Thai food is one of the most fragrant and vibrant cuisines. However most of the pastes and sauces that you can buy from supermarkets fall far short of the mark.
Making Thai food from scratch produces something that will make you jump up and down with sheer delight with it’s aromatic, vivid and punchy flavours.
However if you do want to save a little time I found a company called R&G at the Good Food Show who sell authentic Thai pastes in pouches. Their pastes, which don’t contain anything you wouldn’t have in a home kitchen, are the best I’ve been able to find in the UK and are great if you are a bit time pressed. For vegetarians and vegans they have some vegetarian selections made without shrimp paste or fish sauce.
If you want to make the extra effort, this Massaman curry is so tasty that even meat lovers will enjoy it. However it is completely meat free, great if you are trying to increase the amount of vegetables you eat or are trying to cut down on animal protein.
Squash is high in antioxidant carotenoids as well as vitamin A and C and many other vitamins and minerals. It also has a lovely sweetness and partly for that reason, contrary to many Thai recipes, I have not put any sugar in this recipe.
Preparation Time: Between 10 minutes and an hour depending on method chosen
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves or 3 whole cloves
- Seeds from 6 cardamom pods
- 1 tsp ground coriander or coriander seeds
- 1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
- 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon or 2cm cinnamon bark
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 2 birds eye chilli, deseeded and chopped
- 1 shallot, chopped finely
- 2 large or 4 small cloves of garlic
- 1 tsp chopped galangal or ginger or galangal paste
- 2 tsp chopped lemongrass from the inside softer bulb or lemongrass paste
- 2 tsp coconut oil
- 1/2 tsp shrimp paste (optional)
- 2 tsp tamarind paste
- 1 tbsp peanuts
- 1/4 tsp salt
100g good quality massaman curry paste for example R&G Massaman Curry Paste
- 400g new potatoes, sliced in half
- 400g squash, peeled and chopped in to pieces 1 inch wide
- 12 shallots, outer skin and root removed
- 2 kaffir lime leaves
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tin coconut milk
- 150 ml water
- 2 tbs peanuts
- 15g coriander
If making your own paste, lightly toast the spices until the aroma is released.
Add the remaining paste ingredients except tamarind water, shrimp paste, salt and peanuts and cook for a 5 minutes until browned and fragrant. Add the remaining ingredients and either puree using a hand blender or grind by hand with a pestle and mortar.
Put the paste in a casserole or large saucepan with lid and is big enough to hold. Fry the potatoes in the paste for a few minutes then add the coconut milk, water, bay and kaffir limes leaves. Cover the pan and simmer for 10 minutes.
Add the shallots and squash and gently simmer for 20 minutes. Avoid stirring too much or you may breakdown the squash.
Whilst it is cooking, lightly toast the peanuts and chopped the coriander
When the squash and potatoes are tender serve, sprinkled with peanuts and chopped coriander.