Massaman Curry

Massaman Curry

By Food E Fare

Massaman Curry is a flavorful and aromatic Thai curry known for its rich and creamy coconut milk-based sauce. It often features tender meat, potatoes, and peanuts. Here's a basic recipe for making Massaman Curry:


For the Massaman Curry Paste:

  • 5-10 dried red chilies, soaked in warm water
  • 2 shallots, peeled and sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of galangal, sliced
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, sliced
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, sliced (use the bottom half)
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon shrimp paste (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon tamarind paste

For the Massaman Curry:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup (240ml) coconut milk
  • 2-3 tablespoons Massaman Curry paste (adjust to taste)
  • 1 lb (450g) meat of choice (beef, chicken, or tofu), cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 can (14 oz / 400ml) coconut milk
  • 1 cup (240ml) chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1/2 cup (75g) roasted peanuts
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon palm sugar or brown sugar
  • Salt to taste


Massaman Curry Paste:

Prepare the Dried Chilies:

  • Soak the dried red chilies in warm water for about 15-20 minutes until they become soft. Remove the seeds for a milder flavor.

Dry Roast Spices:

  • In a dry pan, lightly roast the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, ground cinnamon, ground cloves, and ground cardamom until fragrant. Let them cool.

Blend the Paste:

  • In a food processor or mortar and pestle, blend the soaked red chilies, shallots, garlic, galangal, ginger, lemongrass, roasted spices, shrimp paste (if using), and tamarind paste until you get a smooth paste.

Massaman Curry:

Cook the Curry Paste:

  • Heat vegetable oil in a pot over medium heat. Add 2-3 tablespoons of Massaman Curry paste and sauté for a couple of minutes until fragrant.

Add Coconut Milk:

  • Pour in 1 cup of coconut milk and stir well to combine with the Massaman Curry paste.

Add Meat and Coconut Milk:

  • Add the bite-sized meat (beef, chicken, or tofu) to the pot. Cook until the meat is partially cooked.

Add Coconut Milk and Broth:

  • Pour in the remaining coconut milk and chicken or vegetable broth. Stir to combine.

Add Potatoes and Onions:

  • Add the potato chunks and sliced onions to the pot.


  • Let the Massaman Curry simmer for about 20-25 minutes until the meat is cooked, potatoes are tender, and the flavors meld together.

Add Peanuts and Season:

  • Stir in the roasted peanuts, fish sauce, palm sugar (or brown sugar), and salt to taste. Adjust the seasoning as needed.


  • Serve Massaman Curry hot over steamed jasmine rice.

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