Explore my delightful Chicken Massaman Curry recipe! A Thai friend of mine introduced me to this delicious dish, and the first time I tasted her preparation, I was utterly captivated by its exceptional flavour. While she used chicken breast, I have a personal preference for chicken thighs, as they impart a deeper richness to the curry. The comforting texture of the dish, especially the potatoes, truly resonated with me. I’m thrilled to now share this treasured recipe with you.
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A Culinary Journey: Dive into Massaman Curry
Ever stumbled upon a dish that seamlessly melds cultures, flavors, and histories? Enter Massaman curry, a harmonious marriage of Thai and Indian culinary arts. This recipe embodies the very soul of this renowned dish.
Roots and Inspirations
Tracing its origins to 16th-century southern Thailand, Massaman Curry Chicken emerges as a fragrant, mild, and subtly sweet sensation. Indian traders and Muslim merchants enriched its history, introducing a plethora of Indian spices to Thai cuisine. Many link its lineage to the Indian curry known as “mussulam” or “muslim.”
Essential Elements of Thai Curry
Central to Massaman curry are ingredients like beef or chicken, potatoes, onions, peanuts, coconut milk, and the pivotal Massaman curry paste. Yet, as with any iconic dish, variations abound. Some versions might incorporate vegetables like carrots or bell peppers, while others lean towards tofu or shrimp.
The Dish’s Soul: Massaman Curry Paste
Behind every memorable dish lies a secret component. For Massaman curry, it’s the fragrant curry paste. This enchanting mix is crafted from a blend of ingredients that typically include lemongrass, galangal, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, cloves, star anise, cinnamon, cardamom, dried red chilies, shallots, and garlic. Each ingredient contributes its unique aroma and flavour, creating the signature Massaman taste.
Cooking Massaman Curry: A Step-by-Step Guide
Chicken Massaman Curry
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- 0.9 lbs Boneless Chicken Thighs - (400g) diced into bite size pieces
- 4 tbsp Massaman Curry Paste
- 0.9 lbs Small New Potatoes - (400g) waxy type potatoes, halved
- 2 Banana shallots - diced
- 2 Carrots, large - peeled and sliced
- 1.7 cups Coconut milk - (400ml) coconut cream works as well
- 2 tbsp Peanut Butter - (for a nut-free version use this product)
- 4 Kaffir Lime Leaves - finelly sliced
- ¼ tsp Ground Cardamom
- 1 Cinammon Stick, small
- 1 tsp Ground Cumin
- 1 tsp Ground Coriander
- 1 pinch Nutmeg
- 1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
- 2 tbsp Toasted Peanuts - for garnish (gently toast on medium heat in a frying pan, stirring frequently, until they start to brown)
- 1 handful Fresh Coriander - for garnish
- 1 Lime, juice only - drizzle before serving
- In a deep frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil over medium heat. Once hot, add 2 diced shallots. Fry them until they begin to brown.
- Increase the heat and introduce 400g of diced chicken thighs to the pan. Ensure all sides of the meat are seared until browned.
- Sprinkle 1 teaspoon each of ground cumin and ground coriander into the pan. Follow this with 2 sliced carrots. Stir the mixture and let it cook for an additional 2 minutes.
- Add Thai red curry paste, ground cardamom , a cinnamon stick, and a pinch of nutmeg to the pan. Cook until the mixture becomes fragrant, which should take about a minute.
- Introduce halved waxy potatoes, coconut milk, peanut butter, and thinly sliced Kaffir lime leaves into the pan. Stir the mixture until the peanut butter is thoroughly blended. Allow it to simmer for approximately 40 minutes, or until the chicken becomes tender, stirring from time to time.
- Once the chicken is cooked through, remove the cinammon and ladle the curry over jasmine rice. Garnish with toasted peanuts, fresh coriander, and a splash of lime juice before serving. Enjoy!
- Choice of Chicken: While the recipe specifies chicken thighs, they are often chosen for their juiciness and flavour. However, if you prefer leaner meat, you can use chicken breasts. Reduce cooking time by 10 minutes as they will cook faster.
- Potato Type: The recipe calls for waxy potatoes, which hold their shape better during cooking. Examples include Yukon Gold or Red Bliss. Avoid starchy potatoes like Russets as they might break down too much in the curry.
- Peanut Butter: Using natural, unsweetened peanut butter is recommended to avoid added sugars that can alter the taste of the curry. If you have a peanut allergy, consider substituting with almond or cashew butter.
- Storage: This curry can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. It often tastes even better the next day as the flavours meld together. It’s also freezer-friendly for up to a month.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for Coq au Vin Recipe
- Where can I find Massaman curry paste? Massaman curry paste is available at Asian grocery stores, some supermarkets in the international aisle, or online. Alternatively, you can make it from scratch using traditional ingredients.
- How spicy is Massaman curry? Massaman curry is generally milder compared to other Thai curries. However, you can adjust the heat level by adding or reducing the number of dried red chilies in the curry paste.
- What can I serve with Massaman curry? Massaman curry pairs well with jasmine rice, brown rice. You can also complement it with a side of Thai cucumber salad or steamed vegetables.
- Is Massaman curry gluten-free? Generally, Massaman curry is gluten-free. However, always check the ingredients, especially if using store-bought curry paste, as some might contain gluten.
- How do I adjust the consistency of the curry? If the curry is too thick, you can add a bit more coconut milk or water. If it’s too thin, let it simmer uncovered for a longer time to reduce.
From the Chef Lukasz
I’m confident you’ll relish this unique Massaman Curry recipe! Did you introduce any special modifications or twists? Perhaps you complemented it with a specific accompaniment or topping? I’m keen to learn about your culinary journey with this Thai gem. If it tantalized your palate, remember to leave a star rating! Enjoy your meal!