Masaman curry is hideous. It looks like a tasteless pile of mush, completely unappetizing.
But, if you're brave enough to get a little closer to it, the smell will start to intrigue you. You'll notice a faint aroma of Indian spices like caradamom and cinnamon but there are other scents there too.
And if you work up the courage to actually taste it....you'll be surprised and delighted at how delicious such an ugly food can be.
Of all of the curries I have tried so far, masaman beef curry is by far my favorite. It is so rich and hearty and the beef is incredibly soft and tender.
Over the past month or two, I've been spending a small fortune buying masaman curry from a local restaurant. When I saw how much of my food budget it was actually taking up, I decided it was time to figure out how to make it myself.
For a first try, it turned out excellent so I thought I would share the recipe which I adapted from another website. Here it is:
Recipe: Masaman Beef Curry
- ½ large sweet potato
- ½ lb stewing beef
- 1 large white onion
- ¾ cup coconut milk
- 1 Tbsp masaman curry paste
- ½ cup water
- 1/8 tsp ground cardamom
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 1 Tbsp tamarind pulp
- 1 cinnamon stick
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ cup chopped peanuts
Peel potato and slice into chunks, approximately 1” x 1” x ½”. Slice beef into thin slices, about 1” square and 3/8” thick. Cut onion into chunks of a similar size.
Heat ½ cup coconut milk and curry paste in a medium pot over medium heat and stir. Break up the paste and mix well with coconut milk. Stir constantly to keep the mixture from sticking.
When you see the red oil bubbling up (about 5 minutes), add the beef and stir to cover the beef with curry. Add ½ cup water or enough to cover the beef.
Add the cardamom, bay leaves, sugar, tamarind, cinnamon and salt and allow to stew for ½ hour, or until beef is tender.
Add remaining coconut milk, potatoes, onion and peanuts. Let simmer for 20 minutes more to cook the vegetables. This should be a fairly dry curry, however you may need to add more water if it the liquid becomes very low while simmering.
Serve over hot long grain white rice.