Give me a good curry any time, anywhere. Thai, Indian, any kind, it doesn’t matter, it’s all delightful.
There’s this great Thai restaurant in my town – I don’t know how much truth there is to this, but apparently it’s been named one of the best Thai restaurants outside of Thailand. I’m going to take them at their word, because it is DANG delicious.
One of their dishes, in particular, includes many of the best things: curry, coconut, avocado, broccoli, chicken, and cashews. It’s called Masaman Curry and it is one of my favorite things in the world to eat. I’ve had it at a few other places and they do it passably well too, but some Thai restaurants put other things in it, like carrots. I’m not a fan of carrots in most cases anyway, but even more than that, there’s just something about the combination of the avocado, broccoli, and cashews that is hard to top.
When I went Paleo for a while last year (I made it through a whole two weeks – better next time), I realized that if I passed on the heaping mound of jasmine rice they brought with my curry, it was actually completely Paleo friendly. Plus, even though it’s hard to pass up good, sticky rice, doing so also meant I could stuff my face with the entire bowl of Masaman.
And then, I went to the local Asian supermarket, and found Masaman Curry paste – and a light bulb went off in my hungry little brain. And now, I’m passing my little flash of brilliance on to you.
You’ll need the following:
3-4 medium-sized pieces of chicken (I like boneless, skinless breast meat, but it’s up to you – you could also use beef tips or shrimp if you prefer, or tofu if you’re into that)
About half a bag of frozen broccoli florets
2 ripe avocados
1 can full-fat coconut milk (the kind on the Asian aisle in your local grocery store)
Masaman Curry paste (available at your nearest Asian supermarket)
Garlic, salt, and pepper to taste
To make the curry:
Cut your chicken into bite-size pieces, roughly one inch. Throw them in the skillet, spray or drizzle them with a little oil of your choice (I like to use grapeseed since it has a higher heat tolerance than olive or coconut oil), and season them with garlic, salt and pepper.
Brown the chicken on medium-high heat. Once all the pink is gone, pour in your can of coconut milk and allow the chicken to absorb some of the flavor. Turn the heat down to medium.
Add your broccoli florets and stir them into the mixture. Once they’ve heated, add your chopped avocados (I like to slice them into small chunks while they’re still in their shell/husk/rind, and then scoop out the chunks) and as many cashews as you like. Cashews are my husband’s favorite nuts, so I use them liberally.
Stir everything and season with a bit more garlic, salt, and pepper if you like.
At this point, you’re ready to add your Masaman Curry paste. I cannot stress this enough: ADD IT GRADUALLY. A quick anecdote: the aforementioned Thai restaurant allows you to customize your spicy level from 1-5, or if you’re bold, you can request “Thai Hot.” I usually go for a 2; my husband usually goes for a 5 or Thai hot. The first time I made the curry at home, I added a big ol’ chunk of the paste, and he declared it “Beyond Thai Hot.” Seriously, I had to take a sip of water after every single bite. This stuff has some kick, people! If you like it spicy, great, but just add it carefully to get it to the level you want. Two roughly teaspoon-size bits generally gets it just right for us.
Let everything simmer a few minutes more, and then you’re ready to serve! If you’re following the Paleo diet, you can eat this deliciousness on its own, or serve it over cauliflower “rice.” If you’re not, as we are not at this point in time, spoon it over a big heap of jasmine rice and dig in.
I’d recommend a nice cool glass of Riesling to go along.