This immensely popular southern Thai curry is influenced by the cuisines of India and Malaysia and has a sweet and mild flavor rather than the intense spiciness of other Thai curries. Also unlike most other Thai spices, it’s enriched with plenty of fragrant dry spices, the rich aromas of which shine through in the final dish. Massaman is delicious with on-the-bone or sliced chicken, beef, lamb, or goat – whichever meat you use, it needs time to cook slowly and allow the flavors to fully develop, especially if using a large joint of meat (and it tastes even better the next day!)


 Massaman Curry With Coconut Shoot, Pumpkin 

Chef Alyssa with her Thai cuisines

   Massaman curry with a twist

Thai cooking with a twist

Serves 2

Cooking time 30-40 mins not including making own curry paste

For the Massaman curry paste:(15-20 mins)

(the amount can cook for 2 potions of curry and marinate 2 cooked chicken thighs at 300g)

8 dried red Serrano chilies, soak in lukewarm water (40 C) for 40 mins

(can be cut to half at 4 pieces if you do not like spicy)

1tsp toast, cardamom pods

1tsp cinnamon stick

1tsp star anise

1tsp coriander seeds

1tsp cumin seeds

1tsp Nutmeg

1tsp cloves

1tsp white peppercorns

4 fresh coriander roots

1tbsp, toast sliced galangal

2tbsp, toast sliced lemongrass

2tbsp, toast whole shallots

1tbsp, toast baby garlic cloves


For the curry: (for 2 portions)

250ml coconut cream

1/2 cup of chicken stock (made from 2 chicken tights and 2 liters of water)

2 large boneless chicken thigh

(cooked chicken thighs and marinate with 1 tbsp of Massaman curry paste and 1/2 tbsp of dark soy sauce)

1/2 cup of coconut milk/not coconut cream to adjust the consistency of the sauce

1/4 cup, coconut shoot, peeled and cut in big chunks

1/2 cup, cooked pumpkin, cut in big chunks

2 tbs toasted peanuts/cashew nuts

1 tbsp fish sauce

1/2 tbsp palm sugar

1/2 tbsp white sugar 

2 tbsp tamarind concentrate(add half first then add another half if you like more sweet)

6 small shallots/ 1 whole white onion, cut into chunks

2 bay leaves at the last two minutes of cooking

1 tbsp of deep-fried sliced shallots

1 tsp coriander leaves to garnish)

1 tbsp coconut cream to top at the end


1. To make the curry paste, break open three of the cardamom pods and empty the contents into a shallow pan, along with the remaining dry spices, and toast over medium-low heat to release the smells and flavors until the spices just begin to brown. Allow to cool, then grind everything, and set aside.  


In a grinder/ food processor, add ground the toast (dried chilies and coriander roots), toast (galangal and lemongrass), toast (garlic and shallots), add water that soaks the dried chilies for 3tbsp and grinds all toast ingredients until you have a fine paste, then set aside.

Add dried spices from above 2 tbsp, put them back into the grinder and grind them all together again to get Massaman curry paste


2. Bring half of the coconut cream to the boil on high heat until it cracks and releases oils on its surface, then reduce the heat to medium-high, and add 3tbsp of the curry paste. Stir until combined, and cook through until fragrant in order to further release the oils, then add the remaining coconut cream to make the sauce. Add coconut shoots/potatoes to cook until the shoots start to get softer then add shallots and continue to cook through then add chicken stock. Once the shallots are transparent, add cooked and marinated chicken thigh and use a spoon to gently baste the chicken with the liquid. Sprinkle 2tbsp of peanuts, and heat through for one minute. Reduce the heat to cook all ingredients to reduce nicely. Add coconut milk and season with fish sauce, tamarind, palm sugar, and white sugar. Add cooked pumpkins and continue cooking till the curry sauce slightly reduced and release more oil, then taste the sauce, add deep-fried shallots and coconut cream then remove from the heat. Add to the bowl, sprinkle the coriander leaves over the top. Serve with steamed rice.


Viable, using sweet potato adds a nice flavourful twist to this curry, but you can substitute it for a regular potato if you prefer.


If you can’t find coriander roots, use the stems instead; likewise, replace palm sugar with white sugar if necessary.


Add your own twist

  • To make the curry paste vegetarian-friendly, in the curry itself, replace the fish sauce with soy sauce, and use tofu instead of chicken.


Leave the leftover Massaman curry paste for another portion of Mussaman curry next time or you can cook 2 portions at the same time but double ingredients from step 2 to cook in 2 potions

Any questions, please feel free to ask with " Lets Chat " Chef Alyssa will answer you accordingly or email to her at