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Beef Massaman Curry Recipe

Updated on October 21, 2009

Beef Massaman Curry or Gaeng Massaman literally translates to "Muslim Curry" and is a mild antastically tasty Thai curry with a great variety in textures between the Beef, the soft Potatoes and the hard peanuts. It is extremely easy to make and really benefits from a long slow cooking time.

Preparation: 15 Minutes

Cooking: 20 Minutes or the longer the better


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This serves 4 people

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 650g gravy beef or chuck steak, trimmed
  • 2 cup coconut cream
  • 2 tablespoons massaman curry paste (see below)
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 1/2 cup unsalted roasted peanuts
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled, cut into 3cm pieces
  • 3 red onions, peeled and sliced
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 5 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • steamed jasmine rice, to serve

Massaman curry paste

  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp white peppercorns
  • 2 stalks lemongrass (the tender, inner white part only), finely sliced
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 big knob ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 1 tbsp shrimp paste
  • 7 large fresh chillies (less if you require a slightly milder curry)
  • 1 tsp cardamon seeds


  1. First of all to make the curry paste put the coriander, cumin and peppercorns in a frying pan and roast over a medium heat. Stir all the spices until fragrance is given off and the spices turn slightly golden. Take them off the heat and allow to cool and then grind in a pestle and mortar and pestle. Then put all the remaining ingredients for the paste in the mortar and blend these until you have a smooth paste.
  2. Remove any excess fat from the beef and cut into 5cm/1in cubes. Then coat the cubes in the paste and set aside whilst you complete the next steps.
  3. Add the Vegetable Oil to a frying pan and fry the onions and potatoes until the onions are brown.
  4. Add the curry paste coated beef and any remaining curry paste and brown the meat for 1-2 minutes.
  5. Add the coconut cream, beef stock, peanuts, cinnamon stick, bay leaves, cardamom pods, sugar, tamarind concentrate and fish sauce. Bring this to the boil and then allow to simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours over a low heat. Keep an eye on the curry as you want the sauce to thicken but not dry out.
  6. When the Potatoes are tender the curry is ready and can be served with Steamed rice.


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