mama’s curry (as close as i can get)

have you ever had vietnamese curry? it’s very similar to thai massaman curry – very hearty and stew-like. i recently had some dental work done and need to eat soft food, so we’ve been eating it with rice this week, but normally this thick, rich curry would get scooped up with pieces of crusty baguette torn from the loaf (baked fresh by the mister!).

if anyone asked, i would definitely say this is one of the best things i make. it seriously took me about year and a half to perfect this recipe, meaning, to get as close to my mom’s curry as possible. and can i you tell you a secret? i use chef sameh wadi’s (of saffron) dry harissa from his line of spices, spice trail and it’s a revelation in curry, truly. the spices add the absolute right amount of heat 🙂

i normally make this with chicken, but this time i had shrimp handy, so used that instead. YUM. love seafood. but i’m going to give you the recipe with chicken – it’s a good staple.

1 pkg chicken thighs or breasts
8-10 red potatoes (depending on size), peeled and cut into chunks – you can use a combo of red and sweet potatoes too!
5-6 carrots, peeled and cut into rounds
1 small white onion, sliced or chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
1 15oz can coconut milk
2-3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 T fish sauce (i use three crabs brand)
pinch of sugar
drizzle of oil

dry rub:
1/4 cup curry powder
1 T dry harissa
fresh ground pepper/salt

coat chicken in the mixed spices, cover and refridgerate for an hour. i sometimes do it the night before, whenever you remember should be fine.

heat a little bit of oil in medium pot, add onions, garlic and chicken. sear chicken on all sides. remove chicken from pot and set aside.

scoop the coconut cream into the pot (just the cream, not the juice) and simmer for 5 minutes (i stand over the stove with my head in the pot for this step – it smells ridiculously good, the coconut cream). throw the chicken back in with the bay leaves – then barely cover the chicken with broth. add fish sauce and the pinch of sugar – simmer for 20 minutes.

finally add the potatoes, carrots and the coconut juice. add just enough chicken broth to cover the potatoes and carrots. cover and simmer on medium-high heat for 35-40 minutes.

dive in with some warm slices of baguette. ahhh so good.


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