Masaman Curry is another Thai Curry but the word massaman is not a native of Thailand, it seems to have been derived from the Malay word masam, which means, "sour". The flavoring for Massaman curry is called Massaman curry paste although ready-made pastes are now readily available but with all those artificial flavoring they are nothing in taste compared to homemade pastes prepared with fresh ingredients.
With grinders and food processors around working in the kitchen has become so - so easy and much more time saving, my generation has still seen their mothers or grandmothers grinding masala in stone mortar and pestle but I guess for the coming generation all that will be a part of history. But the masala grounded in mortar and pestle has an earthy taste to it and the final curry made out of that masala is simply scrumptious.
In Thailand still many families prefer to ground pastes for curries in stone mortar and pestle, the mortar there is broader and wider so that ingredients can be easily turned into paste. This Masaman Paste is much more spicier than other Thai Curry Pastes so do not add too much of it in curry, the quantity given below for Masaman Paste is sufficient to make curry twice and each will serve 3 - 4 people.
Recipe: Thai Masaman Curry Paste
Yield: 250g or 1 medium sized bowl
10 dried red chilies
1 onion, roughly chopped
10 - 12 cloves of garlic
1 thumb size piece of ginger, chopped
2 Tbsp cumin seeds
4 Tbsp coriander seeds
2 Tsp fennel seeds
1 Tbsp black peppercorns
2 inch stock of cinnamon
¼ Tsp grated nutmeg
Seeds of 2 brown cardamom
Rind of 1 lemon
For making paste, dry roast all the ingredients in a wok or pan for 5 minutes or till aroma is released from the spices.
Grind all the roasted ingredients to a paste using 4 - 6 tbsp of water until smooth.
Store in a clean, dry airtight container in the fridge, use as per the requirement. It can be stored in the fridge for a week or so, make sure to use clean dry spoon to scoop out the curry paste everytime you use it.
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