Masaman Curry

This flavorful and mild curry is a popular Thai dish, despite its stark difference from other Thai curries (due to the influence of Indian cuisine). The traditional version contains chicken, beef, or lamb, and only potatoes and onions (although there are many modern versions with other meats and/or vegetables). Purists are adamant that no cilantro or chilis be added, as these will disrupt the balance of spices in the paste.*

  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 can coconut cream or milk (14 oz or so)
  • 1 small can masaman curry paste (4 oz or so)*
  • 1 lb chicken thighs or breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2 lb Yukon Gold or other small potatoes (6-8), cut into large chunks
  • 1 sweet onion, diced (1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 cup brown (or palm) sugar
  • 1/2 cup roasted cashews (optional)
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Cooked jasmine rice (to serve)
Heat oil in large pot on medium and stir in curry paste, continuing to heat until fragrant; stir in cream, sugar, and seasonings until well blended and sauce begins to bubble. Add chicken and vegetables and stir to coat. Allow to simmer on medium for 30-45 minutes, until chicken and potatoes are done. Taste and add more seasonings if needed. Let sit 5-10 minutes to cool and thicken; serve with rice and topped with cashews if desired.
*(Even good Thai home cooks will buy the paste for this dish instead of making it, as it’s a long and complex process. We are fortunate to have a great Asian market nearby to keep our kitchen stocked with supplies!)

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