bite left.

Just before taking the curry off the heat, add in the avocado chunks, and cashews.  Warm for just a minute and turn off the heat.  Allow the sauce to thicken a few minutes before serving.

Ready to serve!

Serve the curry with cooked jasmine rice (you can prepare it in rice balls, see the tutorial in Perfect Rice Balls).

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