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Beef Massaman Curry

Rich beef massaman curry brings a deeply layered flavour to your dinner table.

Beef cooked until fork tender in a mixture of coconut cream and aromatics, with vegetables and a combination of massaman curry, and tamarind.

Known by some as the king of curries, massaman curry is a fusion of Thai, Malaysian, and Indian cuisines. It has a wonderful flavour that you will never forget. This is not just my favourite curry, but the only one I crave. After trying this recipe once, you'll understand why.

While this recipe is the beef version, it can also be made with chicken or pork. So, whatever you have on hand will work nicely.

This is typically served over rice, but honestly, I don't bother. I enjoy it as a stew. Massaman curry is very mild, mildly sweet, and totally enjoyable on it's own.



(Makes 6 servings)

  • 1, 1/2lb stew beef

  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

  • 2 cans (400ml ea.) full-fat unsweetened coconut milk, refrigerated

  • 1/4 cup massaman curry paste

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom

  • 1 whole pod star anise

  • 1lb yellow potatoes, peeled and cubed

  • 1 sweet onion, cut into 1/8ths

  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce

  • 1 tablespoons brown sugar

  • 2 tablespoons tamarind paste

  • unsalted peanuts for garnish (optional)



In a large bowl, add the stew beef and sprinkle with sea salt. Toss to coat evenly then set aside.

In a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add the avocado oil and butter. Once the butter is sizzling and foamy, begin braising the beef in batches, until all sides are browned (each batch should take about 10 minutes). Transfer browned beef to a clean plate and set aside.

Open both cans of coconut milk and scoop out the hardened coconut cream. Add about 1/2 cup of the coconut cream to the pot with the massaman paste, minced garlic, and grated ginger. Stirring the mixture regularly, watch as the coconut cream separates and the curry paste, garlic, and ginger fry in the oil. Let it cook for a few minutes then transfer the beef back into the pot along with any juices. Mix in the ground cinnamon and ground cardamom. Add 1 can of the remaining coconut milk, the star anise pod, and if needed additional water so that the beef is covered. Bring the pot to a simmer then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and cook the beef until it starts to become tender (about 90 minutes).

Add the cubed potatoes, onion, fish sauce, brown sugar, and the last can of the remaining coconut milk. Again, if there isn't enough liquid in the pot to cover the potatoes, add water. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the pot back to a simmer before again reducing heat to medium-low. Partially cover the pot and cook for about 45 to 50 minutes, or until the beef and potatoes are tender. Stir in the tamarind paste until it is dissolved in the sauce, then taste for seasoning. If needed add additional brown sugar, tamarind paste, or fish sauce depending on flavour desired.

Serve over rice and garnish with unsalted peanuts (optional).


Nutritional Information Per Serving:

total calories = 378 | total fat = 28.13g | saturated fat = 17.24g | cholesterol = 89.17mg | sodium = 1,407.08mg | net carbohydrates = 46.15g | dietary fibre = 1.24g | sugars = 8.87g | protein = 32.76g

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