Thai Massaman Beef Curry……Epic

By Simon    

June 17, 2014

Massaman curry. Today we used beef, slowly cooked to really intensify the Thai flavours. Slightly sweet and fragrant, packed with flavour and a gentle heat. This dish is also divine using fresh chicken, tiger prawns and a real favourite, duck breasts. So give it a go, the key is in the preparation, and watch as you stun your guests with your own version of the famous Thai Massaman curry 🙂 Enjoy your dish Sue 😉

  • Prep: 30 mins
  • Cook: 2 hrs
  • Yields: 8 Generous


12 Cardamom pods

2 tsp Cumin seeds

10 Cloves

3 Star anise

2 tsp White peppercorns

1 tsp Ground cinnamon

4 tsp Dried chilli flakes

4 tbsp Groundnut oil

1 Handful Peanuts

10 Plump garlic

10 Lime leaves

60 Grams Galangal

4 Lemon grass stalks

2 tbsp Thai shrimp paste

4 tbsp Thai fish sauce

1/2 tsp Nutmeg

4 tbsp Palm sugar

1 Dash Vegetable oil

3 Red onions

1 Kg Beef

2 Potatoes

4 Red birds eye chillies

500 ml Beef stock

800 ml Coconut milk

400 ml Tinned cherry tomatoes

12 Kaffir lime leaves

3 tbsp Palm sugar

4 tbsp Dark soy sauce

6-8 tbsp Thai fish sauce

2 Limes

1 Handful Thai basil

50 Grams Toasted peanuts

1 Red chilli


Start by making the Massaman curry paste, you will have enough to make double the paste needed for this recipe, so store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or pop it in the freezer for up to 1 month.  Place a small frying pan over a moderate heat, add the cardamom seeds, cumin seeds and whole cloves and  gently toast them for 2 minutes to release the flavours.  Place in a pestle and grind to a powder.  Add the remaining ingredients along with 2 tbsp water and pound to make a smooth paste, set aside.

For the curry, place a large oven and flame proof casserole dish with a lid on a medium heat, add the vegetable oil and gently cook the onions for 8-10 minutes until soft and slightly brown.  Push to one side, turn up the heat and add the cubes of beef, sealing them on all sides.  Add the curry paste, giving it all a good coating, continue to cook for 1 minute, stirring continuously.  Add the cubed potato, slashed chillies, beef stock, 600 mls of the coconut milk, tomatoes, lime leaves, palm sugar, soy sauce and 4 tbsp fish sauce.  Bring to the boil, remove from the heat,  put a lid on the pan and place in a pre heated oven 150c and let the magic work, approx 2 hours, giving it a gentle stir every 1/2 hour.

10 minutes before serving, stir in 200 mls of coconut milk, check for seasoning, adding a dash or two of fish sauce if needed.

To serve, add lime juice and basil, keeping a few leaves to garnish, then add half the toasted peanuts and mix gently.  Spoon into warmed bowls, garnish with the remaining basil leaves, a scattering of chopped toasted peanuts, some slices of red chilli and serve with steamed rice.


Note...If you plan to use Chicken, Duck Breast or Tiger Prawns the cooking times will need adjusting accordingly....



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