Saturday, March 30, 2013

Gluten and Peanut Free Mussaman curry

I did find a way to get my mussaman curry creamy without using peanut butter. While Cashew and Almond butters are a little too sweet, sunflower seed butter is just perfect, adding the saltiness and creaminess that this dish usually gets from peanuts ground to a paste

The curry is simple to make especially if you use the ready mussaman curry pastes. I highly recommend doing this because it is unlikely that you will have all the ingredients for this curry in your spice shelf. Believe me, it's true, I have an incredibly stocked spice shelf (see picture below) and even I don't have all the ingredients.

My rather disorganized but well stocked spice cupboard

Anyway, here goes... this is the recipe:

  • Meat of Choice: Chicken, beef or Lamb work best. For beef, pick brisket, for chicken pick thighs and for lamb, pick Lamb shoulder. If you can, use bone in chicken pieces for more flavor.
  • 1 13.5-ounce can good quality coconut milk
  • 1 lb of waxy potatoes (red potatoes work best here)
  • 8 ounces white or yellow pearl onions, peeled. You can also use quartered yellow onions
  • 80gms of Massaman curry paste or you could use a half and half mix of yellow and red curry
  • 2 tablespoons of prepared tamarind paste
  • A splash of  fish sauce (1-2 tablespoons)
  • 1 tablespoon Palm or brown sugar
  • 1/4th cup of Sunflower seed butter
  • 7-8 lightly toasted cardamoms, optional
  • 1 teaspoon of lightly toasted cumin seeds

    1. Pour out 1/2 a cup of the top, creamy part of the coconut milk and put in a large  pot along with the curry paste. Fry the paste in the coconut cream over medium heat until it turns creamy and the oil from the coconut starts to separate out.
    Here's what it looks like at this stage:
    Notice the oil from the coconut cream separating...
    1. Add the meat into the pot; stir to coat and then add the rest of the coconut milk and just enough water to cover it.
    2. Bring to a boil and then lower heat and cook, covered for about 1 hour. If you're using a tougher cut of meat, cook longer.
    3. The meat should be kept submerged, so if the liquid dries up, add a little more water.
    4. Add the onions and potatoes to the pot along with 2 tablespoons of fish sauce. This should be done when you have about 15 minutes for the meat to be tender.
    5. About 10 minutes before the potatoes and onions are ready add the tamarind paste cardamom and cumin.
    6. Add the sunflower seed butter and stir to mix in.
    7. Remove the pot from heat and serve the curry over rice.

    Here is what it looks like. I should have plated it!

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