Thai Massaman curry with shrimp

Thai Massaman curry with shrimp

It was a nice surprise last week to see our recipe for Thai Chicken Soup with Basil and Lime featured by Parade magazine in their article 19 Better-Than-Takeout Thai Recipes. It also got us inspired to get in the kitchen and cook up something Thai.

When we crave Thai food we usually make up a big batch of red or green curry. But this time we decided to attempt our first ever homemade Massaman curry – which turned out a real treat! And it was surprisingly easy to make thanks to store-bought Massaman curry paste.

Unlike most Thai curries, Massaman is quite a mild curry. Its origins date back to the 17th century when Muslim traders from India and the Malay archipelago introduced ingredients not typically used in Thai cooking such as cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg and potatoes. These were combined with more common Thai ingredients including lemongrass, fish sauce, peanuts and cilantro to create this rich, fragrant and delicious fusion food.

Thai Massaman curry with shrimp
serves 2
A mild, creamy and uniquely fragrant curry that combines Thai flavors with culinary influences from India and the Malay archipelago.
1 tablespoon peanut oil
½ onion — finely diced
1 small potato — cut into small cubes
1 garlic clove — finely chopped
½ cup long-grain rice
1 cup coconut milk
½ cup water
1 tablespoon Massaman curry paste
2 tablespoons crunchy natural peanut butter
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1½ cups bean sprouts
16 large uncooked shrimp — peeled
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro (fresh coriander)
HEAT the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat and cook the onion for 2 minutes. ADD the cubed potato and cook for 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. WHILE you cook the onions and potatoes, cook the rice according to package directions. ADD the garlic to the onion and potato mix and cook for 2 minutes. ADD the coconut milk and water and bring to a simmer. STIR in the Massaman curry paste, peanut butter, fish sauce and brown sugar, and cook for 6 minutes. ADD the shrimp and bean sprouts, stir to combine, and cook for 4 minutes. REMOVE the curry from the heat and stir in the lemon juice and cilantro. SERVE on a bed of rice.

Variations: Instead of shrimp, you can use chicken (cubed, and cooked in the curry for 6 minutes), scallops, mussels or cubed firm tofu. Replace the cilantro with basil.