Massaman Chicken Curry


Curry Base

  • 2 tbsn vege oil
  • ½ cup onion, fine chopped or grated
  • 1 thumb sizes piece of ginger, fine chopped or grated
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, fine chopped or grated
  • 1 red chilli, fine chopped
  • 1 green chilli, fine chopped
  • ½ cup good strong flavored chicken stock (boiled down if you need more flavor)
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, fine chopped or grated
  • 3 bay leaves, fine julienne
  • 1 tsn turmeric
  • ¼ cup unsalted dry-roast cashew nuts, chopped
  • 1 tsn ground coriander seeds
  • 1 tsn whole cumin seeds
  • ½ tsn white pepper (or whole white pepper corns dry roasted and crushed to powder)
  • 1/8 tsn cardamon (or whole cardamon dry roasted and crushed to powder)
  • 2 tsn tamarind pulp
  • ¾ tsn shrimp paste – fried or baked in tin foil to intensify flavor
  • 2 tbsn fish sauce
  • 500g chicken thigh, cut into large bite size pieces
  • 1-2 medium potatoes, cut into bite size chunks
  • 400 ml can of coconut milk
  • 1 small red pepper, thin sliced
  • 1 medium tomato, sliced
  • 1-2 tbsn palm sugar, grated


  • Heat oil in a medium saucepan and gently fry onion, ginger, garlic, red and green chilli for 3-4 minutes until onion is soft.
  • Add the chicken stock then the remaining curry base stuff one at a time (in order) giving a good stir after each addition.
  • Gently simmer for 10 minutes – add more chicken stock (or water) if it starts to dry out
  • Allow to cool a bit then blend or wand to a smooth paste
  • Put the curry base into a medium saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the chicken and stir to coat.
  • Add the coconut milk and potatoes and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes until the chicken and potatoes are tender
  • Add the red pepper slices and tomato and simmer a further 15 minutes
  • Taste the curry and adjust to suit you
    • If too sour – add palm sugar
    • If too sweet – add tamarind pulp or lime juice
    • If too spicy – add more coconut milk


  • On a bed of steamed jasmine rice – garnish with fresh coriander leaves and chopped cashews


  • Serve 4 – 6

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