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Thai beef massaman curry in a bowl on the table.

Beef Massaman Curry Recipe

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5 from 4 reviews

  • Author: Suwanee
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


Learn how to make easy and authentic Thai beef massaman curry today. The quick and easy version, using tender cuts beef rather than stewing beef, makes this recipe a perfect dinner you can put together in less than 30 minutes!




  1. In a frying pan, dry roast the spices (cinnamon, cardamom, star anise) on low heat until fragrant. Toast anywhere from 2-4 minutes. Keep a close eye on the spices to not burn them. 
  2. Heat a Dutch oven or a large pot until warm on medium heat. Add oil and the Massaman curry paste. Stir the oil, and the curry paste together to break up the clumps for 1 minute or less.
  3. Add the coconut cream and cook until the cream separates (when the cream looks oil). It takes about 2-3 minutes. Stir a couple of times, but keep a close watch on the paste to not let it burn. Once you see the bubbles forming, it's ready for the next step. You should have nice creamy light orange/yellow massaman curry sauce. 
  4. Add beef and turn the heat down slightly. Cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Add the coconut milk, potatoes, and onion. Give it a good stir and cook for 10 minutes. Add a little water or more coconut milk if your curry looks dried up. Adjust your curry with more fish sauce, palm sugar, and tamarind if adding more water. 
  6. Add the peanuts, the toasted spices, sugar, fish sauce, and water. Stir well.  Also, check to see if the potatoes are tender with a fork. Cook for 5 more minutes.
  7. Add tamarind sauce, stir well together, and give it a taste to adjust as desired using fish sauce, sugar, and tamarind sauce. Add a small amount, stir, and sample until your taste buds are happy. Serve with your favorite white rice like jasmine or basmati! Enjoy this delicious Southern Thai curry!


  • This Massaman curry recipe uses only four spices, cinnamon sticks, star anise, cardamom, and bay leaf. Dry toast them before use, and these fragrance spices will elevate your curry to the next level! These spices can be found at your local ethnic grocery stores or purchase them online. 
  • Make sure not to eat the chunks of spices while enjoying the curry. You can also remove them before serving.
  • Yukon gold potatoes are best for this recipe. You can try two different things if you use other types of potatoes that are not as tender. Cut the potatoes into smaller sizes to help them cook quicker, or boil them for 5-6 minutes before adding the pieces to the curry. 
  • For the cut of beef, use top round steak and sirloin. The smaller the pieces are cut, the quicker the meat will get cooked.
  • You can cook the beef a little bit longer if desired. The typical Massaman curries are cooked for a long while to let the meat simmer and soften. This is the faster version. 
  • Lime or lemon juice can be used as a substitute for tamarind sauce. But use less than the recipe calls for. Tamarind juice is not as sour as lemon or lime juice. Orange juice works well too. 
  • Ground spices work, too, but I haven't tested this recipe with them. You will need to use fewer ground spices than whole spices. 

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  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Category: curries, Easy Recipes, beef recipe
  • Method: stove stop
  • Cuisine: Thai