Massaman curry is a lesser know curry from Thailand, but once people experience the flavour explosion, they don’t forget. It is believed that the name Massaman was originated from the word ‘Mussulman’ which is another word for Muslim. The curry is rich and full of fragrant spices that sing.


2-4 dried red chillies
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp coriander seeds
4 small Asian shallots or 2 round English shallots, peeled and roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 inch galangal sliced
2 tsp lime zest
1 piece fresh lemongrass, bottom white 2 inches/5cm thinly sliced
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cardamon
1/2 tsp black pepper, ground
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp salt

1. Soak the dried chillies in warm water for 15 minutes while preparing the rest of the ingredients.

2. Toast cumin and coriander seeds in a frying pan until fragrant.

3. Place all ingredients in food processor or blender; process until mixture forms dry paste.

400g tofu
2 tbsp rapeseed oil
The Masaman curry paste you’ve just made (full amount)
2 tsp grated palm sugar or demerara sugar
400ml tin of coconut milk
200ml water
1 tbsp tamarind concentrate
1 onion, sliced
1 carrot, peeled and diagonally sliced into 1.25cm/1/2 inch wide chunks
1 medium potato or sweet potato, peeled and cut into 2.5cm/1inch cubes
75g blanched peanuts or whole cashew nuts
1 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
2 spring onions, sliced
2 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped

1. Wrap tofu in a clean tea towel and place a weight on it to release excess moisture. Leave for 10 minutes, then remove tofu from tea towel and cut into 1.25cm/1inch pieces.

2. Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a frying pan or wok and fry the tofu until golden, about 5-8 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.

3. Heat the remaining oil in a saucepan or wok and fry curry paste for 1 minute. Add the sugar, 1/4 tin of coconut milk, tamarind and the onion, carrot and potatoes. Simmer for 5 minutes.

4. Add the remaining coconut milk and water, and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the vegetables are nearly tender, about 10 minutes. Add the fried tofu and peanuts and simmer for a further 5 minutes.

5. Now add the tamari and mix well. Taste the curry and adjust the seasoning if necessary. It should taste a bit spicy, creamy, sweet and salty. The juice of the zested lime used to make the curry paste could also be added here.

5. Serve with jasmine rice and garnish with spring onions and coriander.

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