Easy 1-Pot Massaman Curry

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Wooden spoon resting in a pot of Massaman Curry topped with fresh cilantro

Excuse us while we dive head-first into this creamy, luxurious, 1-pot Massaman-inspired curry.

What makes this recipe easy, you ask?

  • It’s made without store-bought Massaman curry paste, which can be difficult to find, utilizing red curry paste instead!
  • It uses ingredients you likely have on hand right now.
  • We include protein options for vegans, pescatarians, and meat-eaters so you can customize and simplify as needed!

Let’s do this!

Tiles with ingredients for making our homemade vegan Massaman Curry recipe

What is Massaman Curry?

Massaman curry is a fusion of Thai- and Indian-style curries, utilizing both a red-style curry paste (Thai influence) and dry whole spices like cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and nutmeg (Indian influence). Another essential ingredient is roasted peanuts, which add an extra layer of richness and texture to the curry. Check out an authentic preparation of Massaman curry here from Hot Thai Kitchen!

What Makes Our Recipe Easier?

Initially, we were planning to make this curry using homemade Massaman curry paste, as it can be difficult to find in stores and some brands just flat out don’t taste good.

While we were able to get close to what we were looking for, we realized it’d be way easier to rely on traditional Thai red curry paste and customize the flavor with spices you likely have on hand right now. This helps avoid having to make curry paste from scratch or buy special curry paste from the store. It’s a win-win if you ask us! While not a traditional approach, it does get this flavorful, robust curry on the table fast!

This recipe is also easy to prepare as it’s made entirely in 1 pot depending on the protein you choose to serve it with.

Sautéing shallot and curry paste in a big pot for our 1-Pot Massaman Curry recipe

How to Make Vegan Massaman Curry

Massaman curry is typically made with meat, but it’s incredibly easy to keep it vegan-friendly by substituting the meat with tofu or tempeh. We include options in the recipe below for vegans, vegetarians, pescetarians, and meat eaters!

Thankfully, this is a recipe that’s easy to modify for different dietary restrictions without too much fuss (simply prepare your protein of choice — such as our Crispy Baked Peanut Tofu — on the side and add when serving).

Pouring coconut milk into a pot of vegan Massaman Curry

How to Make your Curry Lighter

As with most Thai curries, coconut milk is the main component of the sauce, which helps create a rich, creamy, and naturally sweet base.

However, to lighten this curry up, you could always sub up to half of the coconut milk with vegetable broth or water. Just be sure to adjust the flavor as needed as vegetable broth will add more saltiness and water will likely require more salt to taste.

Using a wooden spoon to stir our gluten-free Massaman Curry recipe

What to Pair with Massaman Curry

Massaman curry is delicious on its own, but would also pair well with:

Holding the handles of a big pot of Massaman Curry made with peanuts and lime

We hope you LOVE this curry! It’s:

Creamy
Rich
Flavorful
Customizable
Quick & easy to make
& Incredibly delicious

This would make the perfect dish to make for hosting, or when you’re craving some weeknight comfort. It’s delicious on its own, but pairs especially well with white rice, brown rice, or quinoa. To keep this recipe grain-free, simply serve with cauliflower rice or steamed or roasted vegetables of choice (our favorite being steamed or roasted broccoli).

Into curries? Be sure to check out our

Lastly, if you try this recipe let us know! Leave a comment with a rating, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram so we can see what you come up with. Cheers, friends!

Bowl of rice and Massaman Curry with tofu for a delicious vegan meal

Easy 1-Pot Massaman Curry

Simple, 1-pot Massaman curry made without store-bought Massaman curry paste! Simply use spices you have on hand plus Thai red curry paste to achieve this flavorful, rich Massaman curry! Optional protein suggestions for vegans, pescatarians, and meat-eaters!
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Wooden spoon in a pot of homemade Massaman Curry
4.89 from 160 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 (Servings)
Course Entree
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Indian-Inspired, Thai-Inspired, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 4-5 Days

Ingredients

PROTEIN OPTIONS optional

  • 1 batch Crispy Baked Peanut Tofu (vegan-option)
  • 1/2 lb. shrimp (seafood option — wild caught when possible)
  • 1 large skinless chicken breast, cubed (meat option — free-range, local, organic when possible)

CURRY

  • 2 Tbsp coconut or avocado oil (if avoiding oil, sub water and add more as needed)
  • 3 medium shallots, thinly sliced (or sub 1 small onion)
  • 1 tsp whole cumin seed (or sub powder)
  • 1 tsp whole coriander seed (or sub powder)
  • 5 Tbsp red curry paste (we love Thai Kitchen brand)
  • 1 ½ cups baby potatoes cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and diced 1/4-inch thick
  • 2 14-oz. cans light fat coconut milk (sub up to 1 can with full-fat coconut milk for creamier, richer curry — texture shown in photos above)
  • 1-1 ½ cups water
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 dash each cardamom and nutmeg (if you don’t have, omit)
  • 2-3 Tbsp coconut aminos (or sub tamari or soy sauce, but start with less as they’re saltier)
  • 1-2 Tbsp maple syrup or coconut sugar (or sub stevia to taste)
  • 2 Tbsp peanut butter (in place of traditional roasted peanuts — can sub roasted peanuts)
  • 1-2 Tbsp lime juice (or lemon)

FOR SERVING optional

Instructions

PROTEIN OPTIONS

  • You have options for added protein or you can just stick with vegetables. 
    To keep it vegan-friendly, follow the link above to make Crispy Peanut Tofu
    Or, to keep this a 1-pot recipe, simply add (pressed) cubed extra-firm tofu to the curry in the last 10 minutes of cooking or sauté pressed tofu in a little oil and season with salt, pepper, and curry powder before cooking the curry. Set aside, then add back in in the last few minutes of cooking for best results. 
    Alternatively, add meat such as shrimp or chicken to the curry once it’s simmering (during step 4) and simmer until cooked completely through. 

CURRY

  • Heat a large pot or dutch oven (we like this one) over medium heat. Once hot, add oil (or water) and shallot. Sauté 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Turn down heat if browning too quickly.
  • Add whole cumin and coriander seeds (or powder) and sauté for another 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently. Then add red curry paste and stir to combine. Cook for 1 minute more.
  • Add potatoes and carrots and stir to coat. Cook for 2 minutes. Then add coconut milk, water (starting with the lesser amount), cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, coconut aminos, maple syrup, and peanut butter. (Reserve lime juice for later).
  • The liquid should cover all of the ingredients — if it does not, add a bit more coconut milk or water to cover. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. 
    Once it reaches a low boil, reduce heat to a simmer (add meat at this time if cooking with shrimp or chicken) and cook for 10-15 minutes uncovered. You don’t want it boiling, so ensure it’s cooking over low heat at a simmer.
  • Add lime in the last few minutes of cooking and stir. Then taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more lime for acidity, salt or coconut aminos for saltiness, curry paste for heat / more intense curry taste, maple syrup for sweetness, cinnamon or nutmeg for warmth, or peanut butter for creaminess / more intense peanut flavor. 
    Stir and cook a few minutes more. Then turn off heat and let stand for at least 5 minutes before serving (this allows the flavors to meld).
  • To serve, divide between serving bowls and enjoy as is or with a side of rice, cauliflower rice, quinoa, or steamed greens (optional). Fresh lime juice, cilantro, and roasted peanuts (optional) make lovely additions as well.

STORAGE

  • Store cooled leftovers in the refrigerator up to 4-5 days or in the freezer up to 1 month. Reheat in the microwave or in a saucepan. Add more water or coconut milk as needed to rehydrate.

Video

Notes

*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with light coconut milk, the lesser amount of coconut aminos and sweetener, and without tofu or other optional ingredients.

Nutrition (1 of 4 servings)

Serving: 1 servings Calories: 346 Carbohydrates: 32.2 g Protein: 5.2 g Fat: 23.6 g Saturated Fat: 16.4 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.26 g Monounsaturated Fat: 2.54 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 894 mg Potassium: 680 mg Fiber: 4.1 g Sugar: 11.8 g Vitamin A: 9150 IU Vitamin C: 16.5 mg Calcium: 70 mg Iron: 1.8 mg

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  1. Catherine Marston says

    I’m hoping to make this for a second time tonight! Do you think it will taste weird without the peanut butter? I have someone coming over with a peanut allergy. Thank you!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Catherine, it won’t be weird! It may be a bit less rich and you may want to add more a touch more salt, but it will still be delicious.

  2. Kim Armstead says

    What kind of beans do you think would work best with these flavors? Would you recommend chickpeas or lentils for this recipe?

  3. Kaz says

    I really like this approach, using whatever curry paste is to hand and tweaking aromatics. I had some yellow curry paste in the fridge which is a little less chili-spicy and easier to make kid-friendly than red. I added fresh garlic, ginger, galangal and lemongrass and cooked the paste until very fragrant and sticking. Then I added my veggies (big petals of red onion, green pepper, mushrooms, potatoes) and one tin of coconut milk. I also pureed an overripe pear and added it to the water, hashtag #wastefree cooking, it gave a nice sweetness and body to the sauce. I steamed a head of broccoli and added the florets right before serving. Thanks for the inspiration!

  4. Ashley says

    This was my first attempt at making curry and it turned out BOMB. I cut the recipe in half, added cauliflower and mushrooms, and left out any meat (as I am temporarily practicing vegetarianism) and it was truly wonderful!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Amazing! Thanks so much for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications, Ashley!

  5. Tasha says

    This curry was FANTASTIC! I made it today using entirely whole fat coconut milk because that’s all I had in the pantry as well as the powder version of cumin and coriander (Same amount) and it turned out amazing! Served it to my partner who is gluten-free with coconut rice and we couldn’t have been more pleased with the results! I cant wait to make this for the rest of my family, although next time I will cut my carrot slices a bit thinner (I made mine far too thick so they were really crunchy LOL) and try your peanut tofu as the reviews look amazing! Thank you for sharing

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Amazing! Thanks so much for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications, Tasha!

  6. Doris says

    I am planning on adding chicken. I was wondering should the chicken already be cooked before it’s added? In addition, when substituting ground, cumin or coriander for whole, would it be the same amount?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Doris, you can add the chicken to the curry once it’s simmering (during step 4) and simmer until cooked completely through. We haven’t tried this recipe with ground spices but other reader have had success with the same amounts. If you are sensitive to spices though you could always start with a little less than suggested! Hope this helps. xo

  7. Rome says

    A perfect fall meal! Served to a group of friends today for lunch & it was a big hit! Doubled the recipe, used 1/2 regular curry paste & 1/2 roasted red chili paste. Served w/ shrimp and swapped the potatoes for kabocha squash. Also served w/ black rice. It was delicious & was beautiful! Thank you MB!

  8. Kristin says

    This is amazing! I added both the peanut tofu recommended and a few pieces of shrimp. It’s a bit salty despite not adding salt (flavor is great though), so you might check out the label when buying curry paste.

  9. Dolly says

    This was so good! So good. In place of 2 cans of light coconut milk, I used only 1 full fat, and replaced the water with vegetable broth (your recipe – I just love it), using the greater amount. I also served the crispy peanut tofu (maybe my new favorite tofu method) with it, and served it all over jasmine rice. Again, so good, Compliments from my husband as well – he went on and on about how good the meal was. We’re looking forward to leftovers!

    • Alicia says

      Absolutely delicious!
      I used a 4 oz jar of Thai Kitchen curry paste.
      Accidentally added a teaspoon of cardamom instead of a dash and it still is delicious. We added broccoli and snap peas along with some peanuts and white short grain rice.

      Amazing!

  10. Matthew says

    WOW!

    10/10 not disappointed.

    I used Tamari instead of coconut aminos
    I used only 1/2 cup of water
    I doubled the simmer time
    I cut the potatoes very small
    I used 1 can (4oz) of Maesri Red Curry Paste
    I made it with baked Tofu (Lightly coat in Tamari, 400 for 30 min)

    Absolutely amazing.

    • MB says

      I’ve been looking for a massaman curry recipe and this is it! I tried your green curry paste and that was outstanding, totally authentic flavor.

      Thank you so much, the flavor.s in both are terrific. I’m really thrilled to have these recipes. Will you do panang?

      My only adjustment was using a veg bullion cube with the water and only one can of coconut milk.

  11. Susan says

    I am going to try this recipe. I have a suggestion, though: to use less coconut milk to cut calories/fat, I love to substitute half of the coconut milk called for in a recipe with some kind of plant milk (almond, oat, or whatnot), plus a teaspoon or so of coconut extract. I think this would make a creamier, better tasting dish than using veggie broth or water instead.

  12. Jamie says

    Thanks for the easy to follow recipe! I used Mae Ploy Massaman curry paste (love love this brand) and this came out nicely flavored with beef, potatoes, carrots, onion, and bell pepper as my mains. I appreciate all the options you mention for alterations. I did skip on the 1.5 cups of water, as I am always trying to get a thicker more restaurant like curry result. Tasty!