Thai Massamam Curry Recipe

Beef Massaman Curry

Taste of Thailand: Beef Massaman Curry

This traditional Thai curry is authentic and packed full of flavour.

Thai Massamam Curry Recipe

Beef Massaman Curry

Massaman curry is a traditional Thai dish that comes from the south of Thailand. What makes this curry different from other curries is that it is a fusion between Thai and Indian style curry. The addition of cardamom, cloves, and nutmeg give it that distinct flavour.

An essential ingredient in a massaman curry is roasted peanuts, which add an extra layer of richness and texture to the curry.

If you want a quick and easy dinner, you can use store bought curry paste. If you can’t find massaman curry paste, you can simply use red curry paste which is also readily available. However if you feel up to the challenge, making your own curry paste packs this dish with flavour.

Thai Massaman Curry

5 from 6 votes
Recipe by Jessica Alberts Course: DinnerCuisine: ThaiDifficulty: Medium
Prep time


Cooking time


Total time




  • 80 grams store bought curry paste (or see recipe below to make your own)

  • 3 tablespoons oil

  • 500 g cubed beef

  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter

  • 1 tin coconut milk

  • 3 potatoes (peeled and cubed)

  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce

  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar

  • coriander to garnish

  • 1/4 cup peanuts

  • 2 onions

  • 5 garlic cloves

  • 2 red chillies

  • 1 piece ginger (thumb sized)

  • 1 stalk lemongrass

  • 1 teaspoon of ground cumin and ground coriander

  • 1/8 ground nutmeg

  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce

  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar


  • To make the curry paste, blend all the ingredients in a food processor or blender with olive oil. If the paste is too thick or get stucks, add more oil to achieve a smooth consistency.
  • Next make the curry. Heat oil in wok or frying pan.
  • Add cubed meat and fry for a few minutes until browned.
  • Add curry paste and a peanut butter and stir well.
  • Add tin of coconut milk and a cup of water and simmer gently for 10 minutes.
  • Add potatoes and simmer for further 20 minutes until potatoes are soft.
  • If the sauce becomes too thick, add a little extra water.
  • Season with fish sauce and brown sugar.
  • Serve with steamed jasmine rice and garnish with fresh coriander.


  • You can replace the beef with any protein of your choice.
  • To make this dish vegatarian, use any vegetables of your choice instead of the meat.

Did you make this recipe?

Tag @the.south.african on Instagram and hashtag it #recipes

Like this recipe?

Follow us @thesouthafrican on Pinterest

This content has been created as part of our freelancer relief programme. We are supporting journalists and freelance writers impacted by the economic slowdown caused by #lockdownlife.

If you are a freelancer looking to contribute to The South African, read more here.