In Thai schools we are taught following poem: "Massaman, a curry made by my beloved, is fragrant of cumin and strong spices. Every man who eats this curry is bound to long for her".
From the time when Ayutthaya ruled over what is now Central and South Thailand. Indian and Malay trading communities then settled and put their mark on Thai food: cardamom seeds, nutmeg and cinnamon flavor this dish unlike any other Thai recipe.
We are lucky. In our neighborhood an auntie sells a homemade Massaman curry paste so this part we don't do ourselves (check out your local Asian grocery store). I will focus here on making the actual dish, not the paste.
ingredients (4 ppl)
2 carrots, cut into small, square pieces, about 1 inch
500g potatoes, cut in a similar way as both carrots
100g peanuts, roasted
100g Massaman paste
350cc pure coconut milk (we use Aroy-D, a Thai brand)
soy sauce (Healthy Boy, another Thai brand, is good)
1 onion, quartered in 4 pieces
3 cups water
Tip: add other root (starchy) vegetables like yam or sweet potato
Preheat a pot to a medium and add oil.
Place a clump of Massaman paste in the oil and stir for a minute.
Pour coconut milk and bring to a boil.
Add onions, carrots and potatoes. Mix all together.
Finally add roasted peanuts and pour all water.
Cover and cook for another 15 minutes or until all vegetables get soften.
Meanwhile taste the curry for sweetness and adjust with soy sauce (savory) or palm sugar (sweet) if necessary.
Reserve the curry for a few hours so the root vegetables have time to take on the paste. It will bring out so much more color and flavor!
We love to spoon this aromatic curry over black rice.