1-2pounds lamb shoulder (chicken can also be used), cut into cubes or pieces
2+1/2cups chicken stock
1/3cup diced onion
For the curry sauce
1-2potatoes, cut into chunks
1whole star anise
1/4cup fresh basil
1thumb-piece ginger, grated
1stalk lemongrass , minced - see link for instructions, OR 2-3 Tbsp. frozen prepared lemongrass
1red chili, sliced, OR 1/2 to 3/4 tsp. chili flakes or cayenne pepper
1/4cup chopped unsalted cashews (+ a few more for garnish)
1tsp. ground coriander
1tsp. whole cumin seed
1/2tsp. white pepper
1tsp. tamarind, or substitute 1 Tbsp. lime juice
1Tbsp. brown sugar
3/4tsp. shrimp paste (available by the jar at Asian stores)
2Tbsp. fish sauce
114 ounce (400 ml) can coconut milk (not lite)
Place stock in a large pot over high heat.
Add the meat, onion and bay leaves.
If using fresh lemongrass, also add the upper leftover stalk pieces.
Bring to a boil then reduce to low, until you get a nice simmer. Cover or partially-cover with a lid and simmer 40 to 80 minutes, stirring occasionally, until meat is tender or near-tender (You can also choose to skip this step - see note below recipe).
Add all 'curry sauce' ingredients, stirring with each addition.
Also add the potatoes.
Return to a boil, then continue simmering 30 more minutes or until potatoes are tender.
Taste-test the curry, adding more fish sauce for increased flavor/saltiness, or more chili if you want it spicier. If too sour, add a little more sugar. If too salty or sweet for your taste, add a touch more tamarind or lime juice. If too spicy, add more coconut milk.
Transfer to a serving bowl, or plate up on individual plates or bowls. Top with a few more cashews and fresh basil.
Serve with Thai jasmine rice, and ENJOY!
Time-Saving Tip: In this recipe I have chosen to pre-boil the meat for more tenderness - it takes longer, but I find the resulting taste worth it. However, if you're in a hurry, you can easily cut back on this step (if simmering meat 30 minutes or less, leave off lid or reduce stock to 2 cups).
Other Vegetables: Other vegetables that can be used in this curry include eggplant, green beans, and tomato.