For someone who grew up in India, I am really a chicken when it comes to eating spicy food. Hence, for a long time, I would also avoid Thai curries. But then I went to Thailand twice this year and fell in love with the food. I also realised that the curries come in a whole spectrum of spice levels, from the mild massaman Curry to the fiery green one.
No wonder then that the massaman curry is my favourite and the one I cook the most once I got back from Thailand with a bag full of ingredients. It's a strange one too, with flavour influences from India and Malaysia. Originally made with beef and potatoes, I make my vegetarian version here with a mix of onions, peppers and potatoes. Here's the recipe.
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped into bite sized squares
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped into bite sized squares
1 medium potato, boiled, peeled and cut into squares
2 tbsp massaman curry paste (look for the vegetarian version)
1 tbsp peanut oil
200 ml coconut milk
1 tbsp palm sugar
1 tbsp tamarind paste
2 tbsp roasted peanuts
salt to taste
thai basil, to garnish
In a pan, heat the oil and fry the curry paste until fragrant. Add the coconut milk, mix and let it come to a boil. Then add all the vegetables, palm sugar, tamarind paste and salt.
Let the curry come to a boil, then reduce the heat. Add some water if the curry looks too thick, give it a stir and let it simmer for 5 minutes until the flavours meld and the curry is a nice orange colour. Pour into a serving bowl and top with peanuts and thai basil.
The curry goes well with steamed rice but is equally great with malabar paranthas.