Monday, February 7, 2011

Dutch Oven Masaman Curry, Again!

It’s been a few years since I did this one.  In fact, the last time I cooked Masaman curry was at the IDOS Spring Convention back in April of ‘08.  THAT was a seriously long time ago.

I was overdue.  Last time I’d done it, the curry wasn’t as hot as I might have liked,  so this time, I went with powdered spices instead of a paste.  I also did it all with bottom heat, simmering the food in the coconut milk. Anyway, here it is!

Dutch Oven Masaman Curry

12” Dutch Oven, about 20 coals below

    * 1-2 Tbsp olive oil
    * 2 tablespoons Curry Seasoning. ( I bought it out of a box, not the little bottles of “curry powder”)
    * 3 medium onions
    * 4 cloves garlic, minced

    * 2 14 oz cans of Coconut Milk
    * ½ cup peanut butter

    * 6-7 medium potatoes
    * 1-2 lbs meat (This time I used about equal portions of cubed chicken an uncooked peeled shrimp)

    * up to 1-1 ½ cups water
    * ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
    * 4 bay leaves
    * 3 Tbsp sugar
    * 3 Tbsp tamarind pulp, or some splashes of tamarind juice/nectar
    * ½ cup unsalted, chopped peanuts
    * ⅛ - ¼ cup coconut (I chopped up some fresh)
    * 3 tsp salt
    * Liberal shaking of cinnamon

First, I got the dutch oven onto the coals (the entire dish was done with bottom heat), and put the oil in the bottom.  After it had heated, I added the curry spices.  I mixed that in the oil, and let it activate in the heat a little, then added the garlic and the onions to saute.  If you wanted, you could add some chopped green pepper and/or celery here.  Maybe some green onions.

Once all that was nicely sauteed and translucent, I added the coconut milk, and the peanut butter.  You could add the peanut butter by the spoonful, and then it would be in smaller chunks and dissolve a little better.

I chopped up the potatoes and cubed the chicken and added those to the heating coconut milk.  I also added in the shrimp. Once I put the meat in, I covered it with the dutch oven lid to help it trap the heat.  Still, I didn’t add any coals to the lid.

I let the liquid get warm again, and added in the remaining flavoring ingredients.  I let these simmer, covered, for about an hour or so, while I made the rice.  The water is in the list, primarily to help adjust the overall liquid level.  You could also dust in a little cornstarch or flour to thicken it up, if need be, right at the end of the cooking.  Also, taste it while it’s simmering to see if the spices are hot enough for your taste.  If not, add a little chili powder, or more curry dust, let it simmer, and then check it again.

Serve it over rice, and it’s delicious!


Mark has discovered a love of Dutch Oven Cooking. Mark also has other sites and blogs, including and his MoBoy blog.

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