Massaman Curry with Paneer Cheese

Massaman Curry with Paneer Cheese

In the mood for Thai flavors, I simmered up a hot and sour mushroom soup. To go along with the meal, I also prepared this massaman curry with golden brown fried paneer cheese and a fresh and spicy homemade massaman curry paste. I spent many hours in the kitchen that day, as I also made my own nam prik pow sauce to go into the mushroom soup. It was certainly worth the effort and the meal was enjoyed with friends.

Massaman Curry with Paneer Cheese

I adapted the dish from Thai Vegetarian Cooking by Vatcharin Bhumichitr. According to the introduction that precedes the recipe, massaman curries are influenced by the flavors of Islamic cuisine and very closely related to many popular Indian curries. Usually cooked with beef or chicken, this is of course a vegetarian version, but I didn't care for the tofu that the author suggested — instead, the fried paneer cheese simmered in this wonderful creamy, spicy and highly aromatic coconut gravy turned out to be absolutely delicious, and was the highlight of my amazing Thai dinner.

Massaman Curry with Paneer CheeseMassaman Curry with Paneer Cheese
Recipe by
Adapted from Thai Vegetarian Cooking
Cuisine: Thai
Published on March 3, 2010

A vegetarian version of the famous southern Thai curry usually cooked with beef or chicken, this massaman curry has golden-brown fried pieces of paneer cheese simmered in a creamy, spicy, "coconutty" and wonderfully fragrant sauce

Preparation: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 30 to 35 minutes

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  • 6 tablespoons sesame oil, divided
  • 8 to 12 oz (200 to 300 g) paneer cheese, cubed
  • 2/3 cup raw cashews, halved
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons massaman curry paste
  • 14 oz (400 mL) can coconut milk
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 large shallots, chopped
  • juice from 1 small lemon (2 tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons of sugar
  • Heat 4 tablespoons of the sesame oil in a large saucepan or wok over medium heat. When hot, add the cheese cubes and stir-fry for about 5 to 10 minutes, constantly turning the cubes to brown them evenly on all sides. As they turn crisp and golden, remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

  • Meanwhile, toast the cashews in a small saucepan or frying pan over medium-low heat, stirring or tossing frequently, for 5 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Set aside.

  • Heat the remaining oil over medium heat in a large saucepan. When hot, add the garlic and stir and fry for a few minutes. Add the curry paste, stir, and then add the coconut milk and stir well to combine. Add the potatoes, shallots, lemon juice, paneer cheese and cashews, and simmer for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are just cooked and the sauce thickens. Remove from heat and stir in the salt and sugar.

Makes 4 servings

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Audio accompaniment: Give Them The Rights by The Congos


Soma said...

This sounds so wonderful . I have only done eggplant massaman, and making the paste was not that easy. But we loved the dish. This must have been very flavorful. I love the sesame oil.

Anh said...

Very inspiring! I like to learn about different vegetarian curry. Never have enough of those.

indosungod said...

Lisa, looks so much like avial but I am sure the massaman paste gave it a totally different taste. The paste did not give it a reddish tinge? I guess making it at makes all the difference.

Soma Pradhan said...

looks and sounds different to me...

Astra Libris said...

Yes please to both this gorgeous curry and the hot and sour mushroom soup! :-)

MapMaster said...

This is one of the most unique and delicious curries I've ever eaten ... well worth the time!

Spice Rack said...

Making a dish is not an easy thing to do, it is important that you use the best spice and herbs, not the MSG and other flavorings because it is very essential that you use the healthy and tasty ingredients. In addition with flavor and healthy recipe. Always use olive oil. It is really good.

Sara said...

I love massaman with tofu, root veggies, and avocado added before serving. I can't wait to try your recipe and paste. Thanks for posting!!