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Thai Massaman Lamb Curry

User Rating 5 Star Rating (2 Reviews)


Thai Massaman Lamb Curry

Sumptuous Thai Massaman Lamb Curry (topped with cashews and star anise)

Thai Massaman Lamb Curry is a sumptuous dish that's rich in both flavor and nutrients. The curry sauce is made from scratch for the best flavor and freshness. The ingredients list may seem long, but it is quite easy to make - you don't even need a food processor. Just toss all sauce ingredients into the curry pot as you prepare them, and simmer together with the meat. Note that beef and chicken are often traditionally substituted for lamb, and both meats make for a delicious massaman curry. Also note that bay leaves are normally used in massaman curry rather than the harder-to-find kaffir lime leaves. ENJOY!

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes

Yield: SERVES 4-6 (with rice)


  • 1-2 pounds lamb shoulder (chicken can also be used), cut into cubes or pieces
  • 2+1/2 cups good-tasting chicken or beef stock
  • 1/3 cup diced onion
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1-2 potatoes, cut into chunks
  • optional: 1 whole star anise
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil
  • 1 thumb-piece ginger, grated
  • 4-5 cloves garlic
  • 1 stalk lemongrass , minced - see link for instructions, OR 2-3 Tbsp. frozen prepared lemongrass
  • 1 red chili, sliced, OR 1/2 to 3/4 tsp. chili flakes or cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped unsalted cashews (+ a few more for garnish)
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. whole cumin seed
  • 1/2 tsp. white pepper
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 1/8 tsp. cardamon
  • 1 tsp. tamarind, or substitute 1 Tbsp. lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 3/4 tsp. shrimp paste (available by the jar at Asian stores)
  • 2 Tbsp. fish sauce
  • 1 14 ounce (400 ml) can coconut milk (not lite)


  1. Place stock in a large pot over high heat. Add the meat, onion and bay leaves. If using fresh lemongrass, also add the upper leftover stalk pieces. Bring to a boil then reduce to low, until you get a nice simmer. Cover or partially-cover with a lid and simmer 40 to 80 minutes, stirring occasionally, until meat is tender or near-tender (You can also choose to skip this step - see note below recipe).
  2. Add all 'curry sauce' ingredients, stirring with each addition. Also add the potatoes and whole star anise (if using). Return to a boil, then continue simmering 30 more minutes or until potatoes are tender. Stir occasionally.
  3. Taste-test the curry, adding more fish sauce for increased flavor/saltiness, or more chili if you want it spicier. If too sour, add a little more sugar. If too salty or sweet for your taste, add a touch more tamarind or lime juice. If too spicy, add more coconut milk.
  4. Transfer to a serving bowl, or plate up on individual plates or bowls. Top with a few more cashews and fresh basil. Serve with Thai jasmine rice, and ENJOY!

Time-Saving Tip: In this recipe I have chosen to pre-boil the meat for more tenderness - it takes longer, but I find the resulting taste worth it. However, if you're in a hurry, you can easily cut back on this step (if simmering meat 30 minutes or less, leave off lid or reduce stock to 2 cups).

Other Vegetables: Other vegetables that can be used in this curry include eggplant, green beans, and tomato.

User Reviews

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 5 out of 5
Fantastic, Member amkiely

I was a bit unsure about making this massaman curry as there are so many recipes out there but it was fantastic. So full of flavour and easy to do. I adjusted the taste towards the end as recommended and it was perfect. I will be making this again and can't wait to try more of Darlene's recipes. Thanks

4 out of 4 people found this helpful.

See all 2 reviews

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