Thai Massaman Curry

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Thai Massaman Curry

The Massaman Curry is a particularly aromatic dish from the Thai cuisine. This refined curry unites the taste varieties of India and Thailand. In addition, it stands out from among the other spicy Thai curries because of its mildness. Already King Phra Phutthaloetla (1768 – 1824) knew just how good the Massaman Curry tastes. He even dedicated a poem to the dish, which until this day every Thai student has to know by heart.

Thai Massaman Curry

Dishes of Indian origin have been a used in Thai cuisine for over two centuries. But contrary to the Indian curries, the Thai curries are made with curry pastes instead of ground spices. And you have to believe me, you will never buy ready made curry paste again if you have tried this Massaman Curry with fresh made chilli paste! We got this recipe from our cooking class at Mai Kaidee Cooking School in Thailand. It is really awesome!

The secret lies in the chili paste

Making a proper curry or chili paste is an art in itself. In Thailand, they use a mortar made of stone. Then they use the pestle to crush and squeeze the ingredients until an aromatic and homogeneous mass is obtained. But do not worry, if you do not have a mortar at home, you can also take a strong blender. And if you are really short on time: Massaman curry paste is also available in every Asia market. But that should be the last option.

Thai Massaman Curry

Often you can find recipes for curry on the Internet in which the the curry paste is stirred directly into the hot coconut milk. The result is usually disappointing, because the aroma does not reach the usual intensity. The secret in preparing the Massaman Curry and all other Thai curries is that the chili paste must be roasted in hot oil first. Roast it until you can smell its aroma. Only then the exotic flavors that make up the authentic taste develop. So remember: always fry curry and chili paste in oil first.

Thailändisches Massaman Curry

Thai Massaman Curry

Mild and creamy Thai curry with Indian flavors
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Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Thai
Keyword: Coconut, Pumpkin, Sweet Potato, Tofu
Schwierigkeitsgrad: Difficult
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 2 Persons
Calories: 1007kcal


For the red chili paste

  • 3 tsp red chilies
  • 1/2 onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 stalk lemongrass
  • 1 cm galangal
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp miso paste optional

For the Massaman Curry

  • 100 g sweet potato
  • 100 g tofu
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 2 onions
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 tsp red chili paste
  • 3 tsp curry powder
  • 500 ml coconut milk
  • 6 tbsp water
  • 200 g vegetables of your choice e.g. pumpkin, broccoli, mushrooms, peppers
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp roasted peanuts


For the Red Chili Paste

  • Chop all ingredients for the chili paste roughly and place them in a blender. Mix until a homogeneous paste has formed. Optionally add miso paste to make the chili paste thicker.

For the Massaman Curry

  • Cut the sweet potato, tofu, onions, tomatoes, carrots and vegetables of your choice into bite sized cubes. 
  • Boil sweet potato and hard vegetables (e.g. pumpkin) in salted water until soft (About 15 to 20 minutes). Fry the tofu in a hot-air fryer or sauté in oil in a pan.
  • Put oil into a wok or deep pan. Fry the onion, tomato and carrot pieces for about 3-5 minutes. Add chilli paste and curry powder and sauté until you can smell the fragrance of the chili paste. You may need to add some drops of water to prevent the paste from burning.
  • Add the coconut milk and vegetables and cook until the sauce is thick. Then add soy sauce, 2 tablespoons water, sugar, lime juice, sweet potatoes and tofu and stir well. Dilute the sauce with water and additional coconut milk to the desired consistency.
  • Fill in bowls and top with roasted peanuts.


The chili paste can be stored for several weeks in a clean and airtight jar. In order to avoid drying out and to make the paste last longer, it can be covered with a thin layer of oil, so that no air gets in it.


Serving: 1Person | Calories: 1007kcal (50%) | Carbohydrates: 74g (25%) | Protein: 22g (44%) | Fat: 76g (117%) | Saturated Fat: 49g (306%) | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 1310mg (57%) | Potassium: 1769mg (51%) | Fiber: 13g (54%) | Sugar: 25g (28%) | Vitamin A: 18390IU (368%) | Vitamin C: 56.6mg (69%) | Calcium: 250mg (25%) | Iron: 13.4mg (74%)

If you liked this recipe for Thai Massaman Curry you may also like one of these other Thai recipes:

You will find more delicious recipes from all over the world in our recipe section.

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