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Massaman Curry
ΑΡΚΛΑΡθΉ massaman
Posted: 24th July 2005

In Thailand we are blessed with a variety of curries such as green curry, red curry, yellow curry, massaman curry and panaeng curry. The two former curries are probably the most popular and what most people would label as genuine Thai food. The other curries are more influenced by Indian and Muslim food as they contain spices such as cassia, cumin and cardamon.

I usually eat these mulsim curries at the weekend when I go to watch a movie or do some computer shopping at Seri Center on Srinakarin Road. In the food market in the basement, there is a food stall run by some muslim ladies. They have four or five different curries for sale. You can choose to eat the curry with either rice or a fresh roti. I usually go for the latter just to make a change from the rice I normally eat during the week. This meal is relatively expensive at 40 baht (about US$1). I don't usually spend so much money on meals but these curries are really filling. And of course they are all really delicious.

Normally I would eat this meal at Seri but today I thought I would do it as a take-away so I could share it with you. I don't mean I am going to let you taste any. I just wanted to share with you the pictures of my lunch today! By the way, to take food home, you just tell them to "sai toong" which means put in a bag. So, they poured the massaman curry into a plastic bag and tied it up with a rubber band. The cucumber relish was put in another and then the roti in a third bag.

Thai Muslims of course usually eat this dish with beef. But today, I decided to eat gang masaman gai which is with chicken. There are different recipes for this dish, but some of the main ingredients include: coconut milk, potatoes, roasted peanuts and onions. It is seasoned with cardamon pods, cinnamon sticks, palm sugar, tamarind juice and lemon juice.

Of course, it is the massaman curry paste which gives it is distinctive taste. The ingredients for this include: red chilies, roasted shallots, roasted garlic, sliced galangal, sliced lemon grass, roasted coriander seeds, roasted cumin, roasted cloves, white pepper, salt and shrimp paste. This is all then pounded together to make the paste. Of course, you have a choice to do all this yourself or just buy a packet of massaman paste for about 5 baht! I bought some today at Foodland and will try to cook some massaman curry later this week.

This curry has a side dish of cucumber relish. You may remember me talking about this a few months back in my blog about satay pork as they both use the same relish. As you can see, this is made up with red chili, sliced cucumbers and sliced shallots. it is then mixed in a sauce of vinegar, salt and sugar.

If you like, when I go to Seri Center next weekend, I will buy you a different curry. Hope I am not making you too hungry!

Don't forget to visit the forums to discuss Thai food!

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