How to make Massaman Curry

You asked and we gave! Massaman Curry was highly requested for this month’s ‘How to Make’ here at Thaikhun.

Massaman Curry is one of the top three best-sellers within our family of restaurants. This delicious recipe brings all the flavour you need for a tasty Thai dinner.

Fun fact: Our traditional recipe is made for and served to the Thai royal family!

Most ingredients can be found in most supermarket’s world food section or in your local Asian supermarket.



100g Massaman curry paste*

3 tbsp oil

300g of diced chicken breast 

300ml coconut milk 

100g white potatoes

100g peeled whole shallots

4 cardamom pods

30g cup roasted cashews 

50g palm sugar 

1 cinnamon stick (20g)

2 bay leaves

2 tbsp fish sauce (or to taste)

2 tbsp tamarind paste (or to taste)


Curry paste ingredients*

1/2 tsp black peppercorns, roasted 

 10 large dried chillies, roasted, soaked and seeded

1 tsp coriander seeds, roasted

1 tsp cumin seeds, roasted 

2 cloves, roasted

2 cardamom pods, roasted

½ tsp of shrimp paste 

½ tsp powdered nutmeg (not roasted) 

1 tsp salt

1 tsp lime skin

1 tsp galangal 

1 tbsp coriander roots 

1 tablespoon lemongrass

50g shallots 

2 tbsp garlic



Curry Paste 

Dry roast the dry spices in a pan on medium heat until fragrant, about 2-4 minutes. It’s best to roast each thing one at a time until fragrant. The chillies should be browned.

Roast the shrimp paste wrapped in tin foil for a few minutes too.

Soak the dried chillies until soft, then take out the seeds and finely chop.

Pound the paste in a stone mortar and pestle.

Start by grinding up the dried spices until powdered, then set aside.

Put the chillies in the mortar and pound until uniformly smashed, then add the rest of the ingredients, starting from hardest and driest and working up to softest at the end.

Then, add the dried spice powder back in and the shrimp paste. Mix well. 

If you don’t have a pestle and mortar you can use a food processor to mix together.



Cut the potatoes and onions into bite-sized pieces.

Add the oil to the pan and turn on to medium-high. Fry 4 tablespoons of the curry paste until fragrant, about 3-4 minutes. Keep stirring so it doesn’t burn.

Add the chicken and fry for 2-3 minutes.

In a separate pan, heat the coconut cream slowly and add the palm sugar until melted.

Add the coconut milk and palm sugar into the first pan with the curry paste and mix slowly. Simmer until the oil separates for around 2-3 minutes. You’ll see red oil starting to float to the top.

Add the potatoes, peanuts and onions into the pan. Simmer for a few minutes.

Add the cinnamon, cardamom seeds, bay leaves and mix well.

Simmer and stir for 15-20 minutes until the mixture browns and a good deal of oil comes to the top. If the curry starts to dry, add some water.

Add the fish sauce, palm sugar and tamarind paste to your taste at the end.

Serve with jasmine rice and enjoy!


 This is a great dish to serve on a Sunday whilst you have a little extra time for preparation. Don’t worry if you don’t have time to make the curry paste, it won’t taste as good as ours but, you can always buy this prior to making the rest of the dish.


Let us know how you get on and remember to tag us in your efforts on social media!

Team Thaikhun