Learning > Recipes

Thai Massaman Chicken Curry




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  • 3 chicken thighs
  • 4 tbsp. curry paste
  • 3 tbsp. oil
  • 1 cup coconut cream
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup potatoes
  • 1 cup onions
  • 4 cardamon pods
  • ¼ cup roasted peanuts
  • 1 tbsp. palm sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 dried cassia leaves
  • 2 tbsp. fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp. tamarind paste

Homemade Curry Paste

  • 10 large dried chillies, roasted, soaked and seeds removed
  • ½ tsp. black peppercorns, roasted
  • 1 tsp. coriander seeds, roasted
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds, roasted
  • 2 cloves, roasted
  • 2 cardamom pods, roasted
  • 1 tsp. shrimp paste, roasted
  • ½ tsp. powdered nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. salt 1 tsp. galangal
  • 1 tbsp. coriander roots
  • 1 tbsp. lemongrass
  • 2 tbsp. garlic
  • ¼ cup shallots
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves


Directions for Curry Paste

  1. Dry roast the ingredients on a pan on medium heat until fragrant, for about 2 - 4 minutes. The chillies should be browned while the shrimp paste should be wrapped in tin foil and roasted for a few minutes.
  2. Soak the dried chillies until soft. Remove the seeds and cut the chillies finely.
  3. Start by grinding up the dried spices until they are in powder form and set aside.
  4. Put the chillies in the mortar and pound until it becomes a paste. Add in the rest of the ingredients, starting from the hardest to the softest. After all the ingredients are pounded, add in the dried spice powder back in, as well as the shrimp paste. Mix well or put it in a food processor to blend it together.



  1. Wash the chicken and remove excess fats.
  2. Cut the potatoes and onions into bite-size portions.
  3. Add oil to the pan and turn on to medium-high heat. Fry the curry paste till fragrant, for about 3 - 4 minutes. Keep stirring to prevent burning.
  4. Add the whole chicken pieces. Fry until the chicken is lightly browned and sealed on the outside, for about 2 - 3 minutes.
  5. Add 1 cup of the coconut cream and simmer for about 2 - 3 minutes or until the oil (reddish) surfaces.
  6. Add the potatoes, peanuts and onions and the 1 cup of coconut milk and simmer for a few minutes.
  7. Add in the cinnamon, cardamom seeds, cassia leaves. Mix well.
  8. Simmer and stir well until the mixture browns and a good deal of oil comes to the top. This will take about 15 - 20 minutes. If it gets too dry, add some water.
  9. Add in the fish sauce, palm sugar and tamarind juice at the end.
  10. Serve hot with rice.


Source: Prime Magazine Jun - Jul 2017 Issue. Reproduced with permission.


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