Camel Massaman



 4 Persons


      • 1 large dried red chilli, core & seeds removed
      • vegetable oil
      • 5 small dried chillies
      • ¼ tspn cumin seeds
      • 5 star anise
      • 3 cardamom pods
      • 2 whole cloves
      • 1 cinnamon stick, halved
      • ¼ tspn whole black peppercorns
      • 2 tspn finely chopped lemongrass
      • 1 tspn finely chopped fresh galangal (or ginger)
      • 2 tspn finely chopped shallots
      • 2 tspn finely chopped garlic
      • ¼ tspn sea salt
      • 200 gm camel fillet, sliced against the grain
      • ½ cup chopped red onion
      • ½ cup cubed potato, blanched & drained well
      • 1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
      • 3 tbsp tamarind juice
      • 1 tbsp shaved palm (or soft brown) sugar
      • 1 tbsp Asian fish sauce
      • 1 cup coconut milk
      • ¼ cup unsalted peanuts, blanched or roasted
      • ¼ cup finely sliced, fried shallots



      1. To make the Massaman curry paste, soak the large dried chilli in hot water to soften. Then cool, drain well and finely slice, before frying in a little hot oil for about 10 secs. Remove and drain well on kitchen paper towels.
      2. At the same time, soak the small dried chillies in another bowl of hot water until soft. Drain well and also finely slice.
      3. Toast the cumin seeds with 1 star anise, the cardamom, cloves, cinnamon stick and peppercorns for 1-2 mins in a dry non stick heavy-bottomed pan until fragrant. DON’T BURN!
      4. Then add the lemongrass, galangal, small chillies, 2 tspn finely chopped shallots and the garlic. Stir well and briefly cook, before transferring the mixture with the salt to a mortar and grind to form a paste.
      5. Heat 3 tbsp oil in a large heavy-bottomed pan and briefly cook the remaining star anise, continually stirring.
      6. Then add the curry paste and stir for 1 min until fragrant.
      7. Add the camel meat and gently sauté for another minute.
      8. Then add the red onion, potato, stock, tamarind juice, sugar and fish sauce. Stir well and briefly cook, before adding the coconut milk, little by little, continually stirring.
      9. Stir in the peanuts and briefly cook.
      10. Serve the Massaman with fried shallots sprinkled on top and steamed rice on the side.
      11. nb. Well trimmed lamb backstraps could be used instead of the camel.


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