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Mussaman Curry Paste – Make it Yourself

Submitted by on Thursday, 26 August 2010No Comment

Adapted from Easy Thai Cookbook, by Sallie Morris (2007, Metro Books, NY).

I had my first taste of authentic Mussaman curry in Phuket, Thailand, looking out at the Andaman Sea. The experience was sublime, and I fell in love with the light but flavorful curry and exotic landscape.

Original to southern Thailand, Mussaman curry is frequently served with sweet potatoes, as mine was. It is easy to make a vegetarian Mussaman curry using sweet potatoes, coconut milk, vegetables, and tofu. This recipe is just for the actual curry.

I was happy to find this recipe in Easy Thai Cookbook, because the canned version I can find in health food stores just didn’t hold a candle to the freshly made.

Mussaman Curry Paste
Red Curry Paste Ingredients
10 red chilies, seeded and sliced
1/4 pound red onions or shallots, sliced
4 garlic cloves, sliced
3 lemongrass stems, lower stems only, sliced and bruised
1/2-inch piece galangal (or kha), peeled and sliced (or ginger, if you can’t find galangal)
4 cilantro stems, stalks and roots only
1-2 tablespoons sunflower oil
1 teaspoon grated magrut (lime leaves)
1/2-inch cube prepared kapi (fermented shrimp and salt); optional
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
8-10 black peppercorns
1 teaspoon salt

For Mussaman:
6 cardamon pods
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1. Sautee the chilies, onions, garlic, lemongrass, and kha in a small amount of oil, stirring for 3 minutes.
2. Blend the ingredients you have sauteed and add the cilantro stalks, magrut, and kapi (if desired).
3. Sautee the cardamom pods, salt, coriander and cumin in a dry skillet. Remove seeds from the pod and pound them and the peppercorns to a powder using a mortar and pestle.
4. Combine all ingredients in a food processor, including the cloves and cinnamon, and blend until smooth.

Adapted from Easy Thai Cookbook, by Sallie Morris (2007, Metro Books, NY).

By Annie B. Bond, the best-selling and award-winning author of five healthy/green living books, including Better Basics for the Home (Three Rivers Press, 1999), Home Enlightenment, Clean & Green (1990), and most recently True Food (National Geographic, 2010 and winner of Gourmand Awards Best Health and Nutrition Cookbook in the World). She has authored literally thousands of articles and was named “the foremost expert on green living” by Body & Soul magazine (2009).


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