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Monday, October 1, 2012

Thai Chicken Massaman Curry

Situation - You receive a phone call saying your husband's Uncles and Aunts are visiting for a couple of days. Sometime back, your knowledge base was updated that they love trying out different cuisines, provided the food is spicy. Alright, so here's your chance to impress them.

Solution - To your rescue... comes Thai and spicy just like we Indians love, yet a distinct flavour, easy to make and hence easy to impress ;-).

But let's play safe...the closest cousin of Indian Chicken curry is the Thai Chicken Massaman Curry. Massaman is just an old word for Muslim, cause that's where the origins of this curry are. This curry is heavy on spices and just like other Thai curries uses coconut milk to tone it down. Chicken can be substituted with beef, mutton, lamb or tofu. Spices like - Red chillies, cloves, cinnamon, cumin, coriander seeds, black peppercorns is what makes this curry hot and spicy. Now you will say, 'That is exactly what we use in Indian curries'. But wait, there are some Thai cuisine - specific ingredients like Galangal, Fish sauce, Lemongrass, Cassia leaves and shrimp paste that sets this curry apart from the Indian curries.

Thai Chicken Massaman Curry
Thai Chicken Massaman Curry

Thai Chicken Massaman Curry - Recipe
Chicken - 1/2 Kg. (I used boneless here)
Potato - 1 medium sized, cubed
Onions - 1/2 cup, roughly chopped
Roasted peanuts - handful
Cinnamon - 1 inch stick
Cassia leaves - 2-3 (Substitution : Bay leaves)
Coconut Milk - 1 and 1/2 - 2 cups
Paprika - 1/4 teaspoon
Fish sauce - 1/8 teaspoon (Substitution : soy sauce)
Sugar - 1/2 teaspoon
Massaman curry paste - store bought or homemade - see the recipe below.

For Massaman Curry paste: (Or just get a packet of Massaman Curry paste from store)
Dry red chillies - 2-3
Black Peppercorns - 2-3
Cloves - 2
Cardamom - 2
Coriander seeds - 1 teaspoon
Cumin seeds - 1 teaspoon
Ginger - 1/2 inch piece
Coriander stalks - 1-2
Lemon grass - 1 stalk
Garlic - 3-4 cloves
Shallots - 1 small
Mace - 1 small piece (Hindi : Javitri)
Shrimp paste - 1/4 teaspoon (Can be found in Asian supermarkets)
    Dry roast peppercorns, cloves, cardamom, red chillies, cumin seeds, mace and coriander seeds. Ground these spices. Make a paste of these powdered spices, ginger, coriander stalks, garlic, shallots, lemon grass and shrimp paste. This paste can be stored in the refrigerator for a week.

1. Heat oil in a pan. Add Cinnamon and Cassia/ Bay leaves.
2. Add 2-3 tablespoons of the Massaman Curry Paste and saute' until fragrant.
3. Add cubed chicken pieces and mix well with the paste. Cover and cook for a minute.
4. Add Coconut milk and Paprika and mix well. Add half a cup of water and cover and simmer for 3-4 minutes.
5. Add onions, potatoes and roasted peanuts. Add fish sauce. Fish sauce is for Thai cuisine, what soy sauce is for Chinese. But you can always substitute it for soy sauce or salt, if you don't find one in the stores.
6. Add sugar and water and let simmer until the oil separates or chicken is cooked.

Serve hot with the fragrant Jasmine rice. (Substitution : Basmati rice)


  1. Yumm yumm! I <3 Massaman curry..

  2. I love Thai recipes...Jus love this tempting flavorful curry!!!

  3. This post reminded me of the challenge given to the Master Chef Australia contestants in season 3. Then, when this challenge was presented I had no clue about this curry, I have updated my self since then and happy to identify it now very easily. The curry looks good and I am sure the guests were very happy!

    1. I guess, I must have missed this episode of Master Chef. Would have loved to see their version.

  4. Loved reading meg..and you had to write the RESULT finally..haha..Super yummy ..Isn't it ?

    1. The RESULT, Melange can be Super impressed guests ;-)

  5. Loved reading meg..and you had to write the RESULT finally..haha..Super yummy ..Isn't it ?

  6. Very authentic recipes.. looks superb..

  7. Nice way to impress guests..yummy curry,Meg..Bookmarked!!

  8. Wish i live near you, irresistible curry..i can die for this fabulous Thai foods.

  9. i love a good thai dish any day..and massaman is a fav of ours..

  10. Wonderful chicken curry. Super tempting....

    Today's recipe:

  11. wow...such a spicy and wonderful Chicken curry...New to me, looks delicious!
    Thanks for this great recipe...

  12. Delicious curry, hot and spicy, you are right nice way to impress guests.

  13. Hi,

    Looks Tempting..!!

    Am hosting an event..
    U are Invited !!

    Do send your entries..

    Ongoing Event- Romantic Candle Light Dinner Event @—-

  14. Spicy and yummy curry,nice recipe dear,will surely try this.

  15. My fav from Thai cuisine...always loved it...

  16. my hus and I love Thai food....this dish definitely makes my mouth water...quick and simple!!



  17. Thai cuisine looks divine, very flavourful gravy. It is nice to hear brief story and noticed important tips too. :)

  18. Oh this looks divine!! Have to try it sooner than later. :) Lovely flavors!!!

  19. Oh this looks divine!! Lovely colors and flavors :) Bookmarked!

  20. Oh this looks divine!! Have to try it sooner than later. :) Lovely flavors!!!

  21. Oh this looks divine!! Have to try it sooner than later. :) Lovely flavors!!!

  22. Wow! this looks awesome Meg! lovely clicks too

  23. i try this recipe once when i went to my husband neighborhood ,even tried to cook it (my mother inlaw thought me) well its very good tasting and also tasty meals indeed


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