Homemade curry paste is a real treat. This sauce may look commonplace, but don’t be fooled, it has complex flavors blended fragrantly into every bite. Traditional Thai Massaman curry includes meat as well as shrimp paste, this version omits those and replaces them with perfectly cooked potatoes, tender carrots, crispy tofu, and cashews.
(For the homemade curry paste)
8 dried thai chili peppers (soaked for 20 minutes, then seeded and diced)
2 tsp. coriander
2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. ground white pepper
1 stem lemongrass, chopped
1/2 tsp. galanga powder
(for the rest of the curry dish)
1 box firm tofu
4 medium potatoes (I used classic brown Idaho)
3 large carrots
5 tbsp. homemade curry paste
2 cans coconut milk
2 cups vegetable stock
1 cinnamon stick
6 cardamom pods
1 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tbsp. tamarind concentrate
1/2 cup cashews (you can use peanuts if you prefer)
(for the rice)
1 tbsp. tumeric
2 cups rice (Jasmine or Basmati)
1. First you can prep your vegetables, and chop any herbs. I like to chop the potatoes and carrots very roughly, in big chunks- with the long cooking time even larger pieces of potato and carrot will be perfectly cooked.
2. Now make your curry paste- combine all the ingredients for the paste in the order that they are listed above, pureeing them in your food processor.
3. Cube and fry your tofu, and set aside.
4. Add olive oil, cashews, and curry paste to a large pot, saute on high for about 4 minutes. The aroma of the paste will become very strong, but the cashews should not be burning- add more oil if necessary.
5. Add coconut milk to pot, also throw in potatoes and carrots. Add in vegetable stock along with tamarind, cardamom (shelled), cinnamon, and brown sugar. Cook covered over medium high for 20 minutes. You may want to make your tumeric rice while the curry simmers. I used Basmati rice, as the rice is cooking add enough tumeric to fully color the rice yellow.
6. Now cook uncovered over medium for 30 minutes. This gives the sauce time to thicken and become more multifaceted. Once this is done, gently mix in the fried tofu. The sauce should be beautifully fragrant and creamy.
Serve with rice, add garnish of your choice (shallots, cilantro, and basil would all work well).