Lighter Massaman curry

Easy Food Recipes and Cooking - Lighter Massaman curry

Lighter Massaman curry

Serves 4
coriander seeds 1 tbsp
cumin seeds 2 tsp
cardamom pods 5, seeds only
cloves 3
dried chillies 1/2 tsp, crushed
rapeseed oil 2 tsp (try La Palisse available at gourmet stores)
shallots 100g, finely chopped
garlic cloves 3, finely chopped
ginger a 2 1/2cm piece, finely grated
lemongrass stalk 1, ends and outside layer removed, finely chopped
light coconut milk 6 tbsp
black pepper 1/4 tsp, ground

unsalted peanuts 25g, roasted
rapeseed oil 2 tsp (try La Palisse available at gourmet stores)
shallots 6-7, halved
cinnamon stick 1, broken into half
light coconut milk 400ml
chicken breasts 500g skinless, boneless, cut into bite-sized pieces
sweet potatoes 200g, cut into 2 1/2cm chunks
French beans 175g, stem ends trimmed
fish sauce 1 tbsp (try Ayam available at gourmet stores)
tamarind paste 2 tsp (try Mother’s Recipe available at gourmet stores)
chicken stock 75ml
salt to season
coriander and Thai basil leaves to garnish
peanuts a small handful, to garnish

To make the curry paste, heat a small frying pan and drop in all the seeds and cloves. Dry-roast over a medium heat, shaking the pan often, for 1-2 minutes to release their flavours — until they start popping in the  pan. Mix in the chillies, then grind finely using a pestle and mortar or a spice grinder. Set aside.

Heat the oil in the same pan. Tip in the shallots and garlic, and fry over a medium heat for 5-6 minutes,  stirring occasionally, until a rich golden brown. Stir in the ground spices and stir-fry for 1 minute. Spoon into  a processor with the ginger, lemongrass and coconut milk. Blitz until it is smooth, then stir in the black  pepper.

To make the curry, heat the oil in a large sauté pan, tip in the shallots and fry over a medium heat, turning occasionally, for 8-10 minutes until they are browned all over and softened. Remove and set aside. Put the  cinnamon stick and curry paste in the sauté pan and cook for 1 minute. Pour in 100ml of the coconut milk. Let it bubble for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it resembles a thick paste. Tip in the chicken and stir- fry in the paste over a slightly high heat for 6-8 minutes or until cooked.

Meanwhile, steam the sweet potato for 8-10 minutes and the beans for about 5 minutes. Remove the pan of  chicken from the heat and stir in the remaining coconut milk, the fish sauce, tamarind paste and stock. Lay the sweet potatoes and shallots in the curry and warm through gently over a very low heat - overheating may cause the coconut milk to curdle. If you need to thin the sauce slightly, stir in 1-2 spoons of water.  Remove the cinnamon. Season to taste.

Lay a bunch of the beans to one side of each serving bowl. Spoon the curry over one end of the beans and  serve scattered with the coriander, Thai basil and peanuts.