Go Back
Chicken Massaman Curry- 5

Chicken Massaman Curry Recipe from Scratch

Madhushree Basu Roy
Chicken Massaman Curry is a mild Thai curry of Muslim origin and uses a variety of spices. It is a coconut based curry.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Thai
Servings 4 people


For Massaman Curry Paste

  • 2 shallots or 1 large onion
  • 2 inch galangal or ginger
  • 1 stalk lemongrass take only the soft pulp inside
  • 6-8 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 pinch nutmeg powder
  • 1/2 tsp mace
  • 1/2 inch cinnamon stick
  • 2- 3 cloves
  • 2-3 green cardamom
  • 1 tsp shrimp paste
  • 3 - 4 dried red chillies you can take more if you like spicy food
  • salt to taste

To Make Massaman Curry

  • 1 kg chicken curry cut
  • 2 - 3 nos green cardamom
  • 1/2 inch cinnamon stick
  • 2 nos star anise
  • 8-10 nos shallots or equivalent quantity onions
  • 400 ml coconut milk
  • 2 tsp fish sauce or soy sauce
  • 3 - 4 tbsp Massaman curry paste
  • 2 no potatoes
  • 2 tbsp palm sugar or brown sugar
  • handful of roasted peanuts
  • 1/2 tsp thick tamarind paste
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • fresh basil leaves for garnish


Making Massaman Curry Paste

  • Dry roast the spices and dry red chillies. Grind all the ingredients together in a blender. For best results, grind in a mortar and pestle.
  • Keep the curry paste ready and store in the refrigerator. In case you want to use the curry paste much later, you can fry the paste in a little bit of oil and then keep it stored for a long time in the refrigerator.

Making Chicken Massaman Curry

  • Marinate the chicken pieces in 1 tsp vegetable oil and 3 tbsp massaman curry paste. Let it sit in the marinade for at least 30 minutes.
  • Peel the potatoes and cut them into large quarters.
  • In a heavy bottomed sauce pan or a wok, take the rest of the vegetable oil and heat it.
  • When the oil is hot, add cardamom, cinnamon and star anise. Let the spices release some fragrance. Then add the shallots and fry on medium flame.
  • When the shallots are golden brown, add the potatoes and fry them on medium heat for 2 - 3 minutes.
  • Then add the marinated chicken and stir fry on high heat so that the chicken gets some colour.
  • After 4 - 5 minutes, add coconut milk (leaving aside 1/4 cup), fish sauce and just about enough warm water to cover the chicken pieces.
  • At this point, if you feel the need, then add another tbsp of massaman curry paste.
  • Let it boil for a couple of minutes and then cover and cook on low heat till the potatoes and chicken have become soft.
  • Once chicken and potatoes are cooked, add palm sugar (you can add less of palm sugar too), peanuts and tamarind paste.
  • Add the rest of the coconut milk and water , if required. Check the seasoning and add fish sauce or soy sauce if you think it needs more salt. Or else, simply add salt.
  • Lastly, add basil leaves, give it one boil and turn off the heat.
  • Serve chicken massaman curry with steamed rice.
Keyword authentic massaman curry, authentic massaman curry recipe, best massaman curry, best massaman curry paste, chicken massaman curry, massaman curry paste, massaman curry recipe, massaman curry slow cooker, potato massaman curry, thai curry, thai massaman curry, vegetarian massaman curry