Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Thai Mussaman Potato & Carrot Curry

Kitchen Play List: Doris Day ~ Put 'em in a box, Tie 'em..
                                     Charlie Parker's All Stars ~ Blue Bird
                                     Louis Jordan ~ Doug the Jitterbug
                                     Billie Holiday ~ Georgia on My Mind
                                     Bud Powell ~ Bouncing With Bud
                                     Dinah Shore ~ Love That Boy
                                     Dizzy Gillespie ~ Groovin' High
                                     Nat King Cole ~ Nature Boy

It took me some time to get on board with Thai cuisine. My Love can be thanked for making me take the leap. Why was I resistant? Heavens knows. I have always loved Chinese, Indian and many other Asian cuisines. I even had a secretary once, who would bring me in samples of her favourite vegetarian Thai offerings and I still wasn't tempted. Silly, eh? But now I love it. One of the very few restaurants we go to is the lovely Thai House in the nearest city to us. But I still have the same meal every time. I have Veggie Tempura with a Sweet Chilli Sauce as my starter and then I have a Mixed Vegetable Southern Curry with coconut rice and finish my meal with a steaming hot pot of Jasmine tea. Every.Single.Time! Urgh! lol I never deviate from this meal so it's a good thing I love every mouthful! And we only go on rare occasions now which helps. When we both worked in the city we were regulars and the waitresses knew my order. lol. My Love isn't as boring...except Thai Fishcakes are always the starter of choice and then it's anyone's guess what will follow. lol. 

I choose the Southern Curry because I prefer it over the others. It's a brick red/orange in colour and has cashew nuts and sweet potato in the sauce. It has heat but not blow your head of heat which My Love tends to crave. Strange And when I was flipping through Linda Majzilks A Vegan Taste of Thailand..the Mussaman Curry Paste (Recipe below) was the one out of the four curry pastes on offer (Green, Red, Mussaman & Yellow)  that seemed similar to the Southern Curry from the Thai House. Not the same but maybe close enough.

The results were a curry with a lot of flavour and a lot of depth. It wasn't like the Southern Curry at all but it was as good...just in a different way. And on the whole we loved this curry but both agreed that just having potato and carrot as the veggies was a little...boring limiting in enjoyment after a few mouthfuls. It was also very filling. lol. The curry paste was easily made...the curry once the paste was made..even more so. I had more trouble shelling the roasted peanuts..who knew you could get sore finger ends from that task?? lol. I will make it again..many times but will play with the veggies. My Love suggested cauliflower..maybe?

The Mussaman paste made enough paste for a few meals and later this week I will be making the Mixed Vegetable and Tofu Curry from the cook book which will use up the last of the paste. 

Mussaman Potato & Carrot Curry
Mussaman Potato & Carrot Curry Serves 4-6
(Recipe from A Vegan Taste of Thailand/Majzlik)

1 1/2 lb/675g potatoes, peeled and diced
1 1/2 lb/675g carrots, peeled and diced 
2 oz/50g roasted peanuts, finely chopped
1 onion, peeled and chopped
2 rounded tbsp mussaman curry paste (Recipe below)
1 tbsp groundnut oil
1 tbsp taramind puree
12 fl oz/350ml veggie stock
8 fl oz/225ml coconut milk
6 kaffir lime leaves
1 inch stick of cinnamon or 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
8 cardamom pods, husked and the seeds separated or 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
black pepper
red chilli rings

Heat the oil and fry the onion until softened. Add the curry paste. potatoes and carrots and stir around for 2 minutes. Dissolve the tamarind puree in the stock and put in the pan with the lime leaves, cinnamon and cardamom.  Season with black pepper and stir well, then raise the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Add the coconut milk and peanuts and continue simmering, again stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes until the vegetables are tender and the sauce has reduced. Spoon into serving dish and garnish with red chilli rings.

Mussaman Curry Paste
(Recipe from A Vegan Taste of Thailand/Majzlik)

2oz/50g red chillies, deseeded and chopped
1 lemon grass stalk, chopped
1 shallot, peeled and chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 inch fresh ginger root, peeled and chopped
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
2 cardamom pods, husked and the seeds separated
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 dsp lime juice
2 dsp ground nut oil
black pepper

Dry fry the cumin, coriander and cardamom seeds and, using a pestle, grind them in a mortar. Blend to a paste with the other ingredients. Store in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to use.