THAI CHICKEN MASSAMAN CURRY WITH JERUSALEM ARTICHOKE
When thinking of Thai dishes, I tend to lean towards bright, bold flavours. Zingy with citrus, fiery hot with chillies, and deeply savoury, moreish mouthfuls.
Massaman Curry is one of those rare dishes that incorporates all those wonderful intense flavours whilst also being comforting. The dried chillies bring a warmer, mellower heat than you might expect from a Thai curry whilst the spices bring depth and richness. There’s still plenty of that brightness with lime, fish sauce and of course lemongrass, but it feels like a beautifully balanced curry.
Traditionally potato is used in this dish, acting as a flavour-sponge of sorts. We’ve added Jerusalem Artichokes to this version instead for an added savoury depth of flavour whilst still soaking up plenty of that beautiful sauce.
Though high on ingredients, the cooking process and time is very simple and quick – a wonderful meal when in need of comfort.
2 Chicken Breasts, thinly sliced horizontally
250g Jerusalem Artichokes, scrubbed
4 tbsp Massaman Paste,
400ml Coconut Milk,
1 Large Banana Shallot, roughly chopped
1 tbsp Fish Sauce,
1 tbsp Tamarind Paste, if concentrate, use ½ reduced with a little hot water
2–3 Bay Leaves,
Juice of 1 Lime,
Generous Pinch of Salt and Pepper
THE MASSAMAN PASTE
2 tsp Ground Cumin, toasted
2 tsp Ground Coriander, toasted
1 ½ tsp Ground Cinnamon,
½ tsp Ground Nutmeg,
½ tsp Ground Cloves,
1 tsp Paprika,
30g Dried Chillies, Thai spur ideally or guajillo, nothing too spicy
2 Banana Shallots, roughly chopped
2 Lemongrass Stalks, outer casing removed and roughly chopped
4 Garlic Cloves,
Small Handful of Coriander Stalks, reserving the leaves for garnish
2 tsp Galangal Paste, or thumb sized piece fresh
2 tsp Shrimp Paste,
Generous Pinch of Salt and Pepper
Handful of Coriander Leaves, roughly chopped
THE CURRY PASTE
TIP – You can absolutely use store-bought curry paste for this recipe. However, there is something undeniably satisfying about a homemade curry paste and there’s no question that the fresher your paste, the better the quality of the curry. We’ve used a traditional recipe for the paste and the results give a really exceptional flavour.
This recipe should yield enough paste for 2 portions of this curry. The paste will keep in the fridge for about a week, or keep in the freezer for several months.
- Place a small frying pan over a medium heat. Remove the seeds from your dried chillies and place them into the dry pan along with the shallots garlic. Dry fry these ingredients for 2-3 minutes until starting to become fragrant but being careful not to burn the ingredients. Remove from the pan.
- Using a blender or immersion blender, blitz all of the ingredients together until a smooth, thick paste is achieved. You should not need to add any water or liquid as the onions should release enough moisture to aid in blending.
TIP – You can use a food processor or even a pestle and mortar to make the paste but I have found an immersion blender and cup provided with it the best method to get a really smooth paste.
PARBOILING THE ARTICHOKES
TIP – Parboiling the Jerusalem Artichokes means that they will cook far more quickly in the curry at the end and prevents them from leaching too much flavour into the sauce itself.
- Place a pan of salted water over a high heat and bring to a rolling boil.
- Peel the Jerusalem Artichokes if preferred, or ensure they are thoroughly scrubbed clean. Slice into 1cm thick slices and place into the pan of hot water.
- Parboil for 10 minutes or until just barely tender. Remove from the pan and set aside.
THE MASSAMAN CURRY
- Place a large pan over a high heat and add the coconut milk to the pan. Bring the coconut milk to a boil and then reduce to a steady simmer. Next, add the massaman curry paste to the pan and mix together and then add in the bay leaves. Simmer for a few minutes until reduced by about ⅓ and the colour has started to turn a deeper, richer red-brown. This should take about 5 minutes.
- Put the sliced chicken breast into the pan along with the chopped shallot. Stir and simmer for 1-2 minutes before adding in the parboiled Jerusalem Artichokes. Reduce the heat to a bare simmer and cook for 10 minutes or until the artichokes and chicken are completely cooked through.
- Add the fish sauce, tamarind and lime juice to the pan and stir into the curry.
- Garnish the massaman with some coriander leaves and toasted peanuts. Serve immediately with boiled rice and lime wedges for added brightness.