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Beef massaman curry in black bowl with ladle.
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4.34 from 3 votes

easy beef massaman curry

Easy beef massaman curry uses store bought Thai curry paste to simplify things without sacrificing taste.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time2 hrs
Total Time2 hrs 20 mins
Course: Main
Cuisine: Thai
Servings: 4
Calories: 593kcal
Author: romain | glebekitchen


  • 1/4 tsp cardamom seeds
  • 5 cloves
  • 2 2 inch pieces of cinnamon bark (cassia)
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 5 tbsp massaman curry paste - store bought
  • 1 14 oz can coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 lbs stewing beef cut in 1 inch pieces
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp tamarind paste - store bought is easier
  • 2 large potatoes peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup dry roasted peanuts plus a bit extra for garnish
  • red chili slices and lime to serve


  • Dry roast the cardamom seed, cloves and cinnamon bark over medium low heat until things start to smell good. Probably around 1 minute. Remove from heat. Set aside.
  • Heat the vegetable oil in a pan with a cover that is large enough to hold all the ingredients. Fry the massaman curry paste, stirring constantly, until it combines with the oil. This takes 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the beef and fry until no red is showing on the beef, about 3-5 minutes.
  • Add the dry roasted spices, coconut milk, fish sauce, brown sugar, tamarind paste and peanuts. 
  • Add enough water to just cover the beef. Odds are you won't need any at all. 
  • Simmer for about an hour. 
  • Add the potatoes and simmer until the beef and potatoes are tender. This takes about another hour.
  • Garnish with peanuts and red chili slices (optional). Offer lime wedges for those that want a bit more zing. Serve with jasmine rice.


I like to add curry powder to the curry paste at the beginning. Not tons. Maybe a couple teaspoons. That's not authentic though. More glebekitchen. Less massaman curry.


Serving: 4servings | Calories: 593kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 48g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 105mg | Sodium: 1307mg | Potassium: 1579mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 2955IU | Vitamin C: 23mg | Calcium: 149mg | Iron: 10.8mg