Thai cuisine is known for its balance of five fundamental flavors in each dish or the overall meal - hot ( spicy ), sour, sweet, salty and bitter. Although popularly considered as a single cuisine, Thai food is really better described as four regional cuisines corresponding to the four main regions of the country: Northern, Northeastern ( or Isan ), Central and Southern. Southern curries, for example, tend to contain coconut milk and fresh turmeric, while northeastern dishes often include lime juice.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Recipe: Masaman Curry

2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 tablespoon salt
1 cup potato
1 tablespoon masaman curry paste
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 lb beef
1 tablespoon tamarind
1 cinnamon stick
1/4 cup cashew
2 pinches cardamom
2 leaves bay leaf
Peel and cut up potatoes into big chunks, 1" x 1" x 1". Cut up beef and onion into the same size. You can substitute chicken or lamb for beef, if you like. Heat coconut milk and masaman curry paste in a pot over medium to low 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 meat and stir to cover the meat with curry. Add half a cup of water or enough cover all the meat. Add the rest of the ingredients, except for potatoes, onion and cashew. Stew for 1/2 hour or until beef is getting tender. Add potatoes, onion and cashews. Let simmer for 20 minutes more. The liquid should be reduced and you should be able to see some chunks. But, if the liquid is very low, add more water.

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