Massaman Curry with Beef

This is the final recipe for my Thai Banquet! Massaman Curry with Beef is a little different to the curries you may be expecting from Thailand.  It is a delicious rich curry that can be used as part of a Thai Banquet, equally what we like to do, particularly during the colder months, is to cook the meat in the delicious rich spicy sauce and serve it with hot creamy mashed potato…

While you can use a store bought Massaman curry paste, you can also make your own and I have added a link to my version, just in case you want to start from scratch.  The paste is enough to make several batches of curry and can be stored in the refrigerator for two weeks, or frozen in individual portions for use at a later date.

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Massaman Curry with Beef

This is one of the more hearty curries from Thailand. It's a little different to what you might expect of a Thai Curry...


  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 10 cardamon seeds
  • 5 cloves
  • 2 tbs vegetable oil
  • 2 tbs massaman curry paste
  • 800 g gravy beef
  • 410 ml coconut milk
  • 250 ml beef stock
  • 2 large potatoes, cut into 2.5cm/1 inch pieces
  • 2 cm piece of ginger, shredded
  • 3 tbs fish sauce
  • 3 tbs palm sugar
  • 90 g roasted unsalted peanuts, finely chopped
  • 3 tbs tamarind puree
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves
  • Fresh coriander, to serve


  1. Dry-fry the cinnamon stick, cardamon seeds and cloves in a wok over a medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes, until fragrant. Remove from the wok and set aside.
  2. Add the oil to the wok and stir-fry the massaman paste over a medium heat for 2 minutes or until fragrant.
  3. Add the beef to the pan and fry for 5 minutes. Add the coconut milk, stock, potatoes, ginger, fish sauce, palm sugar, the roasted peanuts, tamarind puree and the dry-fried spices. Reduce the heat to low and gently simmer for 50 to 60 minutes until the meat is tender and the potatoes are just cooked. Taste, then adjust the seasoning if necessary.
  4. Add the kaffir lime leaves and simmer for 1-2 minutes.
  5. Spoon into a serving bowl and garnish with the fresh coriander leaves.


  • You can make your own massaman curry paste, or you can buy the paste ready made in the Asian food aisle at the supermarket.
  • I like to tie the whole spices in a piece of muslin so that they can be easily removed before serving.
  • Adapted from The Food of Thailand, p155

While there are many other dishes that could be used, this is a nice start.  Prepare all of the food to be served at the same time.  Place bowls or platters of each in the middle of the table together with a nice large bowl of steamed jasmine rice, then sit down relax and enjoy your time with family and/or friends.  No jumping up and down and bringing out different courses… Just relax, eat and talk, and also, maybe, enjoy a nice glass of wine as well.  To finish the meal, all that is required is a lovely platter of fresh fruit, which can be prepared and waiting in the fridge…

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So to recount, we have Tom Yam Goong (Spicy Prawn & Lemongrass Soup), Tod Man Goong (Thai Prawn Cakes), Som Tam Salad (Green Pawpaw/Mango Salad), Massaman Curry with Beef, and a large bowl of jasmine rice.

Until next time…

Happy Cooking & Bon appétit!



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