Musaman Beef Curry

Book: Easy Curry Cookery
Pages: 128
ISBN: 9780949892768
ASIN: 0949892769
Release Date: 1st January 2000
Recipe Rating:
Difficulty Rating:


Groan! Yet another Australian Women's Weekly cookbook! Yep - told you I've got stacks of them! This is the Easy Curry Cookery book which offers a very good introduction for anyone venturing into making their own curries for the first time (such as myself). And of course when I say making fo rthe first time, I actually mean making from first principles for the first time - i.e. without recourse to pastes or cook-in sauces!

Musaman CopmarisonRegular readers will know I'm in love with Bill Granger's Pork Meatballs with Curry Sauce - this was the recipe that introduced me to Massaman curry paste - now increasingly available at specialist food shops, but certainly always in Asian supermarkets. However, this book actually documents all the spices that comprise a Massaman (or here the alternative spelling Musaman) paste. So armed with such knowledge, I felt I should make my own rather than rely upon the Mae Ploy shop bought product. In, it's not that difficult to achieve providing you can track down all the ingredients. Almost all are readily available at large Tesco or Sainsbury's supermarkets; only the pungent shrimp paste took legwork. The final result is very similar to the shop bought; it smells the same but its consistency is a little dryer and flakier. It certainly tastes the same!

The result of the recipe was an epiphany! Making from scratch really isn't anything like as difficult as I imagines, and I would certainly recommend every aspiring cook (such as myself) give it a go. Will I always make my curries with homemade paste? Probably not - sometimes circumstances and time constrain, but I will always give it a go when I can.

It would be great to award five stars after that fulsome praise but regrettably I can't. I'm really not sure, and not just with this recipe but with others too, about the duration to saucepan cook raw meat. My feeling is cookery books never suggest enough, and as I suspected, the meat could really have done with another 20 minutes or so. Despite the cooking time not being adequate, the onions still broke down into individual skins which marred the aesthetic of the dish - I'm not sure what the work around for that could be. Maybe bake the onions separately and add to the stew in the final minutes? And my final bugbear is the dish has quantities for six (see below) - a very poor choice of the publishers.

Changes from Published Recipe

Like many of the recipes in the book, this is aimed at parties of 6 - a somewhat inconvenient number! I therefore had to do some tricky mathematics (or rather I didn't - I just guessed) so I used the following:
350g of beef topside (not 1000g)
200g of potatoes (not 500g)
120g of onions (not 250g)
1/3 of a cup of water (not 2/3 of a cup)
1/8 of a cup of brown sugar (not 1/4 of a cup)

I thought the small brown onions would be difficult to find, but in fact my local large Sainsbury's do a large bag of organic at the correct size.