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Massaman curry

Massaman Curry มัสมั่นไก่


  • 4 pc bone-in dark meat chicken*
  • 500 ml coconut milk
  • 50 g. Massaman curry paste**
  • 2-3 Tbsp finely chopped palm sugar, or brown or granulated sugar.
  • 1-2 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 2-3 Tbsp tamarind juice, you can use pre-made juice or make you own
  • 1 medium potato or sweet potato, cut into 1.5” chunks
  • 1 small yellow onion, cut into 1 cm strips
  • 1/4 cup roasted whole peanuts

Recipe Notes:
* You can substitute another kind of meat. Beef is also commonly used in Thailand, but it will require longer braising time, at least 2 hours.
** When working with curry paste, each brand has a different level of saltiness, so it’s difficult to determine an exact measurement of fish sauce. So you should start out with a conservative amount and then add if necessary.

Ingredients & Kitchen Tools I Use


Before you cook: Like all stews, this dish is better the next day after the flavors have had time to mingle. So if you can, make it a day in advanced!

In a heavy bottom pot, reduce 1 cup of the coconut milk until it “breaks.” Add the curry paste to the broken coconut milk and sauté until aromatic. Alternatively, if you are using canned coconut milk or a type that is not 100% coconut milk, it may have been homogenized and may not break. In this case, saute the curry paste in some vegetable oil, and add 1/4 cup of the coconut milk to loosen it up.

Toss the chicken in the sautéed curry paste, and add the remaining amount of coconut milk. Add just enough water to cover the chicken pieces. Add 1 Tbsp of fish sauce, 2 Tbsp tamarind juice, and 2 Tbsp chopped palm sugar. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Let simmer for 20 minutes.

Add the potatoes and onion, and let simmer gently for another 20 minutes or until the vegetables and chicken are fork tender.

When the cooking is done, add the roasted peanuts and do a final taste check. Adjust by adding more fish sauce (for salty), tamarind (for acid), and sugar (for sweet). Serve with rice!

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