Gaeng Massaman Gai

Gaeng Massaman Gai (แกงมัสมั่นไก่) is a Thai curry based on Massaman curry paste that you can buy or make yourself. Bought is perfectly fine and saves a lot of time, but homemade tastes much better.

“Gai” means chicken, so today we are cooking a version with meat. Of course, you can make the curry purely vegetarian, with the vegetables of your choice. By the way, chickpeas harmonise well with the unique taste of Massaman Curry. Nothing restricts you and of course you can also prepare delicious fish with it.

Even more common than “Gai” is the “Nua” version, with beef. But we will explain the cooking technique required for this another time.

Whichever version you want to prepare, the basic principles are the same. However, beef needs a different treatment than chicken or fish or vegetables, so this must be taken into account.

Since chicken meat cooks very quickly and becomes dry if cooked too long, we first peel and cut the potatoes into bite-sized pieces of about 3 cm and boil them in salted water for 10 minutes.

They are now half cooked

Onions (or shallots) are cut into coarse pieces, we need surface.

Put them in a pan and brown slowly with a little oil for approx. 15 min. over medium-high heat.

We also roast peanuts, likewise in a pan but dry, without oil, until golden and fragrant.

Cut the chicken breast into bite-sized pieces.

That’s all it takes

From here on you should use a wok, the heat and its distribution are simply different and important. If you don’t have a wok, use a pan that is as deep as possible and a fairly high heat.

First heat a small amount of neutral oil in your wok. Fry the curry paste in it for about 2 – 3 minutes over medium-high heat until it develops its full aroma.

Until it is intensely fragrant

Now add the coconut milk, fish sauce and sugar to the wok. Then add salt to taste.

Let this simmer gently for about 15 minutes so that the flavours can combine.

After this time, we add our pieces of chicken breast and let them cook in the liquid for 10 min.

The chicken is not fried, but poached in the spiced milk

Then add the pre-cooked potatoes, the roasted peanuts and two bay leaves and mix well.

Simmer gently for a further 10 min. until the potatoes are soft

Now add the tamarind paste and cook for another 5 minutes.

The flavour is very intense, so add tamarind slowly and taste to your personal liking

Then mix in the roasted onions and your massaman curry is ready.

The onions do not need any further cooking time

Served with Thai rice and a spoon – not chopsticks.

Flavour explosion

Enjoy.

And may the taste be with you.

Ingredients (for 4 people):

A little neutral vegetable oil

3 tablespoons massaman curry paste (or more to taste)

1 – 2 onions, depending on size

2 – 4 potatoes, depending on size

400 g chicken breast

500 ml coconut milk

100 g roasted peanuts

1 ½ tablespoons fish sauce

4 teaspoons sugar (if available: palm sugar)

2 bay leaves

A little salt

2 – 3 tablespoons tamarind paste (if you have tamarind on hand, put a piece of about 10 g in 100 ml hot water, let it soak, squeeze it into the water and pass it through a fine sieve). Add slowly and according to taste.

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