Chicken Massaman Curry (Easy 1 Pot Meal)

4.92 from 108 votes
180 Comments

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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 in a black bowl garnished with cilantro

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 (As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.).

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. 

Massaman curry paste in a pan

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.

Curry Paste Ingredients

We use the Maesri Massaman curry paste. For this brand the ingredients include: garlic, sugar, soybean oil, dried red chili, tamarind juice, shallot, salt, lemongrass, coriander seed, cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, bay leaves, cloves, kaffir lime, and galangal.

Other massaman curry pastes may include ingredients such as tamarind paste, shrimp paste, nutmeg, thai basil, or other unique ingredients.

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 or vegan 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:

  • Carrots
  • Red bell peppers (yellow or orange can also be used)
  • Green beans
  • Peas
  • Baby corn
  • Zucchini
  • Cauliflower
  • Bamboo shoots

What Kind Of Rice Is Best With Massaman Curry? 

The best rice to use with ANY curry is Jasmine. Jasmine rice is a long-grain, dry rice that goes well with every Thai dish. It is more fragrant than most 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 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:

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). J

ust 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. 

Chicken Massaman Curry with potatoes in a square black dish

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.
  • If you are adding extra vegetables, allow the vegetables to soften in the sauce for optimal flavor. If you are in a hurry, stir-fry the veggies until tender before adding to the 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!

Massaman curry in a bowl by rice

Chicken Massaman Curry

4.92 from 108 votes
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!
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Thai
Servings 10

Video

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Heat vegetable oil in an extra large skillet or Dutch oven 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.
    Massaman curry paste in a pan
  • 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 and garnish with extra cilantro and/or limes if desired.

Notes

Nutrition does not include jasmine rice.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 235kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 7gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 16mgSodium: 399mgPotassium: 185mgFiber: 2gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 3860IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 38mgIron: 1mg

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About the author

Erica Walker

Erica lives in Boise, Idaho with her husband, Jared, an attorney, and her beautiful three girls. Beyond the world of recipes, she loves adventuring with everything from kayaking, to cruising, to snowboarding and taking the family along for the thrill ride.

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Comments

  1. 1 star
    I have made Massaman Curry for at least 30+ years. I am from Thailand. I don’t think it is a good recipe. You do not need to put ginger, worcestershir sauce, peanut butter past (use whole peanuts), siricha sauce, red pepper flakes, or lime juice (use tamarind juice).

  2. 5 stars
    I made this last night for dinner and we were over the moon happy! I’ve only just recently tried this for the 1st time at a restaurant and am thrilled to be able to make it at home now. We are eating Keto, so I used an acceptable sub for the sugar and lots of fresh veggies instead of potatoes, but left the rest as is.

    The left-overs are calling me! THANK YOU for sharing!

  3. 5 stars
    This started out as Indian makhani chicken. I didn’t have the Indian curry paste, but I did have Massaman curry paste. I started looking for recipes and came up with this! I used one and 1/2 pounds of boneless skinless chicken thighs, sautéed an onion, added the curry paste and a can of fire roasted tomatoes with green chilies. I cooked it for eight minutes in the instant pot, and quick released the steam. I didn’t have coconut milk, so I used one can of coconut cream, and one can of chicken broth, and cashews instead of peanuts. I added everything else, including the borrowed peanut butter and lime juice from my neighbor, and cooked on the stove as written! I served this over brown and wild rice, and it was absolutely delicious! I will definitely make this again, and do it the same way that I just did it!

  4. 5 stars
    This recipe is so ridiculously delicious that I had to come back and comment on it, a first for me. Massaman is one of the few Asian dishes that my wife adores, and this turned out even better than the (overpriced) version from our local Thai place. It is is seriously hard to limit one’s self to a reasonable portion, it’s that good! Thanks for the killer recipe (also, ignore Jon, the dish needs no “saving”)

  5. 3 stars
    -2 for including vegetable oil.

    I lived 8 years in Thailand. Thought it was odd to add. Did it.

    But, my Thai friend said “don’t put in vegetable oil”. Oil is from coconut milk. ***Add peanut butter. (PB saved this dish).

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