Massaman Curry with Beef

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


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