Massaman curry with chicken

Massaman curry with chicken (Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times)

Dear SOS: An all-time favorite of my entire family is Massaman curry (with chicken) from Cholada Thai in Thousand Oaks. All of the dishes that we have tried are wonderful, but Massaman curry is a staple for us. I would love to have the recipe for this dish and hope that you can help. Thank you.

Melissa Miletich

Westlake Village

Dear Melissa: Bright and fresh and mildly spicy, Cholada Thai's homemade Massaman curry paste in this recipe marries perfectly with sweet coconut milk in this rich, slow-simmered chicken stew.

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Massaman curry with chicken

Total time: 1 hour

Servings: 4

Note: Adapted from Cholada Thai Cuisine in Thousand Oaks. The restaurant uses Mae Ploy brand coconut milk, which is generally available at Thai and Asian markets, as well as well-stocked Asian sections of select supermarkets. Lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves and shrimp paste are generally available at Thai and Asian markets.

Massaman curry paste

1 teaspoon coriander seeds

1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds

1 1/2 teaspoons cardamom seeds

1 1/2 teaspoons grated nutmeg

1 1/2 teaspoons ground clove

10 dried Thai chiles, chopped (seed the chiles for less heat)

1 to 2 cloves garlic, chopped

4 ounces shallots (from 3 to 4 whole), peeled and chopped

2 ounces lemongrass (about 1/2 stalk), trimmed and chopped