Recipe: Massaman Curry with Beef
Thai massaman curry — also known as matsaman or mussaman curry — is a creamy, mildly spicy, nutty, slow-cooked curry heavily influenced by Indian, Malaysian, and Persian cuisines. It is not originally a native Thai curry, but it’s been wonderfully assimilated into classic Thai cuisine. Massaman curry can be made with chicken, beef, or lamb, and it’s an elegant dish to serve for weeknight meals or dinner parties alike. It can also be made ahead and reheated, which makes it perfect for quick dinners.
This curry can be made with a pre-made curry paste (I like Mae Ploy brand) or your own homemade curry paste. When making curry pastes, I always double or triple my quantities since the pastes will keep in the fridge for a few weeks, making it easy to pull together weeknight curries.
When making the curry paste, you can also replace the whole spices with ground ones to make life easier for yourself. I use a spice blender to grind my spices, and then a mortar and pestle to make my paste. Alternatively, you can use a blender (the shallots are wet enough to help the blending process), but make sure that you do it in short bursts as you don’t want the blender to get hot and heat up the paste.
I also like to use a mixture of coconut milk and stock to braise my beef, after which I finish it with the curry paste, coconut milk, potatoes, and peanuts. Massaman curry is a filling dish — perfect with coconut rice or a simple steamed rice.