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!
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.
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.
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).
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.
What to Pair with Massaman Curry
Massaman curry is delicious on its own, but would also pair well with:
- Thai-Inspired Spring Rolls with Cashew Dipping Sauce
- Blissed Out Thai Salad with Peanut Tempeh
- Vegan Papaya Salad
- 30-Minute Noodle-Free Pad Thai (a fan favorite!)
- Thai-Inspired Carrot Salad with Curried Cashews
We hope you LOVE this curry! It’s:
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
- 1-Pot Pumpkin Yellow Curry
- Rich Red Curry with Roasted Vegetables
- Thai-Style Yellow Cauliflower Chickpea Curry
- Kale Sweet Potato Curry
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!
Easy 1-Pot Massaman Curry
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)
- 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)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.