The secret ingredient in tonight's dinner is peanut butter! Along with the coconut milk it brings a richness and creaminess to temper the chilli fire from the curry paste. You don't see massaman dishes on Thai menus as often as the standard red or green curries so it's worth knowing how to knock one up yourself.
Massaman Curry Paste
Pour the water (see ingredients for amount) into a large saucepan, along with a pinch of salt, and bring to the boil on high heat. Roughly chop the chestnut mushrooms and the coriander (stalks and all). Cut Chop the chicken into 3cm chunks. Cut the lime into wedges.
When the water is boiling, stir in the rice, lower the heat to medium and pop a lid on the pan. Leave to cook for 10 mins, then remove the pan from the heat (still covered) and leave to the side for another 10 mins or until ready to serve (the rice will continue to cook in its own steam). In a mixing bowl, combine the cornflour with a pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper. Add the chicken and coat thoroughly. Leave to one side.
Place a frying pan on medium-high heat. Add the cashew nuts (no oil!) and toast until golden brown, shaking the pan constantly, about 5 mins. TIP: Watch the nuts like a hawk as they can burn easily. Remove the cashews from the pan and set aside.
Add a splash of oil to the now empty pan and place on high heat. Once the oil is really hot add the chicken and fry until golden brown all over, then remove and set aside, about 5 mins. TIP: Cook in batches if you have a small pan.
Once again return the empty pan to medium-high heat and add another splash of oil along with the massaman curry paste. TIP: If you don’t want it spicy then add a little less. Stir the paste for 1 minute, then add the coconut milk, chicken and mushrooms. Once the coconut milk comes to the boil, stir in the peanut butter and turn the heat to low. Gently simmer, until the chicken is cooked through, 10 mins. TIP: The chicken is cooked when it is no longer pink in the middle.
Fluff up the rice with a fork and add it
to the curry. Gently fold the rice and three- quarters of the coriander into the sauce.
Squeeze over the juice of some the lime. Serve in bowls and garnish with the remaining coriander, the cashews and any lime wedges if you have left. Enjoy!