For the paste:
Combine all the ingredients from toughest and driest first to softest and wettest last in a pestle and mortar.
Pound together until you have a fine paste. Try to ensure you don’t have any large pieces of the ingredients in the paste.
If time does not allow, you can use a food processor. Just be aware that your paste will not be as fine as when you use a pestle and mortar and therefore, won’t be as fragrant.
For the curry:
Add the oil to a wok or deep based pot and add 2 tablespoon of Massaman curry paste, stir vigorously until fragrant.
Add coconut cream and stir well until oil separates from the paste (rises to the top).
Add meat or main raw vegetables and fry for about 1 minute.
Add the coconut milk, potatoes, onion, palm sugar, fish sauce, tamarind juice and 1 tablespoon roasted peanuts
Stir occasionally until chicken and onion are just about cooked
Add bay leaves, cinnamon and cardamom pods for the last 2 minutes
Serve in a bowl and sprinkle with the remaining roasted peanuts and rice on the side.
Reprinted with permission of Damian Ettish