Massaman gnocchi

This is a dish I made up one day when I was going through a serious gnocchi-experimentation phase… and it worked so well I felt I had to share it with fellow fusion-food fans!

It’s simply massaman curry, served without rice on the side, and with gnocchi as the starchy element instead of the usual potato chunks in the curry. It makes for a fabulous textural treat, and it turns out curry goes great with gnocchi 😀

Here’s how to make a seriously counterintuitive dish that you’d be unlikely to find on any menu anywhere in the world, which looks and tastes impressive, and will have your dinner guests marvelling at your creativity… 😉

Flavour: Spicy & savoury

Serves: 2 as a main meal

Ingredients:

Gnocchi:

  • 1 large potato, cut into chunks
  • half cup plain flour (plus a little more for dusting)
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 teaspoons non-dairy butter substitute

Massaman curry:

  • 1 small onion, cut into large chunks
  • 100g firm tofu, cut into cubes
  • handful of peanuts
  • 150g fresh green beans of your choice, cut into 3cm long pieces
  • 1 cup pineapple chunks (fresh, please) – this is optional, just in case you don’t dig the combination 😉
  • 2 tablespoons massaman curry paste (see here for recipe)
  • 2 tablespoons unflavoured oil – I use sunflower
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • half cup coconut cream (I use coconut cream powder – 2-3 tablespoons dissolved in warm water)
  • 6 tablespoons soy sauce
  • juice of half a lime

Directions:

Gnocchi:

  1. Boil potato chunks in small saucepan until very soft; remove from water, strain and set aside
    • Amateur tip #1: you have to get the potato really, really soft so you can mash it with ease – if you have to work hard on your mash, your gnocchi will end up chewy instead of light and fluffy
    • Amateur tip #2: you need to strain those potatoes really, really well so they’re really, really dry before you start mashing – if your mash is a bit wet, it’ll react with the flour and give your gnocchi a somewhat gelatinous texture, which will make it chewy
  2. Mash potato chunks gently with a fork until smooth; add a pinch of salt and mix in
    • Amateur tip #3: you’re “supposed” to use a potato ricer for this, but I don’t have one and don’t see any value in getting more tools for the kitchen that do the same job as the ones I already have, so for me, a fork will do. If you have a ricer, by all means use it.
  3. Transfer mashed potato to fridge to cool
  4. Combine the mashed potato with the flour and knead gently (remember, this isn’t bread – if you overwork your dough, it will be chewy like bread!) until you have a soft dough
    • Amateur tip: you may need to add more flour if your dough is stickier than you want – do this tentatively, little by little, kneading thoroughly to incorporate all the flour before deciding whether you need more
  5. Once your dough is ready, roll it into 2-3 long sausages, about 2cm thick, and then cut each sausage into small chunks, about 1cm wide; place each gnocchi onto a lightly floured surface, and roll them in the flour to ensure they stay well separated when you come to cook them
  6. (after your massaman curry is ready) Bring a small pot of water to the boil, and gently plop your gnocchi in to cook – they’ll take about 3 minutes, and you’ll know they’re done when they float to the surface
  7. Pull out your gnocchi with a slotted spoon and put them aside to drain
  8. Heat up a teaspoon of non-dairy butter in a skillet, and roll your gnocchi in the melted butter over a medium heat until they turn a light golden-brown – be gentle with them

Massaman curry:

  1. Fry tofu in small skillet over high heat in 1 tablespoon of oil until it begins to turn crispy and golden
  2. Toss peanuts in with tofu, and continue to cook until the tofu is crispy and golden all over, and the peanuts have started to char
  3. Toss in onion, stir, and fry until the onions have started to turn golden, then turn down heat to medium
  4. Add curry paste, stir, and fry for 1 minute
  5. Add the green beans, pineapple chunks, coconut cream, sugar, and soy sauce, stir, and cook until the liquid reduces and thickens, and the vegetables are tender but still have some bite to them
  6. Add the lime juice, and toss in the tofu and peanuts
  7. Take your massaman curry off the heat

Putting it all together: 

  1. Arrange your gnocchi on plates in a way that looks appealing to you (I lay them out in a spiral, as the curry slides in between, allowing you to get a great mouthful of both when you eat it)
  2. Spoon your massaman curry onto the plates between your gnocchi, making sure you distribute it as evenly as possible
  3. Serve immediately, and enjoy! 😀

 

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