The first time I had a massaman curry was in a Thai restaurant in Ashford. I was happily tucking away, thinking how gorgeous it was, when I saw a massive lump of beef sticking out of it. Obviously, I stopped eating it and told the staff, who apologised and offered to make me another – meat free – one but, unsurprisingly, I’d gone off the idea of eating. That wasn’t the first time I’d found meat in a meal:
- A bit of chicken appeared in a meal at Wagamama. The waitress told the manager who came over and he couldn’t have been more apologetic. He was on his knees, saying how sorry and mortified he was and that his mother was vegetarian so he was aware how important it was. He offered me a free meal but I wasn’t hungry anymore so he brought me over a large glass of wine, which was so delicious it must have been an expensive one. My friend and I weren’t charged for anything we’d had.
- When I found a lump of meat on my pizza at Pizza Express, the manager couldn’t have been more different than Wagamama’s manager. The Pizza Express manager shrugged and said ‘accidents happen’. His attitude made me so angry, I complained to Pizza Express’s head office, who said I could go back and spend £35 there. I never went back because I didn’t want to face the manager after complaining about him.
- Another pizza chain with a shitty attitude was Pizza GoGo. When they delivered to me a pepperoni pizza, I phoned to say they’d got my order wrong and they told me that was what I had ordered. I asked them why, when I’d been vegetarian for twenty years, would I have ordered a pepperoni pizza? They sent me a vegetarian pizza and said I could keep the pepperoni one. Er, thanks. I think.
Anyway, as I said before I started whinging about meat in vegetarian meals, I’d been enjoying my massaman curry and had been itching to try another one, albeit a beefless one this time. I had a beautiful one in a Thai restaurant in Hythe and decided I’d make my own and bought a jar of massaman curry sauce from Tesco and added it to some veg. It was bland and boring and a major disappointment. Where were all the flavours I’d enjoyed in the restaurants?
Still, undeterred, when I saw little tubs of Blue Dragon Massaman Curry Paste on offer at just 50p each in Tesco, I bought one to try. It was amazing – just like what you’d get in a restaurant. This has got to be the easiest curry in the world to make and although I made mine in my slow cooker, it can just as easily be done on the hob – just put all the ingredients in a pan, give it a stir and then simmer for about 20 minutes until the vegetables are cooked.
- 1 aubergine, chopped into chunks
- 100g mushrooms, sliced
- 1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped into chunks
- 1 can coconut milk
- 1 tub Blue Dragon Massaman Curry Paste
- Put all the ingredients in the slower cooker, stir thoroughly and cook on low for 6 hours
- Give it another stir about half way through to distribute the curry paste