Beef massaman curry

Beef massaman curry

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(102 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 2 hrs, 10 mins


Serves 4

Slow-cooked, meltingly tender beef and a sprinkling of crunchy peanuts to finish - it's curry heaven

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal734
  • fat46g
  • saturates21g
  • carbs38g
  • sugars13g
  • fibre3g
  • protein44g
  • salt1.87g
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  • 85g unsalted peanuts
  • 400ml can coconut milk
    Coconut milk in a glass, with half a coconut

    Coconut milk

    ko-ko-nut mill-k

    Coconut milk is not the slightly opaque liquid that flows from a freshly opened coconut –…

  • 4 tbsp massaman curry paste (we used Bart)
  • 600g stewing beef steak, cut into large chunks



    Steak is essentially a boneless thick or thin slice of red meat, cut across the grain of a large…

  • 450g waxy potatoes, cut into 2½ cm chunks



    The world's favourite root vegetable, the potato comes in innumerable varieties. A member of…

  • 1 onion, cut into thin wedges



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 4 kaffir lime leaves (available from Thai shops or dried from supermarkets)



    The same shape, but smaller than…

  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tbsp tamarind paste



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

  • 1 tbsp palm or soft light brown sugar
  • 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…

  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced, to serve
  • jasmine rice, to serve



    Rice is a grain, the seed of a type of grass, which is the most widely grown and the most…


  1. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6, then roast the peanuts on a baking tray for 5 mins until golden brown. When cool enough to handle, roughly chop. Reduce oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.

  2. Heat 2 tbsp coconut milk (use the cream on top if there is any) in a large casserole dish with a lid. Add the curry paste and fry for 1 min, then stir in the beef and fry until well coated and sealed.

  3. Stir in the rest of the coconut with half a can of water, the potatoes, onion, lime leaves, cinnamon, tamarind, sugar, fish sauce and most of the peanuts. Bring to a simmer, then cover and cook for 2 hrs in the oven until the beef is tender.

  4. Sprinkle with sliced chilli and the remaining peanuts, then serve straight from the dish with jasmine rice.

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Comments, questions and tips

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risky76's picture
14th Aug, 2018
I made this with lamb as I had just bought a big leg of it from the butcher and husband prefers it. Followed all instructions, husband said it tasted really good -but it lacked a little depth, so next day - there was loads left (I don't eat meat), so I put all of the remaining massaman paste in, along with a teaspoon of chilli flakes and ground black pepper and sea salt. He said it was amazing and just like his favourite Thai restaurant near us. Winner. ( I also used coconut milk as that's what I had in the cupboard).
1st Mar, 2018
For us this works better with the potatoes sautéed first, they keep together much better over the long cooking time. Also, if you need to add tamarind, fish sauce, palm sugar etc you need to take a proper look at your curry paste! We use the mythaicurry brand we buy online, perfectly balanced hand made pastes by a Thai lady in the UK, just no comparison to a supermarket paste.
29th Jul, 2017
So so delicious. I use my slow cooker and do it low for 8 hours or so. It tastes pretty authentic, having lived in Thailand and enjoyed this dish frequently. Don't miss out the lime leaves - they make it taste authentic! (Found in Sains, along with their own brand massaman paste).
8th Jul, 2017
@cbc1 did you use a covered pot? I've made this recipe multiple times and it's always a winner. I actually cook it for 4 hours at 140 C and it comes out perfect and tender. I use the cheapest cuts of beef too (chuck steak). I check it with an hour to go and add a small amount of water if necessary.
7th Jul, 2017
Dreadful recipe. This recipe is fundamentally bad. There is simply not enough liquid to cook this in the oven for 2 hrs and that is a completely unnecessary step. Do not attempt to cook this in an oven for 2 hours, you will be left with a super-concentrated mush. The creator of this recipe has never cooked this dish and the rest of the reviewers have probably never cooked it either. Simmer over a medium-low heat for 30 mins rather than 2 hrs at 160c in a fan oven.
Norma. mackey
3rd Sep, 2016
Easy to make and delicious! Empty plates in our house. Couldn't find tamarind paste so left it out. Still full of flavour!
16th Oct, 2016
You can get it in Tesco. Not sure if its with the herbs and spices or in the Oriental / Thai ethnic section. I also think you can 'cheap' Indian tamarind paste in that bit
7th Oct, 2016
exactly the same problem I had :P could not find the blasted stuff anywhere
16th Oct, 2016
Tesco ! Start in herbs and spices bit and then try Thai foods bit
Carly A 1984
15th Feb, 2016
Having a huge love affair with Thai and have made this dish multiple times and recommend the tamarind paste is left out. This dish has enough depth and flavour and an unnecessary ingredient


1st Nov, 2017
Has anyone cooked this with chicken instead of beef, or could someone recommend how long you would cook it for if using chicken? Thanks
goodfoodteam's picture
8th Nov, 2017
Thanks for your question. As we have not tested this recipe with chicken we cannot give definitive advice. However, we would suggest using chicken thighs (not breast) and approximately halving the time.
26th Sep, 2017
Is the ingredients list supposed to be 400ml coconut cream? This seems a lot, just wondered if it should be coconut milk?
goodfoodteam's picture
28th Sep, 2017
Thanks for pointing this out. We have changed it to coconut milk. We hope you enjoy the curry.
8th Jan, 2017
Is it still worth doing if you leave the chilli out? My husband is allergic to them but we all like a mild curry.
14th Mar, 2014
The recipe says 4 tablespoons of Massaman paste. I've got jars of Bart's but I reckon each jar only has about 2tbsps in. For those using Bart's did you use 2 jars ?? Makes it a pretty expensive dish.
23rd Sep, 2014
The Kaffir Lime leaves are a key ingredient . Don't substitute it !!