- 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
- 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.
- At the same time, soak the small dried chillies in another bowl of hot water until soft. Drain well and also finely slice.
- 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!
- 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.
- Heat 3 tbsp oil in a large heavy-bottomed pan and briefly cook the remaining star anise, continually stirring.
- Then add the curry paste and stir for 1 min until fragrant.
- Add the camel meat and gently sauté for another minute.
- 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.
- Stir in the peanuts and briefly cook.
- Serve the Massaman with fried shallots sprinkled on top and steamed rice on the side.
- nb. Well trimmed lamb backstraps could be used instead of the camel.