I would like to introduce you to a dear blogger friend Syrie of Taste Buddies. Currently based in Canada, Syrie is of Thai descent but spent a lot of times in Australia. Her culinary skills span across various cuisines: Thai, Australian, New Zealand, French, and more. Syrie is also a food guide on About.com. Please welcome Syrie of Taste Buddies to Rasa Malaysia with her beef massaman curry post!
I first discovered Rasa Malaysia via Tastespotting over a year ago. I was mesmerized by the culinary creations and, to be honest, was a little envious of Rasa Malaysia’s talents in the kitchen. Since then, we have become friends and today I have the honour of being a guest writer on Rasa Malaysia! So, I’d like to extend a big “thank you” to the kind invitation to post here.
I grew up in Thailand, and so I thought that I would post a Thai dish, Massaman curry.
Thailand is a country of diverse flavours borne out of its many ethic groups. The population is predominantly Buddhist with minorities including Christians, Hindus, Confucianists and animists. It is Muslims that make up Thailand’s largest minority group in the southern part of the country.
In the 9th century, Arab merchants voyaged to Sumatra, Aceh and Java to buy precious spices like nutmeg and cloves. The spread of trade was quickly followed by the spread of religion until it reached Thailand’s southern shores.
The next several centuries saw the adoption of spices like cloves, cinnamon, star anise and tamarind into Thai cuisine. All ingredients used in the popular Gaeng Massaman which literally translates to “Muslim Curry”. The coconut-based curry is usually made with beef along with potatoes and peanuts…
Massaman paste is made up of a whole range of ingredients including chilies, shallots, garlic, galangal, lemongrass, cilantro seeds, cumin, cloves, pepper and shrimp paste. While homemade curry paste is delicious, store-bought pastes work just as well.
As with most curries, the second day after cooking is when the flavours of the spices develop and really permeate the tender meat, which by the way, melts in your mouth.
The massaman curry takes 2 hours to cook but don’t let this deter you. It’s worth the wait and since there’s not much effort in the preparation, all you have to do is be patient. Although, this may be hard when the intoxicating aromas of this beef massaman curry fill up your kitchen!