Chicken Massaman Curry is one of the easiest and most delicious savory Thai curry dishes. With chicken and potatoes cooked into a sweet, slightly spicy sauce, it’s a flavor explosion!
Chicken Massaman Curry
Chicken Massaman Curry is one of my favorite dishes! The name itself can be spelled a million different ways…Massaman, Masuman, Masumun, Matsaman… no matter how you spell it, the delicious dish tastes the same. I came up with my own version of this tasty Thai dish after a girls’ night to our favorite restaurant. My husband helped himself to my leftovers and was hooked. Making your own curry is easy and fun and will save you loads of money on take-out!
What Is Massaman Curry?
Massaman curry is a mild, savory, and slightly sweet curry with fragrant spice undertones such as cumin, cardamom, and cinnamon. It typically isn’t a spicy curry but like most curries, it is easy to adjust the spice level. The added ingredients are basic and include coconut milk, meat, onions, potatoes, and peanuts. Additional meats and veggies can be added but really aren’t needed.
Massaman Curry Paste
Massaman Curry paste is the key to making this recipe successful, it’s the one thing you really don’t want to leave out or substitute. Using store-bough curry paste is so much easier than trying to make your own paste from scratch. Curry paste is very thick and similar to the consistency of tomato paste. It is quite fragrant and will fill up the room with a strong (yet, delicious smelling) aroma. Don’t worry, once you stir in the coconut milk, it will mellow out.
Where To Find Massaman Curry Paste
You can find Massaman curry paste at most Asian Markets and even at many specialty grocery stores. We use the Maesri brand because it is what’s available at the Asian Market closest to us but I know there are other brands available. You can’t really go wrong. The kind we use is usually in a small, yellow 4 oz. can (pictured below). We can usually find it for around $2/can. It can also sometimes be found in lidded plastic or paper containers, glass jars, or vacuum-sealed packages.
Massaman Curry Meat
More often than not, we use chicken as the protein in our Massaman curry (just because it’s what we have on hand most of the time) but we have also used beef and shrimp and loved it. To make vegetarian Massaman curry, you easily can use tofu instead of meat.
What Veggies Go Well in Massaman Curry?
The only two vegetables that seem to be in every Massaman curry across the board are potatoes and onions. Like any curry, there can be all sorts of variations on both meats and vegetables that can take your curry to the next level. Here are some of our other favorite vegetable stir-ins:
- Red, Orange, and/or yellow bell peppers
- Green beans
- Baby corn
- Bamboo shoots
What Kind Of Rice Is Best With Massaman Curry?
The best rice to use is Jasmine Rice. Jasmine rice is a long-grain, dry rice that goes well with every Thai dish. It is more fragrant than most rice varieties, which is why it is also known as “aromatic rice”. Brown Jasmine rice can also be used. Basmati rice is a common substitute for Jasmine rice as well. If you can’t find any of these rice varieties, you can just use a simple, long-grain, white rice.
What To Serve With Massaman Curry?
Because curry and rice can be a complete meal on it’s own, there really is no need to have additional side dishes. If you are expecting company or simply just want the meal to go further, you can try some of these tasty Asian-inspired Thai side dishes:
- Thai Coconut Soup
- Asian Cucumber Salad
- Asian Lettuce Wraps (PF Chang’s Copycat Recipe)
- Pork and Veggie Potstickers
- Thai Lettuce wraps
- Sautéed or Oven Roasted Green Beans
Can I Freeze Massaman Curry?
Yes! This dish freezes beautifully. Just make sure to freeze it on its own, without rice (the rice won’t freeze as well and will just absorb all the sauce). Just put the curry into a freezer safe container or Ziplock baggie and keep it in the freezer for up to three months. To reheat, let it thaw in the refrigerator then heat on the stove in a frying pan.
Tips For Making Massaman Curry:
- It’s not a bad idea to boil your potatoes for 3-4 minutes before adding them to your curry. This is a great trick for when you are in a hurry and just trying to get dinner on the table and don’t want to wait for the potatoes to soften in the curry sauce.
- Shake the coconut milk really well before opening so it doesn’t come out in one big clump. You can also avoid this by opening the coconut milk can from the bottom.
- Make it as spicy or as mild as you would like! Add sriracha while cooking or serve it on the side if people prefer different spice levels.
- Instead of adding salt (if needed), try adding soy sauce. It gives you the salty flavor while also deepening the overall flavor of the dish.
- Don’t forget the limes! Adding a squeeze of fresh lime right before serving ties all those delicious flavors together.
More Delicious Curry Recipes
No need to reach for the takeout menus, just try one of these flavorful recipes and enjoy a good curry right in the comfort of your own kitchen!
- Indonesian Peanut Saute
- Chicken Coconut Curry
- Coconut Curry Chicken with Peanuts
- Chicken Panang Curry
- Chicken Tikka Masala
How To Make Massaman Curry
- 4 ounces Massaman curry paste you will have to get this at your local Asian market
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 28 ounces coconut milk (2 cans)
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger you can use fresh, I just used the powder
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar packed
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 onion sliced thin
- 1 pound chicken Sliced VERY thin, I used partially thawed chicken from the freezer. It's easy to slice.
- 4 medium potatoes peeled, cubed
- 2 carrots peeled, sliced
- 1 tablespoon peanut butter (creamy or crunchy)
- 1/2 cup peanuts
- sriracha sauce To taste. This is what adds the spiciness.
- red pepper flakes to taste
- jasmine rice cooked
- Heat vegetable oil in an extra large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in curry paste; cook and stir for about 2-3 minutes. This is strong, make sure your windows are open and a fan is blowing.
- Add 1 can coconut milk and stir until well blended. Add ginger, cilantro, sugar, fish sauce, lime juice, and Worcestershire. Bring to a boil.
- Add onion and chicken. Reduce to a simmer. When chicken is white and cooked through (about 5 min or so) add another can of coconut milk and bring back to a boil.
- Add remaining ingredients (except for the rice) and stir until everything is well mixed. Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes or until potatoes are no longer crunchy in the middle. Serve hot over Jasmine rice.