Beneath the vibrant green and red Thai curry that we are often confronted with, lies another dish that has drawn cultural values from all areas of Asia and provides a visual record of spices that have travelled along the silk road. Probably the most well-respected curry amongst its allies, enriched with a flair for well round spices, soothing touch of sweetness and hints of nuttiness crunch. Massaman Curry aspires to devour earthy ingredients rooting from spectacles across Asia, utilising cinnamon, cardamom and star anise. With its wonderful collection of earthy aroma, this dish has sprout to be a unique, traditional curry choice of Thailand. This recipe calls for crispy chicken thighs in order to marry a fantastic richness between the meat and sauce, allowing episodes of diligent tenderness in every bite. Cardamoms, Star Anise and Bay Leaves are not to be eaten here, but infused and left on the plate when serving to display a bowlful of natural beauties. The minute you begin combining ingredients together, an uplifting aroma of Thai forestry swirls pleasantly around.
Massaman Curry Paste homemade or readymade 2 tbsp
Chicken Thighs 6
Onions peeled & cut into small cubes 1
Potatoes 300g peeled & cut into small cubes
Cashew nuts 3 tbs
Star Anise 1 whole
Cardamom 4 lightly crushed
Cinnamon Stick 1
Bay leaves 4 leaves
Vegetable Oil 4 tbs
Coconut Milk 800ml/2 cans
Shallots 2 thinly sliced
Palm Sugar 35g
Fish Sauce 3 tbs
Tamarind Juice 3 tbs
Preheat oven to 180C. Drizzle large pan with oil and once hot, add chicken thighs. Keep turning until they turn golden brown. Once they reach that stage transfer onto a baking tray and leave in the oven for 20 minutes.
Heat a deep pan with vegetable oil and fry thinly sliced shallots until golden brown, then leave aside on kitchen paper to cool. Keep oil.
In the same pan of oil add curry paste, mix until softened, smooth and fragrant. Then add onions and stir until slightly brown.
Pour in coconut cream and observe for oil to be released to the top of curry.
Add potatoes, bay leaves, cinnamon cardamom, star anise, palm sugar, tamarind juice and fish sauce. Cook for a few minutes.
Add in cashew nuts and chicken from the oven and leave to simmer for 15 minutes, allowing the chicken to fully absorb the juice of the curry.
Serve Massaman curry in its pan and garnish top with crispy fried shallots.