Those of you who have tried a quality massaman curry will already be drooling at this point. This curry originates from Malaysia, so it’s more commonly found in the south of Thailand. It’s easy to make, but requires the right cut of beef and long cooking time. Braising steak is excellent for this dish as after 2 hours cooking it should melt in your mouth. Like many dishes, it’s even better the next day, when all the flavours come together to perfection.

The quantities in this recipe comfortably serve 2.


1 can of coconut milk (preferably either AROY-D or CHAO KHO brand)

3 tablespoons of massaman curry paste

400-500 grams of braising steak, cut into large chucks

1 large onion, cut in half

1 bay leaf

1 cinnamon stick, 1-2 inches long

400-500 grams of potatoes, cut into large cubes

half cup of peanuts

2.5 cups of water

2 teaspoons of salt

half tablespoon tamarind extract

1.5 tablespoons of orange jucie

1.5 tablespoons of lime juice

2-3 tablespoons of palm sugar


1. Scoop the thick coconut cream out of the can and place in a large saucepan. It should be the top 2/3 of the can, or thereabouts.

2. Add the massaman curry paste and cook on medium heat, stirring gently. Over the next few minutes you will notice red-brown oil begin to separate and float to the top. You want as much of this as possible. The paste will fry in this and become fragrant. It might splatter a bit, so beware.

3. Once it’s fragrant and lots of oil is visible, throw in the chunks of beef and stir, browning them on all sides. This will take 3-4 minutes.

4. Add the rest of the coconut milk and the water, and leave simmering very gently for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

5. Whilst this is cooking, roast the peanuts in a frying pan, stirring all the time, until they are browned just a little. Careful – they burn easily! Set aside.

6. After the hour, add the onion, potatoes, cinnamon stick, roasted peanuts, and the bay leaf.

7. Simmer very gently for another hour.

8. Once the beef is tender, and the potatoes have softened and caused the sauce to thicken a little, season with the salt, sugar, tamarind extract, orange juice and lime juice.

9. If it’s thickened too much, you might want to add just a little (half cup) water.

10. Stir it up and taste. All the flavours should be perfectly balanced. Adjust carefully if necessary.

11. Serve in a bowl, with rice on a plate.


  1. Hi Chris

    Cant wait to make this dish nice one
    How about the amount of coconutmilk to be used
    and we use milk or cream


  2. Hey!

    I use one can of coconut milk, which is about 400ml. If it hasn’t been shaken, you should have some much thicker cream on the top and the thinner milk underneath. Scoop out the cream to fry the paste and release the oil. The rest is added, along with the water, after the beef is browned. Make sense? My mouth is salivating just thinking about it.


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