April 1st: Massaman Curry

We decided, Phuket, we love Asian food! So, we returned to the continent but head to Thailand for lunch. Surprisingly we found coconut milk in the pantry and were able to make a favorite, Massaman Curry. The smell of the finished product was unbearable as I was in the other room on a conference call that went over by an hour but the wait was worth it. So fresh, a little heat and amazing flavor. Sorry Lims, it may be a while before we order Thai food again.

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp coconut or avocado oil
3 medium shallots, thinly sliced (or sub 1 small onion)
1 tsp whole cumin seed (or sub powder)
1 tsp whole coriander seed (or sub powder)
5 Tbsp red curry paste
1 cups baby potatoes cut into bite-size pieces
2 large carrots, peeled and diced 1/4-inch thick
2 14-oz. cans light fat coconut milk (sub up to 1 can with full-fat coconut milk for creamier, richer curry texture )
1-1 1/2 cups water
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 dash each cardamom and nutmeg
2-3 Tbsp soy sauce
1-2 Tbsp maple syrup or coconut sugar
2 Tbsp peanut butter (in place of traditional roasted peanuts can sub roasted peanuts)
1-2 Tbsp lime juice (or lemon)

  1. Heat a large pot or dutch oven (we like this one) over medium heat. Once hot, add oil (or water) and shallot. Sauté 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Turn down heat if browning too quickly.
  2. Add whole cumin and coriander seeds (or powder) and sauté for another 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently. Then add red curry paste and stir to combine. Cook for 1 minute more.
  3. Add potatoes and carrots and stir to coat. Cook for 2 minutes. Then add coconut milk, water (starting with the lesser amount), cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, coconut aminos, maple syrup, and peanut butter. (Reserve lime juice for later).
  4. The liquid should cover all of the ingredients if it does not, add a bit more coconut milk or water to cover. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.
  5. Once it reaches a low boil, reduce heat to a simmer (add meat at this time if cooking with shrimp or chicken) and cook for 10-15 minutes uncovered. You don’t want it boiling, so ensure it’s cooking over low heat at a simmer.
  6. Add lime in the last few minutes of cooking and stir. Then taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more lime for acidity, salt or coconut aminos for saltiness, curry paste for heat / more intense curry taste, maple syrup for sweetness, cinnamon or nutmeg for warmth, or peanut butter for creaminess / more intense peanut flavor.
  7. Stir and cook a few minutes more. Then turn off heat and let stand for at least 5 minutes before serving (this allows the flavors to meld).
  8. To serve, divide between serving bowls and enjoy as is or with a side of rice, cauliflower rice, quinoa, or steamed greens (optional). Fresh lime juice, cilantro, and roasted peanuts (optional) make lovely additions as well.

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