The Meal Planner

My husband and I are adventurous eaters and love to explore different cultures cuisines. We haven't delved into Thai food a whole lot so I went looking for a great Thai curry recipe. We LOVE Indian curries but I knew that Thai curries were different in that they are more sour. My foodie friend Dan lived in Thailand for a year and told me about Massaman curry. "Massaman" is a derivation of the word Muslim; this curry is Muslim in origin and strongly influenced by Indian curries.

It is a rich beef curry with a bit of sweetness and is quite nutty from the use of peanuts. If you too love Indian and are unfamiliar with Thai cuisine, this curry is a good way to bridge the gap and explore a new culture with your taste buds.

*Recipe from Thai Table
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Serves 4

1 lb stewing beef, cut into bite-sized chunks
1 onion, diced
2 potatoes, cut into bite-sized chunks
2 tbsp massaman curry paste (I use Mae Ploy)
1 can coconut milk
1 cup water
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup roasted peanuts
1 tsp tamarind concentrate (optional)

Jasmine rice

In a large pot over medium heat, add a tbsp of oil and the onions. Season the onions well with salt. You want them to sweat and not turn brown, so saute for about 5 minutes. Add the curry paste and the top part of the coconut milk (the thick cream) and saute for 2-3 minutes. Stir constantly because you don't want it to burn, but you want the ingredients in the curry paste to cook well. If the mixture is getting too dry add some of the coconut milk. The pour the rest of the coconut milk in and stir to combine. Continue stirring about 5 minutes or until red oil is starting to rise to the surface and then add the beef and a cup of water (or enough to cover the meat). Turn to heat to low, cover and let simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. This will allow the beef time to get nice and tender. Once the beef has simmered add the potatoes, sugar, peanuts and tamarind. Continue to simmer for another 20 minutes. If the liquid level is starting to get low, add a bit more water. Taste the curry and add more salt, sugar or tamarind (sour) as needed.

Serve over jasmine rice.

Click here for printable version of Thai Massaman Curry.
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THE RESULTS?
I was so impressed with this curry. The flavors were rich and complex. At the beginning of the cooking process I tasted the curry once the paste and the coconut milk had simmered together for a couple of minutes. I continued to taste it at each stage of the cooking process and the flavor morphed and changed and became more complex. I was so astounded. The curry tasted completely different from the beginning of the process to the end. It also tastes even better the next day as the flavors continue to develop and gain depth. It really takes on a peanutty flavor. So delicious.

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