Homemade Massaman Curry

Thick and creamy homemade massaman curry. This dish is loaded with peanut butter and coconut flavor along with chicken, carrots and potatoes.

If you love Yellow Curry and Red Curry, then you’ll love this massaman version. This recipe is a more subtle version of curry and has become a staple at home tasting just like the ones found at your favorite Thai restaurants.

Homemade massaman curry in blue bowl

A Thai Food Fav

It wasn’t until a few years ago that I really fell in love with Thai food. My brother-in-law took us to a little place in a strip mall in south Salt Lake City and it was amazing!! We ate there a few times a month for years, always ordering the staples: pad thai, pad kee mao, thai fried rice, and of course, massaman curry.

Now that we’ve moved away, I’ve been dying to recreate my favorite dish. It’s not aggressive like yellow curry, instead it has subtle hints of coconut and peanut.

This recipe is also loaded with chunks of potato, carrot and thin slices of chicken. I know you’ll love it as much as I do!

Massaman curry in pan with potatoes, chicken and carrots

How to Make Massaman Curry

This dish requires two types of curry paste: red curry and massaman curry. Most well-stocked grocery stores carry red curry paste, however, they don’t always carry little cans of massaman curry. You can find it at asian markets, or you can make your own. For this dish, I made my own. I had all of the ingredients on hand so it was easy for me to whip up. The choice is yours.

For homemade massaman curry paste, mix together: 3 cloves minced garlic, 2 teaspoons coriander, 1 teaspoon lemongrass paste, 1 teaspoon salt, ¾ teaspoon black pepper, ½ teaspoon cumin, ½ teaspoon ginger, ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg, ⅛ teaspoon cinnamon, ⅛ teaspoon cardamom, pinch cloves. If you want it more of a paste, place in the food processor.

From there, you will add your oil to a large skillet or dutch oven set over medium heat. When the oil is hot, saute the onion until tender. Add the carrots and potatoes, cook for 5 minutes.

Pour in the coconut milk (I use Chaokoh brand) and chicken broth, bring mixture to a simmer. Add peanut butter, brown sugar, lime juice, fish sauce and curry pastes, mix to combine. Let the potatoes and carrots simmer for 10 minutes, then add the sliced chicken. Continue cooking for an additional 10-15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and the chicken is fully cooked.

Remove from the heat, serve over freshly cooked white or brown rice. Garnish with additional peanuts, sliced lime and thai basil, if desired.

Chicken massaman curry with peanuts in bowl

Massaman Tips

We love adding the toppings to give it even more flavor. If you want to change up the flavor to be MORE SPICY, you can add some more red curry paste or even some red chili flakes. 

If you want your sauce to be THINNER, add some more coconut milk or broth. If you want it THICKER, add some more peanut butter or veggies. 

In the small instance you have leftovers, just store in an air-tight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.

This is one dish you’ve gotta try! It’s hearty, flavorful and absolutely delicious! If you’re new to Thai food or curry in general, this is definitely a must-make.

For more recipes, check out:

 

Homemade Massaman Curry | lifemadesimplebakes.com

Homemade Massaman Curry

Thick and creamy homemade massaman curry. This dish is loaded with peanut butter and coconut flavor along with chicken, carrots and potatoes.
4.86 from 21 votes
Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 50 mins
Calories: 376kcal
Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil - OR coconut oil OR vegetable oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion - diced
  • 3 russet potatoes - peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 3 carrots - peeled and sliced into 1/8-inch thick slices 
  • 2 (13.5 oz) can coconut milk*
  • 1 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 tbsp smooth peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp red curry paste
  • 1 can massaman curry - OR homemade curry paste - see NOTES below
  • 1 lb chicken breasts - thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped roasted peanuts

Instructions

  • In a large skillet or dutch oven set over medium heat, add the oil. When the oil is hot, saute the onion until tender. Add the carrots and potatoes, cook for 5 minutes.
  • Pour in the coconut milk and chicken broth, bring mixture to a simmer. Add peanut butter, brown sugar, lime juice, fish sauce and curry pastes, mix to combine. Let the potatoes and carrots simmer for 10 minutes, then add the sliced chicken. Continue cooking for an additional 10-15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and the chicken is fully cooked.
  • Remove from the heat, serve over freshly cooked white or brown rice. Garnish with additional peanuts, sliced lime and thai basil, if desired.

Video

Notes

* I used Chaokoh brand coconut milk.
- For homemade massaman curry paste, in a small mixing bowl combine: 3 cloves minced garlic, 2 teaspoons coriander, 1 teaspoon lemongrass paste, 1 teaspoon salt, 3/4 teaspoon black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon ginger, 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/8 teaspoon cardamom, pinch cloves.

Nutrition

Serving: 6g | Calories: 376kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 48mg | Sodium: 458mg | Potassium: 1041mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 5538IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 55mg | Iron: 2mg

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About the Author

Natalie

Wife, mother, baker and photographer. Recipe developer & author of Life Made Simple. A self-professed peanut butter lover and fond of anything that involves pumpkin, cookie dough, or sprinkles

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Comments:

  1. How much massaman curry paste is in one can? I bought that paste from an Asian market and I have a HUGE supply of it.

    1. How big is your can? A full 4 oz. can is the perfect amount for this recipe. If you feel that’s too much you can always cut back to 3/4 of the can, but I like it to have a strong prominent flavor.

  2. I’m very excited to try your recipe! If I make it and I find that it isn’t as spicy as I would like, what can I add to it to make it spicier? Similar to when you go to a Thai restaurant and they ask you what level of spiciness you want. What are they changing that is adjusting the level of spiciness?

  3. I made this last week because it’s my go-to order at Thai restaurants. I was very impressed, as was my wife. Can’t wait to make this again!

  4. I made this yesterday and it turned out very good. How many ounces of massaman curry are in a can? I only found Kanokwan Massaman Curry Paste – 1.76 oz pack at my store and I’m wondering if it was not enough.

    1. Hi Irene, I generally buy a 4 oz. can, I know you can buy it in 14 oz. “tubs” as well. Hope that helps!

  5. I added 2 tbsp of tamarind and a serano chili. I also omitted the chicken stock and used chicken thighs. Delicious. 

  6. Just made this. I’m allergic to peanuts, so I substituted almond butter and sliced almonds; I also used some pea pods, and cut down a little on the carrots – I added the pea pods at the same time as the chicken. It took about 10 minutes longer – potatoes were the issue – but at the end it was just great! I just had a massaman curry for the first time a few weeks ago at a restaurant (a vegan, nut-free version) and loved it, and immediately had to look it up and try it myself, and yours was the first recipe I came across. My good luck, your good recipe.

  7. I just made this with my husband for Valentines Day dinner last night and it was incredible!!! We spent a month in Thailand and really miss having this dish when it is done right. We both felt that this was the closest recipe to having the real thing in Koh Tao (at Pud, our FAV restaurant). Please try this you will not be disappointed. We followed everything in the recipe, but I chose to use full fat coconut milk, coconut oil and fresh lime juice (we also bought massaman paste and didn’t make it from scratch but next time i think we will just for fun and to compare taste). Thanks a million, Natalie – this was AH-mazingg!!

  8. My favorite massaman curry recipe!! It is honestly better than what I get for take out at any Thai restaurant I’ve tried. It’s delicious. I use chunky PB and add some red pepper flakes. I also exclude the fish sauce. It’s my favorite thing to make!!

  9. I can’t wait to try this. We had a favorite Thai restaurant in Utah County and it closed to make room for a new development. I often checked to see if they found a new location and finally found it in south Salt Lake a year later. We don’t get up there very often so I’m trying to find something for in between. Thanks for posting your recipe.

  10. Hi ! I tried the recipe for lunch and … my carrots and potatoes were not cooked throughly 🙁 but it added a crunchy side 🙂 Also my sauce was not thick enough.. maybe should I add some cornstarch next time . But yes, the recipe turned out great, the chicken is tender … very good, thank you !

  11. I’m excited to try out your recipe! We’ve been looking to find a recipe that can compare to our favorite thai place. Out of curiosity, was the thai restaurant you went to “My Thai”? That’s our favorite!

  12. We fell in love with Masaman Curry at a place in South Salt Lake as well. Evergreen Thai it was so good we had to make it ourselves. Love the recipe. Makes it so we can even enjoy this At home. 

    1. Thank you Eddie! I didn’t ever make it to Evergreen Thai, but I’ve heard good things about it!

  13. Hello! I have made this recipe many times before and loved it! I am wondering though. Have you ever tried making it with tofu? If so, do you suggest changing anything major to the directions/instructions?

    1. Thank you! I am happy you like it. I have not tried it with tofu, so I wouldn’t be able to tell you if changes need to be made. It’s a great option, though!

  14. Would you please start adding the name of the recipe as well as your name on the pics you share, it’s hard to identify a lot of things?

  15. 5 stars
    I made this tonight while in lockdown. I had to scratch a couple things, cause we didn’t have everything. (Lemongrass and red curry paste) and only used one can of coconut milk, but it was freaking amazing. I put a splash of chai liquid in the massaman paste.
    The husband and in laws said it was better than the local Thai restaurant, so thank you so much for this recipe. 

    1. You are welcome & thank you!! I am so happy they thought that 🙂 Thank you for also sharing what you did!

  16. 5 stars
    Oh wow, this recipe is so accessible and absolutely delicious. I made it instead of ordering takeaway last night and I was so proud of myself. Cant wait to make it again, with prawns next time…Thank you so much!

  17. 5 stars
    I’ve been craving massaman curry and this really hit the spot. The homemade paste was a cool insight into how similar the spices were to Indian cooking.

  18. 5 stars
    Soooooo good, and so simple! The hardest part was finding the curry pastes, but I found a great Asian market within walking distance. I used a bit more olive oil than called for (maybe 2 fl oz total) just to prevent the carrots and potatoes from burning/sticking.  And I added a tiny bit more than a tbsp of red curry paste to give it a bit more heat. But otherwise followed everything else and it turned out amazing!

  19. Hi! Do you consider this recipe to be mild? I want to try it out, but I am worried it will be too spicy for my taste. I like spiced not spicy food.

    1. I don’t consider it to be spicy, but that’s me. It does have a more mild flavor, than regular red curry paste.

  20. 5 stars
    INCREDIBLE! So delicious. I wanted to make it more paleo friendly so instead of brown sugar, I used 3TBP agave and instead of carrots and potatoes, I used beets and a small sweet potato. Absolutely delicious! 

  21. 5 stars
    I love Massaman curry and am so excited to try this! Just want to confirm…so the chicken is raw when placed in the sauce and does not need to be cooked at all beforehand? Also if I want super mild, should I leave out the red curry, or would that affect the flavor? Thank you!

    1. I hope you like this 🙂 I do add cooked chicken. I will have to add that. That might change the taste, but you can add as much or as little of the spices as you like.

  22. 5 stars
    Natalie,

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    We used to get Massaman almost weekly at a local restaurant but moved and have not been able to find anything that tasted similar.

    This is perfect, the family is whole again!

  23. 4 stars
    After having a not so good experience from a local Thai place I decide to make my own Massaman Curry. This recipe is the best Massaman Curry I’ve had. Absolutely delicious. I used butternut squash instead of carrots and halved the recipe. It still made enough for 4. I used Maesri Massaman Curry Paste instead of making it from scratch. I made it exactly as written, only cut everything in 1/2. Thank you for this great recipe!

  24. 5 stars
    Decided to make this on a whim, knowing I didn’t have all the ingredients on hand. In particular, lemon grass and red curry paste. I subbed in lemon zest and sumac for the lemongrass (citrusy and floral) and simply used curry powder for the paste. I knew it would taste good – the ingredients couldn’t really fail. However, the massaman flavor was VERY there with this recipe. We all loved it. Smelled and tasted just like my favorite Thai dish. Next time I hit the store, I’ll be sure to pick up those couple of items to have in my pantry, but you can’t go wrong here. Also, I cooked the chicken in the curry in the last few minutes – For those of you reading comments, no need to do this ahead of time. Just add it at the end, and you’re done when it’s cooked through.

  25. 5 stars
    I boiled the potatoes beforehand and it helped make them very tender! Otherwise I find that they don’t get fully cooked on the stove.

  26. 5 stars
    This is my favorite curry to make at home! It is so flavorful and well balanced. I have also made it with chuck beef braised in the over for a few hours. It is AMAZING!! It already satisfies that curry craving for me and my kids like it too and even my husband said it’s not bad (and he HATES curry).

      1. I’m so glad this recipe is both kid AND husband approved! The oven braised chuck beef sounds amazing! I’ll have to try that next time!

  27. 4 stars
    Way to much peanut butter in this recipe it drowns out the other spices in my opinion made this recipe twice now it’s delicious I’m always adding extra spices because there’s too much peanut butter.