Massaman Chicken Curry

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“There are lots of versions of this dish around, but after some trial and error - I think this is the one! A totally satisfying dish on every level. You can substitute with beef and increase the cooking time, but I think the subtleness of the chicken off-sets the coconut based sauce beautifully. Don't be put off by the long list of ingredients, they're mainly to make the paste - which is easy and really worth the effort. I really think it's so much more satisfying to make the curry paste yourself! I used reduced fat coconut milk. This is a generous serving for 2.”
1hr 10mins

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Par boil the potatoes, drain and set aside.
  2. To make the paste, place the peppercorns, cinnamon, cumin and corriander in a frying pan and cook over medium heat for 2 minutes, or until aromatic.
  3. Cool the spice mixture, then add it to a food processor, together with the chilli, shallots, ginger, lemongrass, garlic and peanuts. Process until you have a smooth paste.
  4. Add the oil to a large, heavy based pan, and heat on a medium heat.
  5. Add the chicken pieces, and cook until browned. You might need to do this in batches.
  6. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
  7. Still on a medium heat, add the spice mixture and fry gently for about 1 minute.
  8. Add the coconut milk and cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes.
  9. I like my curry paste super-smooth, so at this stage I remove from heat, cool for a few minutes and then add to a blender, and blend the coconut milk and spice mixture until it's a smooth, creamy mix. Return to the pan. This step is entirely optional.
  10. Add the sugar to the coconut milk mixture, and cook on medium for a further 3 minutes.
  11. Return the chicken to the pan and add in the potatoes, bay leaf, cardamon pods, fish sauce and tamarind.
  12. Bring to the boil, then reduce and gently simmer for 30-40 minutes, or until chicken and potatoes are cooked.
  13. Add the extra peanuts 5-10 minutes before finish cooking.
  14. Serve with steamed rice and/or roti.

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