Massaman Curry

Creamy and flavorful Massaman Curry is just as good as any restaurant dish. With the right blend of spice and sweetness, this Thai curry recipe is bound to become your family’s new favorite dinner!

Two bowls of rice with thai curry topped with cilantro, lime, and peanuts

Have you ever had Massaman Curry?

There are a ton of versions of Thai Curry out there. I love the spiciness of green curry, but when I need a milder curry that’s still full of good Thai flavors, I make a Massaman Curry.

It’s an easy meal that’s just out of the ordinary enough to be exciting on any given weeknight. I make this with just chicken and potatoes rather than other kinds of vegetables to be sure it’s extra kid-friendly!

My kids and I love the warming blend of coconut milk, red curry paste and spices served on a bed of Jasmine rice. I could eat this Thai Curry every night of the week and not get tired of it!

What is Massaman Curry?

Massaman is a variety of creamy curry sauce reminiscent of a light gravy in texture. It’s a bit sweeter than other types of curry and includes cinnamon, sugar and lime juice along with red curry paste.

The peanuts mixed into the sauce at the end of cooking lend a nutty flavor and crunchy texture that brings the whole thing together. 

The recipe I’m sharing with you today includes tender chicken and potatoes simmered in the Massaman curry sauce and served with rice. 

Bay leaves and brown sugar add a depth of flavor that makes this curry extra delicious. Whether you’re a longtime curry lover or new to the world of Thai curry recipes, I hope you enjoy this Massaman Curry recipe as much as my family does!

How to Make Curry

Step by step photos to make thai massaman curry

You’ll love this easy Thai curry recipe with potatoes and chicken! 

STEP 1. Peel and boil the potatoes until tender. Drain and set aside. 

STEP 2. Pour coconut milk into measuring cup. There should be about one cup worth of watery milk, and about 2 cups worth of cream. Pour the watery milk into a small saucepan and add your bite size chicken to the pan. Set the creamy part of the coconut milk aside.

STEP 3. Simmer the chicken in the coconut water until meat is fully cooked (about 10-15 minutes). 

STEP 4. In large skillet, pour remaining 2 cups of cream and red curry paste. Whisk until combined and cook on medium heat. When it reaches a boil, turn heat down to low to simmer. Pour chicken and cream into skillet. Add bay leaves, cinnamon, worcestershire sauce, sugar, brown sugar, lime juice and garlic powder. Simmer and adjust taste as necessary by adding more curry if you want more spice, or more brown sugar if you want more sweetness. Cook for about 10 minutes.

Finally, Add in potatoes and peanuts and simmer an additional 5 minutes. Serve over Jasmine rice. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes for Massaman Curry:

  • If your coconut milk doesn’t separate, just put 1 cup of the cream in the pan with the chicken. It will still work fine! 
  • Store this curry covered in the fridge for up to three days. It also freezes well! (Store the rice separately.) 
  • Some more traditional versions of this curry call for fish sauce. In this recipe I’m sharing with you today, I used Worcestershire sauce to deliver the salty savory flavor which is  easier to find at most supermarkets.
  • While you could certainly use your own red curry paste if you like, I used the kind that comes in a jar. You can find it in the International Foods section of most grocery stores (or usually wherever you find the soy sauce!). 
  • Full fat coconut milk makes for the creamiest sauce and I greatly prefer it here. It will still work with “light” coconut milk but the sauce will be much thinner and have a bit less of that rich coconut flavor I love.

If you love this Curry recipe, you may also enjoy:

Yield: 6 servings

Massaman Curry

Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes

Creamy and flavorful Massaman Curry is just as good as any restaurant dish. With the right blend of spice and sweetness, this Thai curry recipe is bound to become your family's new favorite dinner!

Ingredients

  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts (cut into bite size pieces)
  • 2- 13.5oz cans coconut milk
  • 3 russet potatoes (medium)
  • 3 Tbsp red curry paste
  • 3 bay leaves
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • 1 tsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup unsalted peanuts
  • 3 cups Jasmine Rice (cooked)

Instructions

  1. Peel and boil potatoes nearly done. Cut into bit size pieces. Set aside.
  2. Pour coconut milk into measuring cup. There should be about one cup worth of watery milk, and about 2 cups worth of cream. Pour the watery milk into a small saucepan and add your bite size chicken to the pan. Simmer until meat is fully cooked (about 10-15 minutes). If your coconut milk doesn’t separate, just put 1 cup of the cream in the pan with the chicken. It will still work fine.
  3. In large skillet, pour remaining 2 cups of cream and red curry paste. Whisk until combined and cook on medium heat. When it reaches a boil, turn heat down to low to simmer. Pour chicken and cream into skillet. Add bay leaves, cinnamon, worcestershire sauce, sugar, brown sugar, lime juice and garlic powder. Simmer and adjust taste as necessary by adding more curry if you want more spice, or more brown sugar if you want more sweetness. Cook for about 10 minutes.
  4. Add in potatoes and peanuts and simmer an additional 5 minutes. Serve over Jasmine rice. Enjoy!

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 631Total Fat: 33gSaturated Fat: 25gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 64mgSodium: 272mgCarbohydrates: 54gFiber: 3gSugar: 7gProtein: 32g
*Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.

Recipe originally published June 29, 2011. Photos updated 2020.

Sweet and spicy Massaman Curry is bursting with flavor and texture. A simple dinner the whole family will love.

Aimee

About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

Affiliate Disclosure:**There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love! Thank you for supporting Shugary Sweets! See my disclosure policy for more info**

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Posted on February 20, 2020

Comments & Reviews

  1. Made this the other night and it was marvelous. Since I’m diabetic and I love Jasmine rice I substituted water chestnuts and bamboo shoots for the potatoes. Heavenly!! Think I’ll try shrimp the next time. Love your recipes…keep it going!!!

  2. I was on my way out the door to the oriental food store. This has been my favorite Thai dish for 20 years. I actually keep ordering it rather than explore too much. Anyway, I tried making it last nite with an entire can of red panang curry paste & 2 cans of coconut milk. I never really knew what kind of curry to use.
    I have your recipe in hand and will get more curry and incorporate your other ingredients.

    Thanks so much……… 🙂

  3. I think I’m definitely going to have to try this one, especially now that I know where I can find red curry paste.

  4. We haven’t picked Thailand on our cooking adventures yet, and like you I don’t think I’ve eaten much (if any) Thai food before. I might just have to go with this for my first taste! It looks and sounds delicious!

  5. Oh you are crazy – the picture is nice! You have actual colors in yours, whereas my chicken pic is entirely yellow 🙂 Don’t try to win this ugly pic contest, I will take you down!

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