Chicken massaman curry with potato.

Gorgeous Thai Chicken Massaman Curry Recipe

Gorgeous Thai Chicken Massaman Curry Recipe

This gorgeous Thai chicken massaman curry recipe will show you how to make a beautiful Thai massaman sauce and some fantastic Thai chicken meatballs, in the style of classic Thai fishcakes!

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Introduction

I make a lot of curries. I’ve mentioned this a lot. I’m currently proudest of my rich, creamy chicken korma and my far-spicier, zingy beef vindaloo. In fact, the first dish I cooked for friends was a curry. I don’t remember a great deal about is, except that it contained a great deal of bell pepper. I’m not a huge fan of bell peppers, so it was an unusual place to start, but it seemed to work out ok. Even if it was a little rough around the edges!

To my credit, I did cook the curry from scratch. I had done a little cooking before and had an understanding of the basics. I was also always aware of the differences between the exotic takeaway curries we had on special occasions and the burnt-tasting jar stuff we would eat when my parents hadn’t had time to cook.

As for what went into the curry, I have no recollection at all. What I do remember is knowing it had turned out well and knowing I would cook it again. Looking back, I’m sure there was a lot wrong with it. But I enjoyed it and so did the friends for whom I cooked in the following few years. And with time and practise, I improved just a little each and every time.

That love of curries developed more and more as the years went by. It’s still very much with me today. I now have a far deeper understanding of the balance of flavours that go into that style of cooking. My knowledge of the cuisine now extends into the different regions and countries I had then never even heard of.

It’s only in the past two or three years that I’ve really explored the wonderful world of spiced food that exists beyond the Indian border. In those years I have tasted and toyed with the flavours of Malaysia, Vietnam and Korea. They offer a variety of different flavours and styles of cooking. All exotic, all rich and deep and spicy and exciting.

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About this recipe

Aside from Indian and Chinese, perhaps the most popular Asian cuisine in England is Thai, whose fiery spices are brought to life by zingy citrus and potent herbs. Both of which are things I really enjoy.

A Massaman curry, then, is perhaps my perfect meal. With the most wonderfully grandiose name, it has a lot in common with the curries of Northern India. Creaminess, richness, fragrant spices and sweet flavours. All are present in both. The difference lies in the addition of Thai aromatics in the massaman curry. The warmth of cumin and the sweetness of cinnamon are balanced by the tartness of lime and the freshness of galangal.

I made this gorgeous Thai chicken massaman curry recipe with one goal in mind. I wanted to fill it with something like the gorgeous fishcakes you find in Thai takeaways and restaurants. If you’ve ever had them, you’ll know exactly what I mean. I wanted to make a simple chicken meatball that captured that wonderful fragrant first bite. And then I wanted to put it in a curry!


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Chicken massaman curry with potato.

Gorgeous Thai Chicken Massaman Curry Recipe

Ed Chef
This gorgeous Thai chicken massaman curry recipe will show you how to make a beautiful Thai massaman sauce and some fantastic Thai chicken meatballs, in the style of classic Thai fishcakes!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Thai
Servings 2

Ingredients
  

  • 4 Boned Chicken Thighs
  • 1 tbsp Tbsp Beef Fat Optional
  • 2 Sticks Sticks Lemongrass
  • 300 ml Chicken Stock
  • 4 Kaffir Lime Leaves
  • 1 Square Inch Galangal Or ginger if required
  • 2 Red Chillies
  • 1 Cinnamon
  • 5 Cardammom Pods
  • 4 Cloves
  • 0.5 tsp Cumin Seeds Or powder
  • 1 tsp Coriander
  • 0.5 tsp Ginger
  • 1 Can Coconut Milk
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • 1 Large White Onion
  • 4 Cloves Garlic
  • Butter
  • Oil
  • Palm Sugar Or caster sugar
  • 1 Lime
  • 1 Large Potato
  • Peanuts

Instructions
 

  • Finely chop the lemongrass, galangal (or ginger), kaffir lime leaves, garlic and red chillies, then pummel them together in a pestle and mortar.
  • Set the paste aside and clean out the pestle and mortar. You'll be using it again soon.
  • Chop the meat into small chunks and drop them into a blender.
  • Add half of the paste you made above and season as desired.
  • Add some form of fat at this stage. I used beef fat, but any animal fat or even butter will do. You can blend this in with the paste.
  • Fry off a little and taste test for seasoning, then adjust as required.
  • Toast the cardamom, cloves and cumin seeds in a medium hot pan. Toast them all just enough that you start to smell the beautiful aroma lifting up from the pan.
  • Crush the spices in a pestle and mortar.
  • Add a teaspoon of coriander and a half teaspoon of ginger, then set aside.
  • Peel and chop the potatoes, then set aside. You want fairly large chunks to give bite to the dish.
  • Finely dice the onions and set aside.
  • Finely chop a handful of peanuts and lightly fry in a pan on medium heat.
  • Add the whole can of coconut milk and reduce by half, then add 300ml chicken stock and leave to reduce again.
  • Once it's reduced all the way, blend the mixture until it's as smooth and creamy as possible.
  • Heat a large saucepan to a fairly high heat and oil, then add and sear the outside of the meatballs. Set them aside and reduce the heat to a medium.
  • Add a good dollop of butter and bring it to temperature, then add the onions and caramelise them for 6 or so minutes, seasoning as you go.
  • Add the tempered spices and allow them a couple of minutes to cook through in the onions and butter.
  • Add the rest of your curry paste and allow a further couple of minutes.
  • Finally, add the potatoes, the chicken meatballs and the reduction of coconut milk, stock and peanuts, then set to simmer until the potatoes and chicken are cooked through. The chicken should get there first, but it's always worth checking before you serve.
  • As it cooks, taste and test your seasoning, adjusting as necessary. Add sugar to taste and if required add more salt.
  • If possible, allow the meal to sit overnight to further develop the flavours within. It will still be perfectly tasty if you serve immediately, however.
  • Serve with whatever sides you feel appropriate, whether rice, flatbreads or otherwise.
  • Garnish with something crispy and something fresh, perhaps more peanuts and some coriander.
  • Finally, squeeze over half a lime to help balance out the sweetness.
Keyword Chicken, Curry, Massaman, Thai Curry

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