This tasty Thai chicken massaman curry with sweet potatoes recipe is simply delicious! It's an easy recipe using chicken thighs, sweet potatoes, and fragrant spices. It's a perfect quick lunch or dinner that can be ready in 30 minutes!
Thai Massaman curry (แกงมัสมั่น) is mild and creamy from the Massaman curry paste cooked with coconut milk, seasoned with brown or palm sugar, fish sauce, and crushed roasted peanuts. It's extra delicious!
- Southern Influence
- More Massaman curries
- Why you'll love Thai Massaman chicken curry
- Ingredients for Chicken Massaman (แกงไก่มัสมั่น)
- The best Thai curry paste brands
- How to make Massaman Chicken Curry
- Helpful kitchen notes and tips
- MORE HOMEMADE THAI CURRY PASTES TO TRY
- FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- More Thai recipes you'll love
- Thai Chicken Massaman Curry with Sweet Potatoes
Massaman curry is a Southern Thai dish where food from the Middle East, India, and Malaysia strongly influences Thai cuisine. Curries from Southern Thailand are similar to many Indian curries, with added aromatic dried spices that make curries delightful to the taste.
More Massaman curries
If you love Massaman curry and need more variations, try this delicious Beef Massaman curry recipe. And if you want to up your game, make authentic Massaman curry paste using this homemade recipe. It's easier than you think! Give these two a try, and you'll be all set!
Why you'll love Thai Massaman chicken curry
- It's a delicious meal with flavors and aromas from dried spices and fresh ingredients.
- This is easy and quick to put together with minimal ingredients.
- You can modify the protein. Use tender cuts of beef, chicken drumsticks, duck, or turkey meat. c
- The flavors are rich and creamy, full of flavors from the aromatic spices!
- It's not too spicy! The rich coconut milk helps temper the heat, and you can adjust the amount of curry paste used for more or less spiciness.
Ingredients for Chicken Massaman (แกงไก่มัสมั่น)
Traditionally, massaman curries are made with stewing beef, the most popular meat used in Thai Massaman curries. The meat is braised in a massaman curry sauce for a long time until the meat is tender.
Chicken thighs, with bones in, are used for this recipe, making it a quick version. We'll save the hours-long braised beef for special occasions, perhaps around the holidays!
My recipe uses store-bought curry paste. Make your paste using this easy and authentic Massaman curry paste. Most dried spices can be found at your local Asian market.
- Chicken thighs. Dark meat is best for this recipe. The tender chicken thighs pair well with the thick creamy sauce. You can use a whole chicken too. Cut the chicken pieces into smaller pieces for cooking.
- Thai Massaman curry paste. Use the Aroy-D, Mae Ploy, or Maesri brands for premade Massaman curry paste. Most Asian markets will have at least one of these brands.
- Cinnamon sticks. Use a whole cinnamon stick. (Just one 6-inch piece for this recipe)
- Star anise. Star-shaped spices are seeds of a specific type of Chinese evergreen tree.
- Cardamom pods. Use green cardamom pods.
- Cloves. Use whole cloves rather than powder. It adds an intense aroma to the curry.
- Whole bay leaves. It helps lighten a heavy dish and adds a subtle aroma.
- Sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes add a layer of sweetness and creaminess to this delicious recipe.
- Onion. Use white or sweet onion.
- Tamarind sauce. Also called tamarind pulp, paste, juice, or tamarind concentrate. It adds a tangy sour taste to the curry.
- Coconut milk. If your coconut milk hardened at the top, use that as your coconut cream and save the rest of the coconut milk for adding to the pot later down the steps.
- Sugar. Use white, palm, or brown sugar to sweeten the curry.
- Fish sauce. Use fish sauce to season the curry. Soy sauce is not recommended for this recipe.
- Stock or broth. Water is fine too, but not as flavorful.
- Peanuts, coarsely ground unsalted peanuts to add to the creaminess.
The best Thai curry paste brands
Below are the suggested Thai curry paste brands I've used and loved. I used the Mae Ploy brand and my homemade Massaman curry paste for this recipe.
- Mae Ploy massaman curry paste. Mae Ploy paste is heavy on the salty side. Use less fish sauce when making your massaman curry. Mae Ploy is my go-to store-bought curry paste for making Massaman curry.
- Aroy-D brand. It tends to be on the saltier side. Adjust your salt when making your curry paste.
- Maesri brand. The Maesri massaman curry paste tends to be sweeter and tangy. Adjust the fish sauce and tamarind accordingly when making curries.
How to make Massaman Chicken Curry
Step 1. This step is optional but highly recommended. In a frying pan, dry roast the spices (cinnamon, cardamom, star anise, and cloves) on low heat until fragrant.
Step 2. Heat a Dutch oven or a large pot until warm on medium heat. Add the coconut milk and cook until the creamy coconut milk separates. It takes about 2-3 minutes. The sauce will thickens, and bubbles will form.
Step 3. Add the Massaman curry paste and break up the clumps. Cook for 1-2 minutes until you have a thick sauce.
Step 4. Add the spices, sugar, and fish sauce, stir well, and cook for 2 minutes.
Step 5. Add the chicken, potatoes, onion, and the stock. Give it a good stir and cook for 10 minutes.
Step 6. Last, add the peanuts and tamarind sauce, and stir well. Taste and adjust flavors with more fish, sugar, or tamarind sauce. Serve jasmine rice. Basmati and coconut rice go well with this Southern Thai curry too. Enjoy!
Helpful kitchen notes and tips
- Dry toast the spices before cooking to intensify the flavors of the curry.
- Watch out for the whole spices as you bite into your curry. Remove serving if desired.
- Denser potatoes work best for this chicken Massaman curry recipe. Idaho, sweet, or Japanese potatoes work great too.
- Chicken breast works but does not cut the meat into bite-size pieces as the meat will dry out too much.
- Lemon or lime juice works as a substitute for tamarind paste. Use a little bit at first and add more as needed.
- Ground spices work too, but I haven't tested this recipe with them. Use half the amount of whole spices than what the recipe card specified.
- Firm fish works for this recipe, but cut the cooking time to half the amount specified in the instructions.
- Make a vegetarian version by adding firm tofu and more vegetables.
- The perfect vegetables to add to this recipe are squash, zucchini, baby corn, bell peppers, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, broccoli, and snap peas.
- Note that most Thai curry pastes have shrimp paste for a vegan massaman version. You can either make your paste and not use the shrimp paste or find a curry paste without it. I haven't used a vegan curry paste before and can only suggest making your curry paste and using vegemite instead of shrimp paste.
MORE HOMEMADE THAI CURRY PASTES TO TRY
- The best authentic massaman paste
- Authentic Thai yellow curry paste
- Authentic green curry paste
- Authentic red curry paste
- Authentic Prik Khing curry paste
- Authentic Choo Chee curry paste
- Tom Yum curry paste
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Yes! Most leftover Thai curries keep very well as leftovers in the refrigerator. The coconut milk will harden, but it will not spoil. Reheat in a small stock pot or microwave it for 2 minutes or less to warm it back up.
Yes. This Thai chicken massaman curry freezes well. Store your leftovers in an airtight container like a glass jar with a lid and keep the freezer for up to 2 months.
Cooked white rice pairs well with Thai Massaman curry. Jasmine, basmati, or coconut rice are excellent with massaman curry.
Thai Massaman curries are not as spicy as other Thai curries like red, green, or jungle curry. The curry also has a ton of dried spices like cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, and cloves. These spices are not typically found in other Thai curries.
Yes, mostly. Massaman curry has several healthy spices in the paste and in the actually curry itself. These aromatic spices have a great deal of health benefits to the body. Coconut milk, vegetables, fish sauce, and tamarind are all healthy ingredients. The coconut cream's sugar and extra calories are added to the curry, but moderation of any food is key to health.
More Thai recipes you'll love
- Thai Green curry. A well-loved curry in and outside of Thailand
- Easy Yellow curry with chicken. A mild curry that is quick to put together.
- Authentic Red curry. One of the most well-known and popular Thai curries.
- Prik King curry with shrimp and green beans. A dry curry with shrimp and long green beans.
- Choo Chee salmon curry. A creamy, rich curry with salmon.
- How to make purple sticky rice
- Thai basil fried rice
- Kaffir lime leaves and substitute
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