Lighter massaman chicken curry

Lighter massaman chicken curry

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(5 ratings)

Prep: 35 mins Cook: 35 mins


Serves 4
Another takeaway favourite gets a healthy makeover - this creamy Thai curry now has half the fat with all the aromatic flavour

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freeze curry only
  • Healthy

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal348
  • fat15.8g
  • saturates1.5g
  • carbs18g
  • sugars8.3g
  • fibre4.4g
  • protein36.4g
  • salt1.1g
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    For the curry paste

    • 1 tbsp coriander seed
      Coriander seeds

      Coriander seed

      kor-ee-and-er seed

      The small, creamy brown seeds of the coriander plant give dishes a warm, aromatic and slightly…

    • 2 tsp cumin seed
    • seeds from 5 cardamom pods
    • 3 cloves



      The dry, unopened flower bud of the tropical myrtle tree family used to flavour a wide variety…

    • ½ tsp crushed dried chilli



      Part of the capsicum family, chillies come in scores of varieties and colours (from green…

    • 2 tsp rapeseed oil
      Rapeseed oil

      Rapeseed oil

      If you want a light alternative to other cooking oils, rapeseed is a great choice and has…

    • 100g shallot, finely chopped



      Related to the onion (as opposed to being a younger version of it), shallots grow in clusters at…

    • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    • 2½ cm piece ginger, finely grated



      Mainly grown in Jamaica, Africa, India, China and Australia, ginger is the root of the plant. It…

    • 1 plump lemongrass stalk, tough ends and outside layer removed, finely chopped
    • 4 tbsp light coconut milk (from the can, below)
    • ¼ tsp ground black pepper

    For the curry

    • 25g unsalted, unroasted peanut
    • 2 tsp rapeseed oil
      Rapeseed oil

      Rapeseed oil

      If you want a light alternative to other cooking oils, rapeseed is a great choice and has…

    • 140g small shallot (6-7), halved



      Related to the onion (as opposed to being a younger version of it), shallots grow in clusters at…

    • 1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
    • 400ml can light coconut milk
    • 500g skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
    • 200g sweet potato, cut into 2½ cm chunks
      Sweet potatoes

      Sweet potato

      sweet po-tate-toe

      Sweet potatoes have a creamy texture and a sweet-spicy flavour that makes them ideal for savoury…

    • 175g green bean, stem ends trimmed
    • 1 tbsp fish sauce
      Fish sauce

      Fish sauce

      A seasoning often used in Vietnamese and Thai cooking. In Vietnam it is usually made from shrimp…

    • 2 tsp tamarind paste



      A seed pod from the tamarind tree that is used extensively in South-East Asian and Indian…

    • 75ml chicken stock
    • coriander or Thai basil leaves (or both), to garnish
    • a small handful of peanuts, to garnish


    1. To make the curry paste, heat a small heavy-based frying pan and drop in all the seeds and the cloves. Dry-fry over a medium heat, shaking the pan often, for 1-2 mins to release their flavours – until they start popping in the pan. Mix in the chillies, then grind finely using a pestle and mortar or a spice grinder. Set aside.

    2. Heat the oil in the same pan. Tip in the shallots and garlic, and fry over a medium heat for 5-6 mins, stirring occasionally, until a deep, rich golden brown. Stir in the ground spices and stir-fry for 1 min. Spoon into a mini processor with the ginger, lemongrass and coconut milk. Blitz until it is as smooth as you can get it, then stir in the black pepper. Can be kept in the fridge for several days.

    3. To make the curry, dry-fry the peanuts in a small frying pan for about 2 mins to give them extra colour and flavour. Set aside. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan, tip in the shallots and fry over a medium heat, turning occasionally, for 8-10 mins until they are well browned all over and softened. Remove and set aside. Put the cinnamon stick and curry paste in the sauté pan and cook for 1 min. Pour in 100ml of the coconut milk. Let it bubble for 2 mins, stirring occasionally, until it’s like a thick paste. Tip in the chicken and stir-fry in the paste over a high-ish heat for 6-8 mins or until cooked.

    4. Meanwhile, steam the sweet potato chunks for 8-10 mins and the beans for about 5 mins. Remove the pan of chicken from the heat and stir in the remaining coconut milk, the fish sauce, tamarind paste and stock. Lay the sweet potatoes and shallots in the curry and warm through gently over a very low heat – overheating or overcooking may cause the coconut milk to curdle and thicken. If you need to thin the sauce slightly, stir in 1-2 spoons of water. Remove the cinnamon.

    5. Lay a bunch of the beans to one side of each serving bowl or plate. Spoon the curry over one end of the beans and serve scattered with the coriander, Thai basil and peanuts.

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    Comments, questions and tips

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    5th Oct, 2014
    Having eaten and enjoyed massaman curry many times in the past I was thrilled to find this reduced-fat, healthier version. I have know tried this and was not disappointed with the result as it is delicious and as flavoursome and the full fat original.
    5th Oct, 2014
    Having enjoyed this curry many times on my travels I was happy to find this reduced fat, healthier version and was not disappointed with the result. Delicious, as flavorsome as the full fat version.
    15th Mar, 2013
    Really delicious! I added 1/2 tsp of soft brown sugar and some lime juice at the end and was really pleased with the result.
    15th Feb, 2013
    Can anyone suggest an alternative to the fish sauce & chicken stock. I know I can use Quorn instead of the chicken but need alternatives for the other non veggie ingredients
    22nd Jan, 2014
    Try using Bouillon vegetarian or vegan stock. Fish sauce is used as seasoning, so you can just add salt.
    9th Feb, 2013
    Very yummy! Made without peanuts due to boyfriends allergy.
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