How to make Massaman Curry

We’re welcoming you into our kitchen to recreate the perfect Massaman curry in your own home.


This is one that’s sure to impress your guests! Delivering flavours from the beating heart of Thailand.

Massaman Curry is one of the top three best-sellers on our menus here at Chaophraya so you may be asking why we're sharing our recipe. Not everybody wants to try something that they’ve never tried before so, we want to open your eyes to the new world of flavour that this delicious, indulgent but, fairly mild in spice, dish brings.

Fun fact: Our traditional recipe is one that is made for and served to the Thai royal family.

Most ingredients can be found in most supermarket’s world food section or in your local Asian supermarket.



100g Massaman curry paste*

3 tbsp oil

300g of lamb 

300ml coconut milk

100g potatoes

100g peeled whole shallots

4 cardamon pods

30g cup roasted cashew nuts

50g palm sugar

1 cinnamon stick (20g)

2 bay leaves

2 tbsp fish sauce (or to taste)

2 tbsp tamarind paste (or to taste)

Curry paste ingredients*

10 large dried chilies, roasted, soaked and seeded

1/2 tsp black peppercorns, roasted

1 tsp coriander seeds, roasted

1 tsp cumin seeds, roasted

2 cloves, roasted

2 cardamon pods, roasted

½ tsp of shrimp paste

½ tsp powdered nutmeg (not roasted)

1 tsp salt

1 tsp lime zest

1 tsp galangal

1 tbsp coriander roots

1  lemongrass stalk

50g shallots

2 tbsp garlic


Curry Paste Method

1. Dry roast the dry spices in a pan on medium heat until fragrant, about 2-4 minutes. It’s best to roast each thing one at a time until fragrant. The chillies should be browned. Roast the shrimp paste wrapped in tin foil for a few minutes too.

2. Soak the dried chillies until soft, then take out the seeds and finely chop.

3. Pound the paste in pestle and mortar. Start by grinding up the dried spices until powdered, then set aside. Put the chillies in the mortar and pound until uniformly smashed, then add the rest of the ingredients, starting from hardest and driest and working up to softest at the end.

4. Add the dried spice powder back in and the shrimp paste. Mix well. If you don’t have a pestle and mortar you can use a food processor to mix together.



1. Cut the potatoes and onions into bite-sized pieces.

1. Add the oil to the pan and turn on to medium high. Fry 4 tablespoons of the curry paste until fragrant, about 3-4 minutes. Keep stirring so it doesn’t burn.

3. Add the chicken and fry for 2-3 minutes.

4. In a separate pan, heat the coconut cream slowly and add the palm sugar until melted.

5. Add the coconut milk and palm sugar into the first pan with the curry paste and mix slowly. Simmer until the oil separates for around 2-3 minutes. You’ll see red oil starting to float to the top.

6. Add the potatoes, nuts and onions into the pan. Simmer for a few minutes.

7. Add the cinnamon, cardamon seeds, bay leaves and mix well.

8. Simmer and stir for 15-20 minutes until the mixture browns and a good deal of oil comes to the top. If the curry starts to dry, add some water. Add the fish sauce, palm sugar and tamarind paste to your taste at the end.

9. Serve with jasmine rice and enjoy!


 This is a great dish to serve on a Sunday whilst you have a little extra time for preparation. Don’t worry if you don’t have time to make the curry paste, it won’t taste as good as ours but, you can always buy this prior to making the rest of the dish.

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Team Chaophraya