Masamam Chicken Curry

Jean Christophe Nouvelli creates a fragrant masamam curry paste as the base for this fiery Thai curry
By Jean-Christophe Novelli
Masamam Chicken Curry
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 3-4
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

For the masamam curry paste

  • 2 cm piece galangal, chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground star anise
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp freshly ground white pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 4 tbsp chopped shallots
  • 10 dried chillies
  • 2 kaffir limes, zest only
  • 1 tbsp shrimp paste
  • 5 cm stalk lemongrass, chopped
  • 2 tsp fish sauce

For the curry

  • 300 ml coconut milk
  • 500 g chicken breasts
  • 150 ml coconut cream
  • 3 tbsp masamam curry paste
  • 2 tbsp roasted peanuts
  • 3 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 3 potatoes, cooked
  • 3 onions, chopped
  • 5 cardamom pods, toasted
  • 2.5 cm piece cinnamon sticks
  • 3 bay leaves

For the garnish

  • 4 tbsp coconut cream
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp peanuts
  • steamed rice, to serve

Tips and Suggestions


The spice paste will keep in a screw top jar for 3-4 weeks in a refrigerator. Alternatively it can be frozen in ice cube trays and kept for 3-4 months.

Method

1. Heat a wok and toast the galangal and ground spices until aromatic. Transfer to a food processor, add the remaining ingredients for the curry paste and whiz until smooth.

2. Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces.

3. Pour the coconut milk into a saucepan and add the chicken. Bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, until tender.

4. In a separate saucepan, heat the coconut cream over a medium heat until the oil rises to the surface.

5. Add 3 tablespoons curry paste and stir. Add to the chicken mixture.

6. Stir in the peanuts and season to taste with sugar and fish sauce.

7. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for 10 minutes or so, until everything is tender and cooked through.

8. Garnish with a swirl of coconut cream and scatter over a few peanuts and bay leaves. Serve with steamed rice.

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