Muslim curry, often called ‘Masaman’ is a South East Asian dish which pops up all over the region. This one is from Cambodia. It’s a more delicate flavour than that in, say Thailand but the flavours are so complex and delicious that it more than holds it’s own against any other version. It’s got a LOT of ingredients and you might think it would be TOO many, but like me, I’m sure you’ll be surprised by the end result. It’s amazing!
6 lemongrass stalks (whites only, sliced)
2 teaspoon fresh galangal (chopped – or substitute with ginger)
2 kaffir lime leaves (chopped)
4 garlic cloves (roughly chopped)
2 pieces of lime peel (chopped)
1 teaspoon fresh ginger (chopped)
1 shallot (roughly chopped)
2 coriander roots & stalks (chopped)
1 teaspoon shrimp paste
1 red chilli (chopped – seeds in)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric powder
3 tablespoons peanut oil
8 shallots (chopped)
4 cloves garlic (chopped)
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1kg beef (large cubes)
3 tablespoons ginger (chopped)
2 tablespoons coriander roots and stems (chopped)
1 star anise
600ml coconut cream
3 tablespoons chilli paste
1 tablespoon shrimp paste
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 litre beef stock
2 tablespoons curry powder
1/2 lime (juice of)
4 tablespoons unsalted peanuts
Coriander leaves or Thai basil leaves (to garnish)
In a food processor, or with a hand blender combine all the ingredients with 1/4 cup water to form a semi-smooth paste. Set aside.
Heat the oil over a medium low heat then gently fry the shallots and garlic for 6-7 minutes until soft and lightly browned. Remove from the heat, cool slightly then blend together in a food processor or with a hand blender. Stir in the coriander powder and set aside.
In a food processor or with a hand blender, blend together the ginger and the coriander roots and stalks. Squeeze the pulp in your hands very tightly and collect the juice. Discard the pulp then pour the juice over the beef and leave to marinade for 30 minutes.
Add 400ml of the coconut cream into a large saucepan or wok. Bring to a boil then cook, stirring for 10 minutes until the liquid has reduced by about a half. Reduce the heat slightly and add the curry paste, shallot paste, chilli paste, shrimp paste, fish sauce, sugar, curry powder and star anise and stir well for about 2-3 minutes. Add the beef and stir for another 2 minutes, then pour in the beef stock. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
Pour in the remaining coconut milk and simmer for a further 5 minutes before serving. Fish out the star anise of you can be bothered to find it.
In a small frying pan, dry roast the cashew nuts then lightly crush them with the side of a knife. Sprinkle half into the curry and stir in.
Stir in the lime juice then sprinkle over the remaining cashew nuts and a generous handful of chopped fresh coriander or Thai basil. Serve alongside rice or even just bread.