Massaman beef curry

Massaman beef curry

What's for Dinner?
20 mins
Cooking time
120 mins
Gorta Yuuki

This wonderful curry needs to be cooked long and slowly for the flavours to develop and the beef to become very tender.


Quantity Ingredient
2 tablespoons tamarind paste
oil, for cooking
1kg diced beef, such as chuck or blade
150ml tinned coconut cream
2 tablespoons massaman curry paste
1 tablespoon grated palm sugar
2 tablespoons fish sauce
400ml tinned coconut milk
3-4 cardamom pods, bruised
2 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
500ml beef stock
1 sweet potato, peeled and diced into 2 cm chunks
45g roasted unsalted peanuts
4 spring onions, sliced


  1. Place the tamarind paste in a small bowl and cover with 125 ml of boiling water. Leave to stand for 15–20 minutes. Use your fingers to swish everything around and to loosen and separate out the pips. Strain through a fine sieve. Discard the pulp and pips and reserve the tamarind water.
  2. Heat a large heavy-based saucepan over medium heat and add a splash of oil. Cook the beef in batches until golden brown. As it cooks, transfer the beef to a warm plate and cover to keep warm.
  3. Add the coconut cream to the pan and cook over medium–high heat for 5 minutes, until it separates and the oil floats on the surface. Add the curry paste and cook for 5 minutes, or until fragrant, stirring constantly. Add the palm sugar and cook briefly before adding the fish sauce and coconut milk. Return the beef to the pan, along with spices, beef stock and reserved tamarind water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover the pan and cook over a low heat for 1 hour.
  4. Add the sweet potato and cook for a further hour. Check that the beef is tender. If not, cook for a further 10 minutes and test again. When the beef is tender, add the peanuts and spring onion. Serve with steamed rice.
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