Easy Massaman Curry Recipe

Serves: 4
Prep time: 20 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes


8 cups|1850 ml coconut cream 
1 cup|250 grams massaman curry paste 
¼ cup|40 grams palm sugar or coconut sugar
2 tablespoons shrimp paste  
4 pieces star anise 
2 cinnamon sticks
½ (3-4 pound|1360 gram) chicken, cut into 5 pieces  
2 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces 
1 large yellow onion, roughly chopped 
¾ cup|100 grams peanuts 
¼ cup|50 grams granulated sugar
¼ cup|60 ml fish sauce 
freshly ground black pepper, to taste 
freshly ground white pepper, to taste 
kosher salt, to taste 
6 tablespoons|100 grams tamarind paste
jasmine rice, to serve


  1. Heat 1 cup|250 ml of the coconut cream in a large saucepan over high until it is slightly reduced, about 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and add the curry paste, breaking it up with a wooden spoon or whisk. Increase the heat to medium-high, then add the palm sugar or coconut sugar and shrimp paste. Keep adding coconut cream 1 cup|250 ml at a time until the curry sauce is boiling and fragrant and the sugar and shrimp paste have dissolved, about 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to a simmer while continuing to slowly add the rest of the coconut cream. 
  2. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the curry sauce is thick, 10 to 15 minutes. Increase the heat to high, then add the star anise, cinnamon sticks, and the chicken. Bring the mixture to a boil, then add the potatoes and reduce the heat to a simmer. Add the onions and peanuts and cook, uncovered, over a low simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the potatoes are tender, about 25 minutes. Season with sugar, fish sauce, both peppers and salt to taste. Add the tamarind paste, season to taste once more, and stir to combine. Serve immediately over rice.

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