Prawn Massaman Curry with Brown Rice

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Massaman curry is a delicious Thai style curry that contains potatoes. When ordered in a restaurant or takeaway, this dish will be made with gallons of coconut milk hugely increasing the calories and fat content. (Even 'low fat' or 'reduced fat' tinned coconut milk contains pots of calories and should be avoided!).

This recipe replaces the coconut milk with a cornflour/milk mixture that maintains the consistency and mirrors the taste.

You could omit the prawns and chicken stock and add some butternut squash or sweet potato (and vegetable stock) for a veggie version of the curry. Alternatively, some chopped cooked chicken would also work, but take this into account when counting the calories.

The following recipe makes makes two portions.

For the rice
• 120g brown rice
• 1 vegetable stock cube
• ½ teaspoon salt (Or better still low sodium salt)
• 2 pints of boiling water

For the curry
• 15g/1 teaspoon of low fat butter spread
• 2 medium onions. (Red or white). Peeled, quartered then blitzed to a pulp
• 1 medium eating apple. (Red or green). Peeled, cored quartered then blitzed to a pulp
• 2 cloves of fresh garlic. Peeled and finely chopped 
• 2 heaped teaspoons of fresh ginger. Washed and finely chopped 
• 1 teaspoon of Chinese 5 Spice Powder
• 1 teaspoon of ground cumin (or cumin seeds lightly crushed)
• 1 teaspoon of chili flakes (a little less if you like it milder)
• ½ teaspoon of ground cayenne
• ½ teaspoon of ground turmeric
• 300ml cold low fat milk
• 2 heaped teaspoons of corn flour mixed with the milk in a jug or cup and stirred to a paste
• ½ pint of chicken stock made with 1 stock cube
• 100g mushrooms. Washed/wiped and quartered
• 200g potato. Peeled and chopped into rough dice
• 20g peanut butter. Chunky or smooth as you prefer
• 10g chopped mixed nuts
• 75g peas. Fresh or frozen would both work
• 2 x 300g packs of cooked prawns. Fresh or frozen (thoroughly defrosted). Washed and patted dry with kitchen paper.
• small bunch of coriander. Washed and finely chopped


  1. Add 2 pints of boiling water to a large sauce pan and bring back to the boil.
  2. When the water is bubbling, add the stock cube and salt and stir to make sure it's fully dissolved.
  3. Add the rice and stir to ensure it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan. Bring the pot back to the boil again. Then reduce the heat to medium. Loosely cover the pot with a lid. Let it bubble away for 40 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, heat a large pot over a medium to high heat and add the butter. When it's bubbling add the pulped onion and apple and stir fry for 5 minutes or so.
  5. Next add the chopped ginger and garlic and continue to stir fry for a further 30 seconds to a minute.
  6. Then, add the spice mixture and stir enjoying the aroma!
  7. Next, whisk in the milk/cornflour mixture and stock and stir well to combine.
  8. Next add the mushrooms and potatoes and stir well to combine. The sauce should start to thicken.
  9. Increase the heat and bring the contents of the pot to the boil. Once it's boiled for a minute or so, reduce the heat to medium, loosely cover with a plate or lid and let the sauce simmer for approximately 30 minutes, until the rice is ready, stirring every now and then to ensure it's not sticking to the bottom of the pot. Add more boiling water if the sauce is looking a little dry. 
  10. When 20 minutes has passed, add the peas to the sauce and stir.
  11. When 25 minutes have passed, add the peanut butter and ground nuts.
  12. When the rice is ready, drain it into a colander and shake to get rid of any residual water. 
  13. Add the prawns to the curry and stir. Take the pan off the heat. The prawns only need to heat through for a minute or two, so add them at the last minute.
  14. Finally, divide the rice between two warmed bowls or plates and pour the sauce over. Serve garnished with the chopped coriander.

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