I would love to pretend that I cooked it completely from scratch, grinding my own spices and making my own curry blend, (and perhaps milking a coconut?). But truth be told, I actually found this incredible brand of Thai curry spices when searching for practical stocking stuffers one year, and have been using the different blends ever since. The brand name is Maesri, and the blends come in small cans that hold enough spice for one dinner. Well, actually, for my family of four, we get two dinners out of one can of spices. This is how the can looks:
We get it at the quasi-local Asian market.
To make what turned out to be (IMHO) the perfect Masaman curry (feeds 6-8), you will need:
1 can Maesri masaman curry paste
4 chicken thighs
1 large Yukon Gold potato
5 green onions
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp tamarind paste (also from the local Asian market)
1 can coconut milk (full fat version, not the skinny stuff from Trader Joe's)
(ETA: the low fat coconut milk doesn't give a rich enough flavor, IMHO, and I end up using two cans of it rather than one of the full fat milk and one can of water)
water to fill coconut milk can
steamed Jasmin rice (4 cups water, 2 3/4 cups rice in rice cooker)
Cut the 4 chicken thighs into 1/2 inch x 2 inch strips, cut potato into 1/2 inch cubes and set aside, slice green onions thin and then cut the tops into 1 pieces. Set everything aside.
In a saute pan, combine curry paste, coconut milk, sugar and tamarind. Make sure to scrape the can of coconut milk for the sediment - that's the best part! Fill the can with water and swish it around to get the last of the sediment. Set water aside to use later. Stir the mixture in the pan until it is bubbling. At this point, if you taste it, it will be awful. It needs to cook more to bring out the flavor. Let simmer for about 7 minutes. Add chicken, potato and green onions. Stir. Add water from can. Stir mixture and simmer. Reduce heat (mixture should still be bubbling) and let simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until potato is soft. The mixture will become a little thicker. Now is the time to taste. If it is too sweet, add a bit more tamarind (but don't over-do - it's sour!). If it's not sweet enough, add a bit more sugar.
Serve over Jasmin rice. Enjoy!!
The curry leftovers keep really really well in the refrigerator, and actually taste even better after a day or two. We keep some and have it when no one feels like cooking!
In other news, I haven't heard from Lisa in Western MA about the book she won, so on next Tuesday (I'm waiting a week), I'll randomly choose a different name and someone else will get the Fiber Gathering book!