Friday, May 10, 2013

Massaman Chicken curry with Thai green eggplant

Tonight's Menu
Massaman chicken curry
Thai green eggplant stir fry
Steamed rice
Wine Pairing: Riesling or light beer.

The whole combo
For occasions that require cheerful colorful dishes, this multi-ingredient spread is as delicious as it is eye pleasing. Massaman chicken curry with stir-fried baby Thai green eggplants. 
The sweet and sour massaman curry is another one of the popular Thai curries. The distinct characteristic of Massaman curry paste (Prig Gang Mussamun) is that all ingredients are roasted prior to grinding. The aroma that fills your kitchen after roasting and while pounding is just out of this world. The citrusy freshness of lime leaves and lemongrass, the spicy sharpness of the Thai red chilies and the earthy notes of roasted cumin and coriander combine like a symphony. You just drool till dinner is ready. 
Massaman chicken curry
Massaman chicken curry
2 lbs boneless chicken thighs cut into bite-sized pieces
2-5 tbsp massaman curry paste (depending on how hot you want, I used 5)
2 tbsp peanut oil/vegetable oil
1/2 inch galangal (or ginger) chopped fine
1 cup coconut milk
2 tsp Thai fish sauce (or salt to taste)
1/2 tbsp tamarind paste
1 tsp sugar
fresh Thai basil leaves to garnish
  1. Heat wok to high heat and add oil. Add curry paste and stir-fry for 40 seconds to release the aromas.
  2. Add salt or fish sauce, chicken, and galangal, and fry for 3-4 minutes until chicken turns white. 
  3. Add coconut milk along with 1 cup water and simmer for 8-10 minutes till chicken cooks through. Add sugar and tamarind paste. Mix well.
  4. Garnish with basil. Serve over a bed of steamed rice.
Massaman curry paste
4 pods green cardamom
2-inch cinnamon stick
5 cloves
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
4-6 dried whole red Thai chilies
1 stalk lemongrass chopped
1/3 tsp peppercorns
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 large red onions chopped
8-10 cloves of garlic chopped
  1. Take two tsp sesame oil and fry onion and garlic on medium till golden brown. Keep aside to cool.
  2. Dry roast all other spices till lightly toasted and fragrant.
  3. Traditionally the pounding is done in a mortar using a lot of muscle. I used my magic bullet (food processor) and it worked great. Take all the dry spices first and process till coarsely ground. Add the roasted onion mixture to this and process till finely ground and fragrant. 
  4. Store in the refrigerator for up to a month and a year in the freezer.

Thai green eggplant stir fry
Thai green eggplant

Thai eggplant is small, round with green and white coloring. It is crunchier than other eggplant varieties and can be found in many Asian grocery stores. Tastes great just stir-fried with a little five spice too. 

Sauteed Baby Thai Eggplants 
2 tbsp sesame oil
3-4 cloves garlic chopped fine
1/2 red onion julienne
1/2 inch ginger cut in thin strips 
1 stalk lemon grass finely chopped 
3-4 lime leaves finely chopped
1 lb Thai green eggplants quartered
1 large red pepper cut in thin strips
3-4 green and red Thai chilies
1 tsp coriander powder
salt to taste
  1. Heat sesame oil in a pan. Add onion, ginger, garlic, lemongrass and lime leaves. Stir on high for 30 seconds.
  2. Add eggplant and reduce heat to medium. Cook stirring frequently without lid for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the peppers and chilies, stir in coriander powder and salt to taste. 
  4. Toss well till peppers are tender-crisp and eggplant is done.
  5. Serve hot. 

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