Unveiling Bank's Massaman Curry
Massaman curry embodies a plethora of ancient wisdom and cultural entanglements. What was once eaten as a divine bowl of richness in border regions of Malaysia seeped into Thailand, carrying with it an accompaniment of diverse flavours from across the Southeast Asian peninsula. Aside from sounding like a powerful deity, Massaman features a range of tastes: caramel sweetness from palm sugar; saltiness from the fish sauce; sourness from the fresh tamarind water; spiciness from the herbs; and oiliness/butteriness from the coconut milk. These 5 characteristics - all vibrant, yet with just a touch of each for balance - give Massaman a composed and different feel in comparison to its brother Thai curries. It's a unique dish in its employment of cinnamon, star anise, bay leaves, together constituting the vital preserves that form part of an everyday spice store cupboard (amongst others such as cumin, coriander seeds and dried chillies). Note also that despite the huge array of spices involved, Massaman isn't a spicy curry, but rather produces a bright fragrant aroma that conveys the sort of smell one is accustomed to sense when arriving for a feast at a friend’s place deep in the countryside of Thailand. As a result of limiting the amount of chillies and introducing so many unexpected ingredients, Massaman curry has a balanced, pure and earthy flavour which appeals to all with a soothing touch of sweetness and hints of a nutty crunch. Star anise and bay leaves are not to be eaten, but are included for infusion and aesthetics.
Bank’s Massaman Curry is served daily at www.kindeum.com