Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Massaman Curry

A kitchen is a gateway to world travel, such is true. I'm so honestly thankful, though, that I live in an age when that kind of travel is easier than ever, thanks to companies like Tropical Traditions. A few clicks of their website and I got a jar of their Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil delivered to my door. The delivery was easier than going to the grocery, yet I felt inspired! A whole new realm of coconut-inspired exotic food felt open to me for the first time. The first time I used the oil, I decided to see how it worked with some of my favorite curry: Massaman.

The most important advice about this recipe is not to read the instructions BEFORE beginning nor to chop most/all of the ingredients BEFORE turning on any heat — though both of those things are vital. For me, though, the most important note is this: Start your rice. Now. Have you started your rice yet? Don't forget, or you'll have gone through the somewhat lengthy process and created an amazing, fragrant, rich dish of authentic Thai food and have nothing on which to eat it. The curry, with or without rice, is also great served on naan bread.

Seriously, the Internet is even providing food now, people! Tropical Traditions is America's source for coconut oil, and companies like it make my kitchen more international than ever.

Massaman Curry
by Kate
adapated from this recipe found on

Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil
1/2 large onion, thinly sliced
2 Tablespoons grated ginger
4 large cloves garlic
1 jalapeno, sliced
1/2 cup chicken broth, low sodium
3 bay leaves
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 cup chopped dry-roasted cashews, preferably unsalted
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/8 teaspoon cardamon
1 Tablespoon lime juice
2 Tablespoons fish sauce
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
1 1/2 pound chicken breast or thigh, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 cup coconut cream stirred with 3/4 cup water OR 1 14-ounce can coconut milk
2 medium red-skinned potatoes, diced
1 small red pepper, thinly sliced
1 medium tomato, seeded and chopped
rice to serve

Heat a wok (or large frying pan) over medium-high heat, and swirl in coconut oil. Add the onion, ginger, garlic and jalapeno, and stir fry for 2 minutes until fragrant.

Add the broth, as well as the bay leaves, turmeric, cashews, coriander, cumin seeds, white pepper, cardamon, lime juice, fish sauce and brown sugar. Stir well between each addition, and bring to a gentle boil.

Add the chicken, stirring to coat, then add the coconut cream/coconut milk and potatoes. Return the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low or to whatever heat gives you a gentle but steady simmer. Simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add red pepper and tomato during and simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

Taste the curry. Too sweet? Add a dash of fish sauce and/or lime juice. Too sour? Add a pinch of sugar. Too spicy? Add some coconut cream/milk.

Serve with rice, which you hopefully remembered to start back at the beginning. (Don't forget your rice, people!)

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