I'm neither expert, nor big fan of Thai food, but I had the best Thai curry for lunch (not at a normal restaurant and I can't contact the cook until the weekend). Of course I've forgotten the name of the curry, although I remembered well enough earlier to google it. The name had lots of vowels in it, but was not masaman. It may start with an S. When I googled, one of the sites was Emeril Lagasse's. Can anyone help here?
The curry was brown and cocoanut milk based. It was almost like a chili gravy. It had subdued heat and deep flavor. It was cooked with big cubes of veal and chunks of potato and carrot.
No, neither of those. The name is one word and I had heard it before. The sauce was so brown and thick I asked whether there were ground peanuts in it, which there weren't. It had a very earthy flavor and reminded me of a dense chili gravy. I just can't remember the name, but then I also forgot my long unused ebay id yesterday too.
Panang? (It's by far the most flavorful I've tried - but varies widely between restaurants... the best have been vivid deep red and I bet used coconut cream vs. coconut milk... that is, just the thicker part you see in some coconut milk cans. And the absolute best by far I've had at a restaurant was at Natalee Thai in West L.A.)
Fish sauce (sort of like liquid anchovies) probably gives it some of the saltiness and brown color. If I recall correctly, to make it you start with a red panang curry paste (or the ingredients that go into one, including tamarind) and cook that in some oil in some way that fuses the two. Then coconut milk is added etc. etc. (Just wanted to repeat the 'curry paste goes in the oil first' aspect.) Good reading on Thai ingredients and technique here: