Thai Masaman Chicken, 'Gaeng Masaman Gai'
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The 'massaman' indicates that the recipe is of a 'musselman' or islamic origin. It probably owes something to early Portuguese influences, and is similar in concept to the 'sour and hot' Goan style vindaloo dishes.
By Thai standards this is usually a fairly mild curry, so we find it's a good starting point.
This version is a guaranteed winner but takes a bit longer to make than our other Massaman recipe:
Classic Thai Massaman Beef
In a CNN story, Massaman curry was declared "World's Most Delicious Food"
For 4 Person(s)
- 1 Pound Chicken (you can also use pork or beef), cut into the usual
- 3 Cups Coconut Milk
- 2 Tablespoons Roasted Peanuts (unsalted)
- 5 Peeled, Whole, Small Onions
- 5 small potatoes, peeled and partly boiled.
- 3 Bay leaves
- 5 Cardamom Seeds
- 1 Small Piece Roasted cinnamon stick
- 2 Tablespoons Palm Sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Tamarind Concentrate Mixed with 2.5 tablespoons water
- 3 Tablespoons Lime Juice
- 3 Tablespoons Masaman curry paste
- 2 Teaspoons Crushed Garlic (optional)
Ingredients For Ajad
- 4 Tablespoons White Rice Vinegar
- 1 Teaspoon Sugar
- 3 Tablespoons Cucumber, Very Coarsely chopped, or sliced
- 2 Shallots, Chopped
- 4 Thai Chile Peppers, Thinly Sliced
Method for Thai Masaman Chicken, 'Gaeng Masaman Gai'
Peel potatoes, boil them partly in a cooking pot for 10-15 minutes, and cut in 1 to 2-inch pieces.
Allow the coconut milk to separate and you will have about two cups of thick "cream" and one cup of thin "milk". In a small saucepan bring the milk to a simmer and add the chicken or pork. If you are using beef you will need another two cups of milk. Simmer the meat until it begins to become tender (beef takes longer, hence the additional milk).
Put the coconut cream in a wok and bring to a boil, add the massaman paste and "stir fry" until the flavor is brought out and maximized. Add the remaining cream and curry paste to the meat.
Add the peanuts. Taste and adjust the flavor until it is (just) sweet (by adding sugar), sour and salty (by adding tamarind juice, lime juice and fish sauce).
Add the remaining ingredients and cook until cooked.
Note : the potatoes used in Thailand for this dish are a yellow fleshed sweet potato of the type sometimes called a yam in the US. Western style potatoes can be used, but absorb less of the sauce and flavor. The potatoes act as a "moderator" to reduce the heat of the curry, and should not be left out.
You can either serve it on a bed of Thai jasmine rice, or double the amount of potato and serve it alone.
Accompany it with a dressed green salad and a bowl of 'ajad'.
Combine Ingredients, Leave to Stand Overnight
The traditional Thai table also offers chilis in fish sauce (nam pla prik--see below) chilis in vinegar (prik dong, see below), and ground chilli (not to be confused with the powedered chilli mix sold as chilli powder in the US), sugar, and often MSG. You can if you wish add about a teaspoon of MSG to the above recipe to bring out the flavors, but we don't think it is necesary.
Nam pla prik