Massaman: Easy Thai Curry Recipe

Massaman: Easy Thai Curry RecipeBy Farhana

The last of my Thai recipes. This is a Massaman curry recipe—a variation on my Massaman recipe (not the original Massaman recipe that is on my all-time favorite recipes list). And it is an absolute favorite recipe here (on the blog and with me!).

Thai massam

Some say that Massaman and Thai red curry are not that similar. In Thai Massaman, there is no coconut milk. Coconut and coconut water are used in this recipe instead.

But what makes the difference? What is it that makes Massaman curry so uniquely Thai? It uniquely combines spices, especially Thai red curry paste, and the extra light coconut milk. It is a very fragrant, rich, and coconut-rich Thai curry. And if you ever tried Red Massaman before, this is where it comes from. Thai red curry paste is a must-have ingredient in massam and red Massaman curry dishes.

Another difference with the Massaman recipe is that in this version, there is also extra coconut milk instead of just coconut water. What a vast difference it is—in this recipe you are literally eating coconut-rich, milky coconut-curd with every bite.

To me, the best part is that this is a recipe that not only tastes amazing, but is also healthy. And it goes perfectly with my Thai Red Coconut Curry Noodles with chicken. A winning combination!

Whether you call it Massaman or red Massaman, this is a recipe that will always go down a treat.


4 chicken breasts

2 lemongrass stems, bashed and bruised

1 lime

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

10 large eggs

2 large onions, quartered

7-8 large potatoes, peeled and cubed

2 x 400-gram cans of coconut milk

2 large green chilies, seeded and chopped

2 x Thai red curry paste

3 tablespoons rice flour

1.5 teaspoons sea salt

3.5 cups water

1 cup shredded dried coconut (for baking)


Preheat the oven to 220 C (fan 210 F). To season the chicken breast, you’ll want to salt and pepper it. Add the lemongrass, lime, and olive oil and marinate for 15 minutes. Heat a large frying pan and add the onion. Cook the onion and lemongrass for 3 minutes before adding the potatoes, coconut milk, curry paste, salt, and three tablespoons of water. Stir the mixture together, bring to a simmer and cook for 8 minutes.

Transfer to a large roasting tin and set aside. Next, add the chicken breast and fry for about 5 minutes on each side, or until I cooked it through. Remove the chicken from the pan and transfer it to a plate to cool. Return the pan to medium heat and add the coconut milk and 1 teaspoon sea salt. Stir.

Once the coconut milk has thickened, add the chicken back in and cook for 1-2 minutes before adding the green chilies, coconut flour, and sea salt. Stir together and bring the heat back up to medium-high. Simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Set aside to cool. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, cut into pieces and return to the pan. Serve with steamed rice and baked dried coconut and a dollop of fresh lime sauce on the side.

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I love writing short stories, poetry, and flash fiction. Some of my hobbies consist of photography, painting, singing, tennis, volleyball, cross-country, and piano.


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