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My Thai Massaman curry.

Updated: Oct 1, 2021

My Thai massaman curry with chicken and potato and Japanese short grain rice by kurumicooks healthy delicious easy to make Japanese Asian and Fusion food for your kitchen

As you might have guessed if you look at my blog from time to time, my family love a good curry.

This recipe is for a Thai Massaman style dish which is a particular favourite - maybe because it is on the mild side but also, I think, because it incorporates some sweetness, saltiness and sour flavours into the mix - just like a Japanese curry.

Massaman curry is really a fusion dish being part Thai, part Indian and part Malay. The essential ingredients are the tamarind (for the slightly sour flavour), Thai Massaman curry paste and nuts. I use fish sauce as well in my recipe to add a little umami as well. The key to a good massaman is to get the flavours working to create a base sauce before you add the other ingredients.

How do you do this? - By mixing the Massaman curry paste (which Thai or Chinese supermarkets now stock) with some veg oil and some of the coconut milk and heating until it begins to boil - when you do this, keep an eye on your pan - when the oil begins to separate from the paste, you'll smell a quite magical aroma suddenly coming off the sauce - that's the time to turn the heat down a little and start adding your other ingredients.

30 mins cooking time later, you'll be rewarded with a delicious pan of Massaman curry. I normally serve this dish with some Thai jasmine rice but it works well with just about any rice, long grain or short.

If this has got your digestive juices flowing, you can find the youtube tutorial by clicking Thai Massaman curry or scroll to the bottom of the page. The written recipe is just below.

Happy cooking! Kurumi XXXX.

If you want to check out another of my Japanese curries with a South East Asian accent, why not try my Torokeru Chicken Curry recipe.


Thai Massaman curry


(makes 4 servings)

5 boneless chicken thighs

1 medium onion

350g potatoes

1 tbsp vegetable oil

2 tbsp massaman curry paste

1 tin of coconut milk

a half tin of water

2 bay leaves

5 cardamon pods

50g cashew nuts

2 tbsp fish sauce

1.5 tbsp palm or brown sugar

1 tbsp of tamarind for making 2.5 tbsp of tamarind juice*

* you can also use ready made tamarind juice from asian stores if you can find it


how to:

soak the tamarind in hot water and leave for 10 mins, (you will use the juice later)

halve & slice the onion, peel the potatoes and cut into big bite sized pieces. repeat with the chicken thighs

heat the vegetable oil with the massaman curry paste in a pan, then add 2 tbsp of thick coconut milk from the top of the tin, stir well over a medium heat until the mixture becomes aromatic & the oil begins to separate

add 1/2 the tin of coconut milk and the chicken to the pan and cook for 2 mins

add the potatoes, onion, bay leaves, cardamon pods, fish sauce, cashew nuts, sugar, the rest of the coconut milk & a half tin of water to the pan

then add 2.5 tbsp of tamarind juice, and cook for 30 mins, stirring occasionally

serve with thai jasmine or other rice


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