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Thai Massaman Curry

Prep Time:

20 Minutes

Cook Time:

35 Minutes


4 Servings



About the Recipe

This is a firm favourite with my family - it combines so many different flavours in one dish - that's down to the combination of massaman curry paste (mild heat), tamarind (sourness), fish sauce (saltiness) and palm sugar (sweetness). I use palm sugar in this dish for sweetness but if you don't have any, brown sugar makes an acceptable substitute. The critical thing is making the base sauce which uses massaman curry paste, some veg oil and some coconut milk (the thick type) - you heat this mixture up and when it begins to boil, keep stirring until the veg oil begins to separate - all of a sudden you get a lovely aroma rising out of the pan - that's the signal to start adding the other ingredients and you are well on your way to massaman heaven!


5 boneless chicken thighs

1 medium onion

350g potatoes

1 tbsp veg 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

(as an alternative you can also use ready made tamarind juice. you can find this in Chinese stores and online)


first, 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 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

next, 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. cook for 30 mins,

stirring occasionally

your Thai Massaman curry is now ready - serve with steamed jasmine rice

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