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Beef Massaman Curry (dinner)

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Massaman curry, also known as matsaman curry and mussulman curry, is a Thai interpretation of a Persian dish. The dish is believed to have originated at the court of Ayutthaya in the 17th century.

The massaman curry paste is made using a combination of spices that aren’t that common in Thai food. It includes, among other things, cardamom, cloves, star anise, cinnamon, cumin, nutmeg, mace, and bay leaves. You can find it in many Thai spice stores online and offline. In Thai, it is called nam phrik kaeng matsaman.

Massam curry can be made with a wide range of protein, such as chicken, beef, mutton, goat or duck. Here, we will share a beef recipe with you. If you want to do a vegan version of massaman curry, substitute the beef for tofu and use a curry paste mix that doesn’t include shrimp paste.

Ingredients (for 4 servings)

  • 100 grams unsalted peanuts
  • 4 dl coconut cream
  • 4 tablespoons massaman curry paste
  • 600 grams stewing beef steak, cut into large chunks
  • 2 dl water
  • 450 grams waxy potatoes (low-starch potatoes with firm flesh), peeled and cut into 2-3 cm chunks
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and cut into wedges
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tablespoon tamarind paste
  • 1 tablespoon palm sugar or brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 red chilipepper fruit, de-seeded and finely sliced


  1. Heat the oven to 200 degreec C.
  2. Place the peanuts on a baking tray and roast them in the oven until they are golden brown. This will typically take around 5 minutes.
  3. Leave the peanuts to cool down a bit. Then chop them.
  4. Take a big casserole dish or pan that is suitable for both stove-top cooking and the oven. It should have a lid. Put it on the stove-top and heat up 2 tablespoons of the coconut cream in it, before adding the curry paste and frying it for one minute while stirring gently.
  5. Add the beef and fry until the beef is sealed and well coated.
  6. Add the water and the rest of the coconut milk. Stir in potatoes, onion, lime leaves, cinnamon, tamarind paste, fish sauce and most of the chopped peanuts. Save some of the chopped peanuts for decoration.
  7. Bring to a simmer.
  8. Remove from the stove-top and place in the oven, with the lid on. Cook in the oven at 180 degrees C for 2 hours.
  9. Take out the dish, remove the lid and sprinkle the dish with the remaining crushed peanuts. Decorate with sliced chili.

Beef Massaman Curry is usually served with rice.