This authentic Massaman Chicken Curry is made all in one pot in just 45 minutes, using store bought Massaman paste. Filled with coconut milk, chicken potatoes, peanuts and more it's super creamy, subtly sweet and not so spicy.
Pour the coconut milk in a pot large enough to fit all the ingredients and place over medium heat. Bring the coconut milk to a boil while stirring often.
When the coconut milk is just starting to boil, mix in the Massaman curry paste. Simmer and mix until the paste is completely dissolved - this takes a few minutes.
Add in the peanuts and the chicken pieces and stir once. Simmer for 5 minutes, until the exterior of the chicken has turned white. Avoid stirring again before the chicken has turned white, or the coconut milk will take too much taste from the chicken.
Mix in the rest of the ingredients: tamarind paste, sugar, salt, potato pieces, red onion pieces, cinnamon sticks and bay leaves. Stir, cover, and leave to simmer for 20 minutes, until the potato is cooked through. Lift the lid and stir a few times while cooking.
After 20 minutes, check to see if the potatoes are done and then taste test and adjust seasoning if necessary.
Top with chopped peanuts (optional) and serve as it is, or with a side of cooked Jasmine rice.
4 servings of this recipe serves 6 if served with a side of rice.
Ingredient notes & subsitutions
Coconut milk - I use full fat for the creamiest curry, but you can use low fat or switch one can for chicken stock
Massaman curry paste - I always use store bought, I find it's usually better (and always easier) than homemade. Mae Ploy* makes a great version. You can find it in well stocked supermarkets and Asian supermarkets.
Tamarind paste can be found in well stocked supermarkets and Asian supermarkets. It adds a distinct taste that's hard to get elsewhere, but in a pinch you can switch it for a 50/50 mix of lime juice and sugar.
Peanuts can be switched for cashews
Sugar - I usually don't like adding sugar to food, but for this recipe it's necessary. Traditionally it should be palm sugar, so use that if you have it. You can skip sugar if you really want to, but it will change the taste.
Potatoes - firm ones work best, and can be substituted for sweet potatoes
Tips & tricks
Use store bought Massaman curry for a great shortcut - it's not worth it to make it yourself
Cook the chicken in the coconut milk & curry paste to load it up with taste
Don't stir too much when cooking the chicken, until it's changed color. Otherwise it will give too much chicken taste to the coconut milk.
Cook the potatoes in the curry to give them lots of amazing flavor
Make it vegan by switching chicken for tofu
Serve it with a side of Jasmine rice or just as it is
Store leftovers in the fridge in an air tight container for up to 4 days
Freeze leftovers for up to 3 months - this dish freezes really well!