Fast Recipes

Massaman curry

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for massaman curry.

By Lisa Featherby
  • Serves 4
  • 6 mins preparation
  • 24 mins cooking
Massaman curry
Massaman curry

Traditionally, massaman curry is cooked slowly with beef until tender. For our quick curry we’ve used chicken instead. To get ahead, you can cook extra steamed rice today, then you’ve cut out half your work when making the Indonesian fried rice dish.


  • 250 ml coconut cream (1 cup)
  • 110 gm massaman or yellow curry paste (see note)
  • 2 cardamom pods, bruised
  • 2 each of cinnamon quills and star anise
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 6 fresh curry leaves
  • 1 small free-range chicken (about 1kg), jointed (see note)
  • 500 gm desiree potatoes, cut into 5cm pieces
  • 800 ml coconut milk
  • 35 gm unsalted peanuts, coarsely chopped (¼ cup)
  • 50 gm soft palm sugar, or to taste
  • 50 ml fish sauce, or to taste
  • 2 tbsp tamarind paste (see note)
  • To serve: steamed jasmine rice


  • 1
    Cook coconut cream in a wok over medium-high heat until split (4-5 minutes). Add curry paste, spices and herbs and fry until fragrant (1-2 minutes). Add chicken and potato and fry until sealed (1-2 minutes). Add coconut milk and simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until potato is tender and chicken is cooked through (14-15 minutes), adding peanuts and seasoning to taste with palm sugar, fish sauce and tamarind in the last few minutes of cooking. Serve immediately with steamed jasmine rice.


Massaman and yellow curry pastes are available from Thai grocers and select supermarkets. Ask your butcher to joint the chicken for you, or substitute with 12 assorted pieces of drumstick, thigh and breast. Tamarind paste is available from Asian grocers and select supermarkets.

  • Author: Lisa Featherby