The fourth curry this week… I am almost getting curried out!
I have never seen Rob so excited about trying a new recipe. I was browsing through my newest favourite cookbook, For The Love of Food, and I spotted a recipe that seemingly used up a lot of the odds and ends in our fridge.
Massaman curry, have you heard of this, Rob? Would I like it?
Turns out it was his favourite curry while travelling in Thailand.
However, as we made the curry together, Rob quickly realized this wasn’t the same Massaman curry he had eaten overseas. The sauce had coconut milk, lemongrass, cardamom, cinnamon and ginger, but no peanuts. No fish sauce nor tamarind.
After slaving and salivating in the kitchen for a while, Rob felt let down when he taste-tested it the first time. The vegetables were good, but the depth of flavour was lacking. He ended up adding all of the spice mixture, as the recipe only called for a couple tablespoons of the mixture. After which, when I tasted it the second time, I told him I wouldn’t be able to eat it for dinner- it was now too spicy! Those peppercorns were likely the culprit but thankfully, it didn’t have that ominous “curry” flavour.
Since I had adored Cotter’s previous recipes, we still trucked on with making the cucumber and coriander salsa. Rob finally sat down to eat it, served with the salsa and rice, with a drizzle of freshly squeezed lime juice. The more he ate it, and accepted it as a non-Massaman curry, he grew to enjoy it.
I then decided to give it a go with the salsa and lime.
While Cotter may have misled us by calling this a Massaman curry, he also said this curry was best with the cooling salsa, and there he wasn’t lying. It definitely made the dish go from something I refused to eat, to something that was genuinely spectacular. Another Janet-sanctioned curry, this time hailing from Thailand.
I am definitely realizing that more complex dishes, where each component is outstanding on its own, can be brought to high levels when combined. The only problem is that it makes for a kitchen filled with lots of dirty dishes. Gah!
An authentic Massaman curry is still on our to-do list, though. But whatever its name, this curry is the bomb, just don’t forget the salsa!
This is my submission to this month’s Veggie/Fruit a Month, featuring cauliflower, to this month’s My Legume Love Affair, hosted by Cathy, to this month’s My Kitchen, My World destination Thailand and to Ricki’s Wellness Weekends.
New Potato, Cauliflower, Chickpea and Green Bean Thai Curry with a Cucumber and Coriander Salsa
1 tbsp fennel seeds
1 tbsp coriander seeds
2 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp white peppercorns (or more, to taste)
5 green cardamom pods, seeds only
1/3 cinnamon stick
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp Aleppo chili flakes
115g shallots (about 3-4), thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, peeled
10g fresh ginger, around 2 cm piece
2 lemongrass stalks, thinly chopped
large handful cilantro (we used a whole bunch but probably not necessary)
14 fl oz can of coconut milk
200g new potatoes, washed and cubed (around 2 medium)
1/2 medium cauliflower (200g)
300g green beans, trimmed and cut into 1″ pieces
1.5 cups cooked chickpeas
1/2 cucumber, deseeded and finely chopped
2 green onions, finely chopped
1 tomato, deseeded and finely diced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2 limes, for juice
rice, to serve
1. To make the curry paste, grind all the spices together save the turmeric (unless you want your spice grinder to turn yellow. I thought not. Add the turmeric in afterwards since it is already a powder).
2. In a food processor, chop the shallots, garlic, ginger, chili flakes, lemongrass and the stalks of the coriander to a fine paste. Add a little water if necessary.
3. Heat a little vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and fry the paste for 5 minutes. Add all of the dry spice mixture and cook for 2 minutes more. Add the coconut milk and bring to a boil.
4. Meanwhile, steam the potatoes until just tender.
5. In a wide pan or wok, stir-fry the cauliflower and green beans in a little vegetable oil for 3-4 minutes, until tender but firm.
6. Add the curry sauce with the potatoes and chickpeas. Cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes over very low heat. Add a little stock, water or coconut milk, if necessary to maintain a richly wet sauce.
7. While the curry is cooking, make the salsa by stirring together the cucumber, green onions, tomato, cilantro and the juice of 1 lime.
8. Serve the curry with freshly cooked rice, spooning some salsa overtop with more lime juice.