COOK, EAT, PRAY

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As part of the ‘FOCUS ON THAILAND’ in our latest Serving Asia magazine, we have placed a delicious Beef Massaman Curry recipe, along with prayer points for Thailand. Why don’t you gather a group of prayerful friends together (or your family around your evening meal), cook this delicious recipe, and spend some time praying for the nation of Thailand. It will be a wonderful time spent together!

BEEF MASSAMAN CURRY RECIPE

Massaman curry is a unique type of curry amongst the various Thai curries because it is more like an Indian curry using mainly dried spices for seasoning. Chicken is the most popular meat in this curry in the West but beef, lamb or even mutton is more common in Thailand. This curry is considered to be rather mild as the heat of the chilies are mellowed with the addition of the dried spices, coconut milk, onions, potatoes and peanuts. This fragrant hearty curry is certainly welcome colder weather fare and can be served with a crusty loaf of Sourdough bread or roti.

Ingredients

  • 85g unsalted peanuts
  • 400ml can coconut cream
  • 4 tbsp massaman curry paste
  • 600g stewing beef steak, cut into large chunks
  • 450g waxy potatoes, cut into 2½ cm chunks
  • 1 onion, cut into thin wedges
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves (available from Thai shops or dried from supermarkets)
  • 1 cinnamon stick (optional)
  • 1 tbsp tamarind paste (optional)
  • 1 tbsp palm or soft light brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced, to serve
  • jasmine rice, to serve

Preparation

  1. Open the coconut milk and scoop the thick coconut cream from the top and set aside.
  2. Bring the 4 cups of water, beef and peanuts to boil, skimming the scum from the surface for about 5 minutes. Lower heat to medium and continue to cook at a low boil uncovered, for approximately one hour. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  3. Separately, bring the potatoes to boil in enough water to cover for approximately 20 minutes until just slightly under-cooked (al dente). Drain and discard the potato water. Set the potatoes aside.
  4. Heat oil in a large wok (or other large heavy bottom pan) over medium heat, add the curry paste and cook briefly until fragrant. Add the reserved coconut cream and fry until it begins to separate, stirring constantly. Add the boiled beef and peanuts in its broth and remainder of coconut milk, fish sauce, palm sugar, tamarind, cinnamon stick, potatoes and onion. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook 10 minutes.
  5. Adjust seasoning with fish sauce, palm sugar and tamarind water to taste. Massaman curry should be slightly sweet with a very subtle sour note from the tamarind. Serve with pickled ginger or cucumber relish as condiments.

Serves 4. This curry is even better the next day, reheated, so you could make double portion and freeze any left-overs.

Thailand

In 1932, Thailand changed from an absolute monarchy to a constitutional monarchy. The current king has been in power for over 60 years, but there is now anxiety about his health and succession. Thailand has prospered over the past ten years. As the middle class grows, power is shifting from elites in the military, government, and business communities to the middle class who want a greater voice in government locally and nationally.

Religion in Thailand

Thailand is 85% Buddhist. While the Thai adhere officially to Theravada Buddhism, many people practice folk Buddhism, which has a strong element of animism. Although Thai culture is strongly intertwined with Buddhism, Thai people are free to choose whatever religion they want to practice.

Only 1.1% of the population in Thailand is Protestant Christian. Yet the Church in Thailand has been growing at about 5% per year over the last 30 years. The most significant growth has been amongst ethnic minorities.

The Protestant Christians has set a goal – to have a church in every district and sub-district by 2020. Currently there are 200 districts and 5000 sub-districts without a church. While these are challenging objectives, there is a sense of anticipation about what God will do as the Thai Church works towards them.

Pray for Thailand, for:

  • Spiritual breakthrough among Thais.
  • Christians to live out a genuinely Christ-like life in the communities.
  • Christians from minority groups to share the gospel with others throughout Thailand, especially as they move throughout the country for employment and education.
  • Lay Christians to be empowered for ministry and deployed in leading churches.
  • An awakening of interest in cross-cultural ministry throughout the churches in Thailand.
  • Peace to come to the Southernmost provinces in Thailand.
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