May Kaidee’s Massaman Curry Paste

Just as this year’s squash seeds are sown, last year’s crop is at an end. There is just one squash on the windowsill left to eat – a Crown Prince. A real gem. And as it’s the last one, I had to cook something special. I hit on Massaman Curry, a classic Thai dish of pumpkin, coconut milk, and a fusion of spices, and of course some chillies for heat; but what gives Massaman Curry it’s uniqueness is the creaminess of the coconut milk and a slight sour flavouring which comes from Lemons or Vinegar.

Crown Prince Squash

At the end of a holiday in Thailand we spent the last few days in Bangkok. One of our favourite haunts was May Kaidee’s restaurant – a great little restaurant with tables on the street, lovely staff (including May!), and fabulous food. The food is traditional Thai food, but with a twist – vegetarian and vegan.

May runs cookery lessons, and we couldn’t resist. So there we were on a warm December day learning to cook Thai food. The builders across the road, were bemused, to say the least, and probably not believing what they were seeing – 2 Farangs cooking their own food, and for the world to see. The recipes are all simple and use great fresh ingredients, so we made classic green curry and Pad Thai, plus raw spring rolls, peanut sauce, a Massaman curry, sticky rice and great stir fry’s.

Crown Prince – a corker at 4lbs, I carved about a third chunk from it and used it in the Massaman curry. It holds its texture, is quite dry and firm, has a gentle sweetness, but most of all is so tasty. This dish is a simple 1 pot dish.

Vegetarian Massaman Curry Paste

Ingredients ~

  • I tbls veg oil
  • 1 handful of carrot, tomato and onion – thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp chilli paste (to taste) I use 2 or 3 red Thai chillies, 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped)
  • 1 tsp curry powder ( I make my own up using coriander, cumin, peppercorns, cloves, fenugreek and turmeric powder)
  • 1 can coconut milk (or half a can with water added)
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbls soy sauce and / or seasoning sauce
  • 1 handful of vegetables – green beans, mange tout, broccoli, courgette etc
  • 1 handful of tofu (optional)
  • Squeeze of lime of lemon juice or 2 tsp vinegar
  • 1 potato, 1 sweet potato or pumpkin – cut into small chunks

Instructions ~

  • Heat the oil in a large frying pan or Wok
  • When hot add the handful of carrot, tomato and onion, and fry until the onion is cooked (clear)
  • Add the chilli paste and curry powder, stir and cook for a minute
  • Add 1/2 the can of coconut milk
  • Add the sugar and soy sauce and seasoning sauce
  • Give it all a stir
  • Add the vegetables and tofu (if using)
  • Add the lime/lemon or vinegar
  • Add the potato or pumpkin
  • Cook on a low heat, covered, for approx 15 to 20 mintues until the potato or pumpkin are cooked.
  • You may need to add the rest of the coconut milk if the sauce gets too thick, or alternatively add water to do the same job.

Serve with plain rice

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