Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Thai Massaman Curry Sauce

I made this recipe in hopes of recreating the Massaman curry sauce from Surin West, here in Birmingham. I love that dish! To start you will want to toast your cashews in the oven on a baking sheet so their flavors are brought out and so they hold up in the sauce. Then, all you have to do is saute the first three ingredients together for about 10 minutes, add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Then, take it off of the heat. After you put the sauce in your heated and sterilized jars, process in your hot water bath/canner for 35 minutes. Let cool on top of towel on counter top for 12 hours, screw lids tight, label, and put on the shelf for a rainy day! This recipe makes about 2 pints of sauce.

The word massaman is believed to be a variation of the Thai word for "Muslim." This sauce got its name because alot of the spices in it were originally brought to Thailand by Muslim traders.

*You can look up ingredients to make your own massaman curry paste, but that is a lot of extra steps. I picked up a can of the stuff at my local Asian market. This is the one I got.

  • Vegetable oil, enough to coat the pan
  • 1 1/2 cups of finely chopped onions or shallots (or a combo of both!)
  • 1 4 oz can of massman curry paste (see note above)
  • 4 Tablespoons cardamom seeds, crushed in mortar and pestle
  • 1/2 cup roasted cashew halves
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut cream (use mostly the solid stuff that rises to top of can)
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons brown sugar (palm sugar if you happen to have it)
  • 1 cinammon stick
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 3 1/2 Tablespoons fish sauce
  • 3 1/2 Tablespoons tamarind paste
*Make sure to remove the bay leaves and cinammon stick before pouring sauce into jars for canning!

When you get ready to make dinner with the sauce, you can brown some cubed chicken breasts in a skillet, add some of the prepared jarred sauce and serve over rice. I like to add fresh, sliced avocado and extra cashews with it like they do at Surin. However, you could add anything really. Potatoes or bell peppers would be good too. Also, I do it with chicken; but it is more traditional to do it with beef. Whatever you put in it, you will be licking your chops for more. I promise you!

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