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Massaman Curry with Avocado?

  • c

I am no expert on Thai cuisine, although I am making every attempt to learn about it, and I eat in Thai restaurants every chance I get. I have a friend who insists the Thai restaurants she eats in include avocado in Massaman Curry. She is in NC although she travels a great deal within the US. This just doesn't seem right to me. I don't ever remember finding avocado in that dish when I've ordered it, and I often do choose it in restaurants. I usually find peanuts, potatoes, assorted vegetables in it. Does anyone know if this is a regional NC thing, or might there be some other vegetable in there that she could be mistaking for avocado or am I totally wrong and avocado is an ingredient typically found in this great dish?

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  1. c
    Chris Willging

    I'm also no expert, but there was a Thai restaurant in Bethesda, MD where I used to go when I was in high school. Their massaman curry contained big chunks of avocado.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Chris Willging

      i just got back from thailand. i don't recall seeing masaman curry on the menu of any of the restaurants i went to. tons of other fab dishes, though. if you like avocado, put it in. if you don't, don't.

    2. I have seen it in NY- as well as with cashews or potatoes. I agree- if you like it, use it!

      1. My recipe (obtained from a thai cookbook author) for Massaman Curry does not have avocado. Whether or not you put it in, well that's up to you.

        1. Massaman is actually more of a indian (well thai/indian) dish. There are variations of it throughout SE Asia. The versions I have seen at Thai places tend to be more in line with other Thai curries. I.E. more liquidy. The Indian preparation seems to be more on the dry side. I should say that I havent traveled to S.E. Asia to sample them at the source so my expierence is simply alot of resturaunt chow in Chicago, Boston, and NY. I have never seen avacado in any prep of the dish. I would think that it wouldn't hold up very well from the cooking however. But if it tastes good, chow on!

          1 Reply
          1. re: Stagger

            "Massaman" (or the many variations on the spelling), according the thai chef I took classes with on my last trip to Thailand, issupposedly a corruption of "musalman", which is hindi for muslim. i.e. this is a indian dish adopted by thais & according to this chef is therefore traditionally beef plus potatoes (i.e. a muslim, but not hindu dish). That said, there are lots of variants, but avocado sounds pretty good to me.

          2. I took a cooking class in Thailand a few months ago, and one of the dishes we learned was massaman curry. Chef said it is traditionally made with potatoes and chicken. He mentioned several other veggies you could add in as you liked, but avocado wasn't one of them. Granted, I didn't ask specifically, but I also never saw an avocado for the month I was in Thailand.

            But as always... If it tastes good, eat it!

            1. There's a great little (probably not very traditional) Thai place here in San Antonio that uses avocado in their Massaman Curry. It's delicious! (I imagine it's added at the very end of the cooking, or just before serving, because it doesn't take on that bizarre cooked avocado flavor.)

              1. I've never had avocado in Massaman curry -- it sounds delicious. One of my favorite Thai restaurants back in college (Madison, Wisc.) used to add small pieces of stewed apples into theirs, though, which I've never seen since (and it was SO good!)

                1. The recipe I follow, from Cracking the Coconut, suggests adding grapes, kumquats and tangerine in the summer, and root vegetable in the winter. I can totally see how avocado would fit in. I usually make mine with beef and sweet potato, year around. This recipe with lemongrass and other flavors, is not at all "Indian" in flavor to me, by the way. To me, the flavors are uniquely Thai. But I don't eat so much Southern India curries, where they would use coconut milk, so I am definitely only speaking to my more narrow experience with mostly Northern India food.

                  1. I am considering a move to Atlanta, and good Thai food was my only requirement. I cannot believe that Cashews and Avocado were added to every restaurant but one. WHERE IS THE DUCK! Duck meals, especially with Massaman seem impossible to find. I am from NYC, and I really want my future kids to have exposure to good ethnic foods.

                    I guess altering yummy traditional meals is a southern thing. According to wiki the meal does not contain avocado.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: miaara

                      Korean food is outstanding in Atlanta! The Thai, not so much. But it's been a handful of years since I lived there, maybe some good Thai places have sprung up.

                      1. re: alliegator

                        That helps. Bad Korean is the worst. My hubs loves Korean. Hopefully a friendly email will help have a no avocado perhaps even peanut option.

                    2. I'm surprised a small handful of people have seen it like this. I never have, in Thailand or Thai restaurants elsewhere. Maybe I'm just lucky, as I'm not a fan of avocado.

                      1. No, this would be weird. I wouldn't really think of it as a Massaman curry if it had avocados. Here's what I think of as a Massaman curry: