Family-friendly massaman chicken and vegetable curry with rice

Family-friendly massaman chicken and vegetable curry with rice

Dinner Like A Boss
4 people
15 mins
Cooking time
25 mins
Benito Martin

I got my kids to eat curry by making a very mild massaman curry for my husband and me, then adding some of the sauce to plain chicken for the kids. Pretty quickly they were eating the full curry and I gradually increased the spiciness. It’s hard to indicate how much spice paste to use, because all brands are different. Trial and error seems to be the way to go, but to be safe and ensure that your family will eat it, start with less and build up.


Quantity Ingredient
200g jasmine rice
2 slices fresh ginger, plus 2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
2-4 teaspoons massaman curry paste
400ml tinned coconut milk
600g boneless, skinless chicken thigh or breast, cut into bite-sized pieces, preferably free-range
2 medium carrots, peeled, halved and cut into thin matchsticks
115g baby corn, cut into 2 cm pieces
150g snow peas, ends trimmed, sliced in half lengthways
1 lime
2-3 teaspoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon brown or white sugar
1 small handful fresh herbs, such as coriander, thai basil or flat-leaf parsley, optional


  1. Rinse the rice well. Cook the rice in a rice cooker (if you have one) with the slices of ginger. Alternatively, put the rice in a medium saucepan with the ginger and 375 ml of water and bring to the boil. As soon as it boils, cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid, reduce the heat to the lowest setting and cook for 12 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave the rice to steam, still covered, for a further 8 minutes. Do not lift the lid at any time during cooking.
  2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the garlic and grated ginger and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the curry paste and cook, stirring regularly, for 2 minutes, or until fragrant. Add 2 tablespoons of the coconut milk and, using a wooden spoon, scrape the bottom of the pan to dislodge any crusty bits. Add the remaining coconut milk to the pan. Pour 60 ml of water into the empty coconut milk tin and swirl it around briefly. Add the water to the pan and bring to the boil.
  3. Add the chicken to the coconut milk and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes if using chicken thigh, or for 10 minutes for breast.
  4. Add the carrot and corn to the pan and cook, uncovered, for 3 minutes. Add the snow peas and cook for a further 2–3 minutes, depending on how al dente you like your vegetables.
  5. Squeeze the juice from the lime and stir 1 tablespoon of the juice into the curry with 2 teaspoons of fish sauce and the sugar. Taste the sauce and add a little extra lime juice, fish sauce or sugar according to your liking – no one of these flavours should dominate. Roughly chop any herbs you are using.
  6. Serve the curry over the rice with the herbs scattered over, or serve the herbs on the side so everyone can scatter their own, if desired.


  • I prefer to cook this dish with chicken thigh. It also works with breast meat (which many kids prefer), just be careful not to overcook the breast or it will become dry.


  • To make this dish vegetarian, leave out the chicken and add 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) cubed firm tofu at the same time as the baby corn. Or leave out the tofu and add more of your favourite vegetables. You will also need to leave out the fish sauce and replace it with 2 teaspoons of soy sauce.
Family food
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