Fragrant, crazy delicious Beef Massaman curry made it to the top of CNN’s 2011 list of World’s Best Foods. It is complex but not too difficult to make. It will definitely require your time and efforts but the reward is so satisfying! Love Thai food? Don’t miss it!
Why Beef Massaman curry is so popular? Well, It is simply so tasty. This curry is all about taste and texture:spicy,sour,salty & sweet. It is rich & incredibly delicious, every ingredient adds specific flavors.
KNOWING THE INGREDIENTS
Beef Massaman curry paste consists of roasted dried spices and a few fresh aromatics.
Spur chilies ( phrik chi fah) give color and spiciness but not hotness. In this curry dried spur chilies are used. You must deseed them and soak in warm water to allow softening before pounding with salt.
Lemongrass ( Takhrai) gives aroma and texture. Chose the ones with plump base and light purple in color. Remove the outer bulb using a peeler until the pinker appears inside.
Galangal( Kha) is Thai ginger. Like lemongrass it gives amazing aroma when you cook it in hot liquid. When buying galangal , pick only young one with pinkish white skin.
Coconut milk (Kathi) is an essential ingredient in Thai curries. It is an extract from grated meat of coconut. In term of flavor and smell , fresh coconut milk is incompatible to bottles pasteurized one.
IS IT WORTH TO MAKE CURRY PASTE AT HOME?
Homemade paste for Beef Massaman curry outperforms commercial curry pastes. I highly recommend spending your valuable time to make curry paste from scratch. There is a noticeable difference between curries with homemade paste and store-bought ones.
- Beef ( cut into 4 cm ( 1.5 inch) chunks- 500 gm
- Thin coconut milk- 5 cups, plus 1 cup extra for Massaman curry paste.
- Medium potatoes ( peeled and cubed)- 2
- Onion (peeled & cubed)
- Cardamon ( Thai Siam cardamon preferred)- 3
- Bay leaves- 2
- Cloves ( roasted)- 3
- Vegetable oil-3 tbsp.
- Massaman curry paste( click the link to see the instructions)- ½ cup
- FOR SEASONING
- Tamarind juice- ½ cup
- Palm sugar- ½ cup
- Sea salt- 2 tsp
- Fish sauce - 3 tbsp ( optional)
- FOR SERVING
- Peanuts, roasted - 2 tbsp
- In a large wok, heat 3 tbsp. vegetable oil, then add in the beef chunks, cardamons, bay leaves and cloves and fry lightly.
- Pour 5 cups of the thin coconut milk into the wok, bring it to a boil, reduce the heat and allow to simmer for 15 minutes.
- Add the cubed potatoes and onions, continue cooking for another 15-20 minutes on low heat or until the veggies are cooked through and the beef is tender. Take out the cooked onion.
- In the meantime heat ½ cup of coconut milk in a medium heavy saucepan/ skillet over medium-low heat, stirring from time to time to prevent curdling. When it is about to boil, add the Massaman curry paste. Continue to cook until the curry mixture becomes fragrant and oily. Transfer to the work with beef and raise the heat to medium.
- Season with tamarind juice,palm sugar, salt and fish sauce ( if desired). Adjust salt to your liking.
- At this stage add the roasted peanuts, cook a few more minutes until it boils again.Turn off the heat, transfer to a bowl and serve.
A mortar and pestle, a Thai wok
* If you don't find find some ingredients, go for a ready-made Massaman curry paste. When buying it, check the ingredients list. For example, this curry paste should be made with dried spur chilies. Most commercial Massaman curry pastes are more salty to preserve the products. I advise to taste the curry before adding salt or fish sauce.
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BEEF MASSAMAN CURRY
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