Thai Beef Massaman Curry

Whenever I go to a Thai restaurant, I always find it difficult to choose between my two favourites: Thai Green Curry and a Massaman Curry. I’ve made a green curry a few times now (yet to be blogged about) so I thought it was about time I gave this a go. A Massaman curry is a really great curry for people who don’t like the heat, but it’s just as tasty and satisfying even if you are someone who’d usually opt for the spice. With lamb or with beef, it’s just as good either way. People tend to feel more at home cooking beef (plus I already had some in the freezer) so I’ve used that for this recipe, but substitute for lamb if you’d prefer. The addition of potatoes and nuts in this recipe make it somehow a lot more hearty and satisfying than your usual curry.

This may be a bit too long-winded for your everyday family dinner, but definitely worth treating yourself to at the weekend when you’ve got a bit more time, or really great for dinner parties. If you’ve never tried a Massaman please give this a go or at least order one next time you have Thai as it really is a must have.
(serves 4-6)
For the curry:
800g stewing steak
3 tbsp massaman curry paste
3 small onions, diced
a dozen cardamom pods
3 star anise
2 cinnamon sticks
1 tin coconut milk
1/2 tin water
splash of fish sauce
10 new potatoes, halved
100g cashew nuts
sprinkle brown sugar
1 tbsp tamarind paste
small bunch coriander
stir fry oil for cooking
For the rice:
2 mugs basmati rice
4 mugs hot water
1 star anise per person
ground cinnamon
1. Marinate the steak in the curry paste and a glug of oil.
2. In a large pan gently fry the star anise, cinnamon sticks and cardamom pods in the stir fry oil for around 5 minutes.
3. Turn up the heat a little and add the meat and the onions to the pan. Cook until onions have softened.
4. Add the coconut milk, water and fish sauce. Bring to the boil.
5. Reduce to a simmer and cover. Simmer for 90 minutes.
6. Add the potatoes, put the lid back on and simmer for a further 30 minutes.
7. Put the rice and twice the amount of water into a large saucepan with the star anise and bring to the boil.
8. Gently simmer until all of the water has been absorbed, you should be able to see air bubbles in the rice.
9. Stir the tamarind paste, cashew nuts, sugar and roughly chopped coriander into the curry.
10. If you’re going for fancy presentation use a chef’s ring or large pastry cutter to shape the rice into a cylinder on the plate. Pack tightly.
11. Sprinkle a little cinnamon on top and decorate with the star anise from the rice pot.
12. Dish the curry up on the side and serve to a very impressed bunch of diners.

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