Massaman Curry

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Prep time: 00:10 HR
Cook time: 01:40 HR


Serves: 4

Considered by some to be the most famous, and the most delicious, dish in Thai cooking, the story of Massaman curry is interwoven with trade, politics and religion in 17th-century Siam. Massaman is usually made with chicken, beef, lamb, mutton or goat. Sometimes the meat is fried in butter or fat, prior to simmering it in sweet spices and coconut milk until the meat softens and the curry thickens, a process called khao gathi.


  • Vegetable oil – 1 tbs
  • Brown onion, cut into large wedges - 1
  • (100g) massaman curry paste - 1/3 cup
  • Beef steak, cut into 5cm pieces - 1kg
  • Garlic clove, crushed - 1
  • Finely grated ginger - 1 tbs
  • Cocofresh coconut milk, 400ml can - 1
  • Beef stock - 1/2 cup (125ml)
  • Cinnamon stick or quill - 1
  • Long red chilli, thinly sliced - 1
  • Bay leaves - 2
  • Palm sugar - 2 tbs
  • Lime juice - 2 tbs
  • Fish sauce - 1 tbs
  • Roasted unsalted peanuts - 1/3 cup (45g)
  • Potatoes, peeled, quartered - 400g
  • Coriander sprigs - to serve
  • Lime wedges - to serve


Heat the oil in a large heavy-based pan over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook for 5 mins. Add massaman paste and cook for 1 min or until fragrant. Add the beef and cook, stirring, for 3 mins or until browned. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 1 min.

Add coconut milk, stock, cinnamon, chilli, bay leaves, palm sugar, lime juice, fish sauce, peanuts and potato to the pan and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours or until the beef is very tender.
Serve with steamed jasmine rice. Top with the curry and serve with coriander and lime wedges.