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Thai Massaman Curry over rice in a blue bowl
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4 from 7 votes

Thai Massaman Curry with Beef (Kaeng Massaman)

Thai Massaman Curry has its roots in India so in addition to the usual Thai suspects like coconut milk, lemongrass, and galangal, it is fragrant with cardamom, cinnamon, and cloves. This curry is rich in flavor, mild in spice, and loaded with tender cubes of beef. It’s a one pan, easy weeknight meal.
Want to adjust the servings in this recipe to make more or less? Just click on the number next to “servings” and you can easily scale the recipe.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Thai
Keyword: Thai curry
Servings: 4
Calories: 519kcal
Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef
Cost: $12.00


  • Dutch oven, wok or saute pan


  • 1 ¾ cup Coconut Milk, divided
  • 4 Tbsp Thai Massaman Curry Paste (see note)
  • 1 lb Boneless Beef Chuck Roast, cubed
  • 2 cups Water
  • 1 lb Potatoes, cubed (I use white sweet potato or Yukon gold potatoes)
  • 2 Tbsp Tamarind Concentrate or Paste
  • 1 ½ Tbsp Palm Sugar (see note)
  • 1 ½ Tbsp Fish Sauce
  • ¼ cup Roasted Peanuts
  • Thai Jasmine Rice, for serving
  • Thinly sliced Red Jalapeños, for garnish (optional)


  • Heat a Dutch oven, wok, or saute pan over medium heat. Add ¾ cup coconut milk (if using canned coconut milk that has separated, use the top, thicker portion of the milk) to the pan. Simmer coconut milk, stirring constantly, until it has reduced by half and you can see oil separating from the milk, 5 to 6 minutes. (Note: This step to “break” the coconut milk is part of the traditional process, but don’t worry if your coconut milk doesn’t show signs of separating after this initial cook time - just proceed with the recipe.)
  • Add curry paste and saute until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Add beef and stir to coat in the curry paste.
  • Pour water and 1 cup coconut milk over beef.
  • Stir in potatoes, tamarind concentrate, palm sugar, and fish sauce.
  • Bring to a simmer and let curry simmer gently until beef is cooked through and potatoes are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. (Reduce heat as needed to prevent the curry from reaching a hard boil.)
  • Taste the curry and adjust the flavor, adding more sugar, tamarind, or fish sauce if needed.
  • Serve curry over rice with peanuts and sliced jalapenos (if using) on top.


Thai Massaman Curry Paste - Feel free to adjust the amount of curry paste, increasing it if you’d like a more intense flavor. If you prefer to make your own Thai Massaman Curry Paste, see below for the recipe.
Palm Sugar - Grate the palm sugar for the most accurate measurement. You can substitute light brown sugar, but reduce to 2 tsp.


Calories: 519kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 25g | Cholesterol: 78mg | Sodium: 664mg | Potassium: 1132mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 2377IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 105mg | Iron: 10mg