On his way home, the mister bought some mushrooms, deposited them on the kitchen counter and announced that (a) he would like them cooked without onions, and (b) in curry form. Gasp! That is enough to put most Indian wives in panic mode. What does he really want?
I could always use grated onions or blend the bhuna mixture (sauteed onion, ginger, garlic and tomato mixture that forms the base for many Indian dishes) to hide the onions, but I knew what he really meant. He wanted me to come up with something new.
Surprisingly, I turned to the archives of my own blog. Is that vain? I should hope not. Some kind of Thai curry seemed to be the best bet. You can find my previous Thai chicken recipes here and here. I saw no reason why the recipes cannot be used for vegetables. I was too
tired lazy to make my own curry paste and decided that a trip to the store would be easier. I know, I always tell you to go the home-made way! Please don’t judge me this time. I went for red curry paste, but came back with massaman (or masaman) paste instead.
After some reading, I found that masssaman curry, though similar to the more famous red curry, has a unique spicy, sweet and sour flavor. This is achieved by the use of South Asian spices like coriander, cardamom and nutmeg, along with red chilies, galanga, kaffir lime, brown sugar and tamarind pulp.
Armed with the curry paste, I got down to business. Mushrooms alone won’t do. I raided the fridge and found a small block of paneer, small Indian eggplant, and red peppers.
The paneer was fried and the vegetables were chopped and lightly sauteed. This is totally optional. You can add it directly to the sauce also.
The curry paste was combined with coconut milk and boiled to make a sauce, to which all the vegetables were added and allowed to cook till soft.
Delicious massaman curry that actually needs just two ingredients other than the vegetables, is ready to be served! Here is the detailed recipe.
You will need:
- Oil – 2 tbsp
- Paneer (or firm tofu) – 1 cup, cubed
- Mushrooms – 2 cups, sliced
- Eggplant (small Indian variety) – 1 sliced
- Red/Green/Orange bell pepper – 1, de-seeded and sliced
- Massaman curry paste – 1 small can
- Coconut milk – 1 can, around 400 ml
- Water and salt – as and if needed
- Roasted peanuts – to garnish, optional
- Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large pan and fry the paneer (or tofu) and keep aside. In the same pan, lightly saute all the vegetables by adding another tablespoon of oil. Remove and keep aside.
- Now combine the curry paste and coconut milk (reserve a couple of tablespoon of thick milk) and bring to a gentle boil.
- Add the vegetables and paneer. Add a little water (if there are a lot of vegetables) and salt (only if needed). Cover and cook till vegetables are soft. Stir in the thick coconut milk and remove from heat.
- Garnish with roasted peanuts (I didn’t) and serve with steamed rice, noodles or even rotis and chapathis.
- As I said, this paste has a sweet, sour and spicy flavor. But if you are very concerned about the spice in your brand of curry paste, start with just 2 tbsp of the paste, taste the sauce and add more as needed.
Though this recipe was super simple, I am dying to make my own massaman paste next time! Interestingly, when we had the first bite, we were immediately reminded of a duck curry at our favorite Thai restaurant. Now I know the secret!
Did you know that in 2011, Thai massaman curry was number one on CNN’s World’s 50 Best Foods list? Is that incentive enough to make you want to try it?!!
I am linking this up at these awesome blogs.
- A Blossoming Life
- Skip To My Lou
- The Dedicated House
- Between Naps on the Porch
- Home Stories A To Z
- My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
- A Stroll Thru Life
- Cedar Hill Ranch
- Coastal Charm
- Elizabeth & Co
- House On The Way
- Savvy Southern Style
- The NY Melrose Family
- The Turquoise Home
- Living Well Spending Less
- Design Dining and Diapers
- The Shabby Nest
- French Country Cottage
- Common Ground
- My Romantic Home
- The Charm of Home
- Thirty Handmade Days
- Crafts a la Mode
- Love of Family and Home
- The Novice Gardener
- DIY Show Off
- Nifty Thrifty Things
- By Stephanie Lynn