When I was in England last time I was able to stock up on some ingredients which are harder for me to find in Spain. I took them back to make sure I was able to cook up a curry when the urge struck. It tends to strike quite often but sometimes I just can’t do anything about satisfying it if I don’t have the ingredients to hand. This means that curry pastes are the best way for me to sort out the curry craving as the spices often linger unloved in the cupboard. Yes, I admit it.
The Caribbean Food store in Bexhill is run by a jolly character who sells a range of curry pastes (and I really should have taken note of the brand name) which contain no artificial nasties – perfect for someone who loves to cook but feels a little guilty that she is not blending her own spice mixes. I was not familiar with Massaman Curry – a Thai curry which gives a gentle heat, sweet, sour, spicy and is utterly delicious.
The recipe comes from the BBC Good Food site with just a few little tweaks, but I have given details here too. I omitted the peanuts because I didn’t have any, but I expect they add a delicious crunch to the finished dish.
Ingredients to serve 4
- 85g unsalted peanuts
- 400ml can coconut cream
- 4 tbsp massaman curry paste
- 600g stewing beef steak, cut into bite sized chunks
- 450g waxy potatoes, cut into 2½ cm chunks
- 1 onion, cut into thin wedges
- 4 kaffir lime leaves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 tbsp tamarind paste
- 1 tbsp palm or soft light brown sugar
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced, and chopped fresh coriander to serve
Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6, then roast the peanuts on a baking tray for 5 mins until golden brown. When cool enough to handle, roughly chop. Reduce oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.
Heat 2 tbsp coconut cream in a large casserole dish with a lid. Add the curry paste and fry for 1 min, then stir in the beef and fry until well coated and sealed. Stir in the rest of the coconut with half a can of water, the potatoes, onion, lime leaves, cinnamon, tamarind, sugar, fish sauce and most of the peanuts. Bring to a simmer, then cover and cook for 2 hours in the oven until the beef is tender.
Sprinkle with sliced chilli and the remaining peanuts, then serve straight from the dish with rice.