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Massaman Beef Curry
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Massaman Beef Curry

Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time2 hrs
Total Time2 hrs 30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Thai
Servings: 6
Author: Lovoni Walker


  • 1/4 cup pressed tamarind pulp (or 2 heaping tablespoons tamarind paste, omitting the boiling water)
  • 1/3 cup boiling water
  • 2 lbs beef chuck steak, or roast, cubed remove any large chunks of fat
  • 14 oz can coconut milk
  • 3/4 cup beef broth
  • 2 star anise
  • 2 tablespoons palm sugar, coarsely grated
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 4 medium sized russet potatoes, peeled & cut into chunks
  • steamed jasmine rice, to serve
  • chopped, dry-roasted peanuts, to serve
  • 1/4 cup dry roasted, unsalted peanuts
  • 2 shallots, peeled & chopped (1/4 cup)
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 small red Thai chilies
  • 2 inch piece of galangal or ginger, peeled & roughly chopped
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, tender white & green part only
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 3 tablespoons palm sugar, coarsely grated
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk


To make the curry paste:

  • Place all the ingredients in a blender or small food processor & blend or process until smooth. 
  • Place tamarind pulp in a small heatproof bowl. Cover with boiling water & let sit for 5 to 10 minutes to soften. Drain the mixture through a fine sieve into a small bowl, pressing the pulp to extract the flavor. Discard the pulp but keep the liquid. 
  • In a large saucepan or medium sized pot, combine curry paste, beef, remaining coconut milk, broth, star anise, palm sugar, dish sauce & tamarind liquid. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to low. Simmer, covered, for 1 1/2 hours or until the beef is tender. 
  • Add the potatoes. Increase the heat to medium-low. Cook, uncovered, stirring gently occasionally, for 30 minutes or until the potatoes are tender but not falling apart & sauce is thickened. Serve with rice & extra peanuts.