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Thai Massaman Curry

Cook Time:

18 - 20 minutes


4 - 5 people

Thai Massaman Curry

For the paste:
3-4 dried Thai red chillies
5 small turmeric roots (N.B. wear gloves when handling or you will stain your fingers, you can also use 2 teaspoons powdered turmeric)
5 pepper corns
4 cardamom pods
1 teaspoon powdered nutmeg
2 teaspoons powdered fenugreek
The tip of a teaspoon of star anise (or one whole one)
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 a cinnamon stick
2 stalks of lemongrass
6 thick slices of galangal
1 dessert spoon palm sugar
1 teaspoon salt

For the Dish:
4 free-range chicken breasts
2 small potatoes
2 tins coconut milk
Curry paste (as above)
4 bay leaves
2 dessert spoons tamarind juice (or 1 heaped teaspoon of concentrate)
2 dessert spoons unsalted, roasted peanuts
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon palm sugar

1 dessert spoon cashew nut paste

Begin by making the curry paste. Place all of the dry ingredients (the contents of the cardamom pods, chillies, cumin and coriander seeds etc.) in a dry frying pan, heat until the seeds start to pop, stirring constantly then place in a grinder and grind to powder. Add the powder from the grinder and any additional powdered spice to a mixer then continue by peeling and roughly chopping the lemongrass, turmeric roots (being careful to wear gloves to avoid staining your fingers yellow) and galangal. Re-heat the pan and dry-fry these for a short time stirring constantly then add to the mixer with 100 millilitres of water and blend to a fine level. Add this back to the pan and re-heat, adding the salt and palm sugar then stir frying for one minute. Reserve in a cup for later then use the dry pan to roast the peanuts until they are golden brown and reserve these for later.

Peel the potatoes and cut them into bite sized portions then heat the saucepan and add the coconut milk, mix in the curry paste and add the bay leaves, mix thoroughly then bring to a simmer and add the potatoes and cook for 10 minutes. While this is happening, remove any fat or sinew from the chicken and cut into bite-sized pieces. After 10 minutes add the chicken and peanuts and simmer for another 8 minutes. Now add the tamarind, cashew nut paste (a handful of cashew nuts blended for 10 minutes) salt and palm sugar, stir thoroughly then remove from the heat and serve with boiled rice.

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