Beef Massaman Curry

Slow Cooked Beef Massaman Curry – Rich, fall-apart beef in a spicy homemade sauce with new potatoes. Perfect comfort food!
Prep time
Cook time:
Servings: 5-6


Massaman Paste (makes about 6 tbsp):

  • 1 chopped red onion
  • 2 or 3 red chillies (depending on how hot you like it), roughly chopped
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp white pepper
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 2 sticks of lemongrass, outer leaves removed, softer inside chopped finely
  • 5cm piece ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp shrimp paste (optional, also it’s generally gluten free, but best to check)
  • 3 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 10 fresh coriander/cilantro stalks (you’ll be using the leaves later to server, so just wrap them in a bit of damp tissue to keep them fresh)
  • ½ tsp salt

Other curry ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1.5 tbsp cornflour
  • 1kg braising beef, chopped into chunks
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • 400ml beef stock – 2 stock cubes with water is fine (use kallo beef bouillon cubes for gluten free)
  • 400ml can coconut milk (it’s usually gluten free, but double check)
  • 2 large red or white potatoes, peeled and chopped into chunks
  • Juice of 1 lime

To Serve:

  • Boiled rice
  • Chopped, fresh coriander/cilantro
  • Chopped red chillies
  • Lime wedges


  1. Place all the paste ingredients in a food processor or mini chopper and blend until it forms a paste. Set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a large pan. Toss the chopped beef in the cornflour, salt and pepper. Fry the meat in the oil for about 5 mins on medium to high heat. You can do this in batches, but I’m a bit too lazy for that. I find that if you put the meat in, and leave it alone for a few minutes before you stir it, you’ll get a nice dark colour on the beef. The beef will probably stick a bit to the pan, so you might need to give it a little scrape with a spatula.
  3. Once the beef has cooked for 5 mins, turn down the heat a little and add in the curry paste. Give it a stir to coat the beef and let it cook for a couple of minutes. Then add in the beef stock and coconut milk. Give everything a stir (make sure you give any bits stuck at the bottom of the pan a scrape), place the lid on and gently simmer on a low heat for 1 hour 45 mins (alternatively you can place in the oven at about 160c/320f). Give it a stir every so often. If it’s starting to look dry you can add in some more beef stock or water.
  4. After the 1 hour 45 mins, add in the potatoes, give it a stir and cook for a further 25 – 30 mins until the potatoes are tender (this is a good time to start cooking your rice too).
  5. Take out of the oven and mix in the lime juice. Serve the curry on a bed of rice with a sprinkling of coriander/cilantro, fresh chillies and a wedge of lime.


Any leftovers can be cooled, covered and frozen. Then defrosted and reheated in the microwave until piping hot.