Beef Massaman Curry

23 Apr

When I was in England last time I was able to stock up on some ingredients which are harder for me to find in Spain.  I took them back to make sure I was able to cook up a curry when the urge struck. It tends to strike quite often but sometimes I just can’t do anything about satisfying it if I don’t have the ingredients to hand.  This means that curry pastes are the best way for me to sort out the curry craving as the spices often linger unloved in the cupboard. Yes, I admit it.

Beef Curry (4)

The Caribbean Food store in Bexhill is run by a jolly character who sells a range of curry pastes (and I really should have taken note of the brand name) which contain no artificial nasties – perfect for someone who loves to cook but feels a little guilty that she is not blending her own spice mixes. I was not familiar with Massaman Curry – a Thai curry which gives a gentle heat, sweet, sour, spicy and is utterly delicious.

Beef Curry (1)

The recipe comes from the BBC Good Food site with just a few little tweaks, but I have given details here too. I omitted the peanuts because I didn’t have any, but I expect they add a delicious crunch to the finished dish.

Ingredients to serve 4

  • 85g unsalted peanuts
  • 400ml can coconut cream
  • 4 tbsp massaman curry paste
  • 600g stewing beef steak, cut into bite sized chunks
  • 450g waxy potatoes, cut into 2½ cm chunks
  • 1 onion, cut into thin wedges
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tbsp tamarind paste
  • 1 tbsp palm or soft light brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced, and chopped fresh coriander to serve

Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6, then roast the peanuts on a baking tray for 5 mins until golden brown. When cool enough to handle, roughly chop. Reduce oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.

Heat 2 tbsp coconut cream in a large casserole dish with a lid. Add the curry paste and fry for 1 min, then stir in the beef and fry until well coated and sealed. Stir in the rest of the coconut with half a can of water, the potatoes, onion, lime leaves, cinnamon, tamarind, sugar, fish sauce and most of the peanuts. Bring to a simmer, then cover and cook for 2 hours in the oven until the beef is tender.

Sprinkle with sliced chilli and the remaining peanuts, then serve straight from the dish with rice.

If you are a curry fan too, how about this one? Or this vegetarian curry? Or nip on over to Soup Guru’s great blog and check out this gorgeous Indian Minced Beef Curry….


55 Responses to “Beef Massaman Curry”

  1. Bluejellybeans April 23, 2014 at 00:17 #

    A mi me encanta el curry, pero la verdad es que rara vez lo hago. Tu receta me encanta, ahora debo partir en la busqueda de los ingredientes… deseame suerte! 😉

    • Chica Andaluza April 23, 2014 at 09:10 #

      Es mucho mas difícil en España encontrar los ingredientes, pero en El Corte Inglés (y lo de Madrid es uno de los mejores) hay mas oportunidad de éxito!

  2. Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial April 23, 2014 at 01:18 #

    Most of my Malaysian relatives use curry pastes – I don’t know a single one who makes theirs from scratch! I use them all the time as well, but I’ve never made Massaman curry before. Yours looks delish! I do like the potatoes and peanuts in it – makes it quite an unusual dish! 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza April 23, 2014 at 09:10 #

      Oh you don’t know how relieved that makes me feel! It’s a bit like my Italian family, they rarely make home made pasta apart from special days J

  3. cathyandchucky April 23, 2014 at 02:00 #


  4. Gather and Graze April 23, 2014 at 02:15 #

    Oh yum! I love a good Massaman Beef curry, but haven’t ever actually made it myself. Like you, I’ve always felt a bit guilty about the idea of using pastes from a jar, but next time I’m in the Asian grocer, I’ll be sure to read some of the labels to find some all natural options – great to know they’re out there!

  5. indusinternationalkitchen April 23, 2014 at 03:36 #

    Looks delicious! Your post reminded me that I had purchased massaman curry paste a while ago and that its still lying unused in my pantry. thanks for your recipe – I will give it a try now! 🙂

  6. Eha April 23, 2014 at 04:07 #

    I love the taste of Massaman curry and would make it more often were it not for the high fat content. Having cooked it from scratch for decades it is still a Malaysian curry in my mind and I have eaten it on the Peninsula far more often than in Thailand. This seems a lovely variation given its rather specific taste by the use of both tamarind and lime – I actually do not put potatoes in the mix . . . but that, as usual, is me 🙂 ! Actually the spice mix is extremely easy to make, but I guess my mortar and pestle are in use multiple times a week so it may be a matter of practice!!

    • Chica Andaluza April 23, 2014 at 09:12 #

      It was such a lovely flavour, really appealed to me. Maybe one day I’ll actually give it a go making it from scratch J

  7. Tandy | Lavender and Lime April 23, 2014 at 05:52 #

    I think curry pastes are brilliant if they are made like you would at home. I found this curry to be quite tasty 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza April 23, 2014 at 09:16 #

      I was impressed by the flavour and happy with the list of ingredients as it really was only natural ingredients in there!

  8. Food,Photography & France April 23, 2014 at 07:49 #

    I must check this out,,,,I always have tamarind paste and fish sauce as I love that sweet sour taste….nice one:)

    • Chica Andaluza April 23, 2014 at 09:19 #

      It was that sweet sour taste that attracted me and I really liked the curry – well worth making!

  9. Soup Guru April 23, 2014 at 07:59 #

    Thanks for the lovely mention, I´m honoured! 🙂 I always use curry pastes, never made them from scratch, I also read the labels to make sure they are as natural as possible, and they usually are (who needs preservatives with all that hotness?).
    Here in Catalonia I found them in Asian groceries stores, the problem is that their stock is very random, so when I do find them I stock up (they last ages on the fridge or unopened in the cupboard). But the first ones I had, years ago when I first started cooking Thai, I had asked a friend who was living in England by the time to bring them to me…

    • Chica Andaluza April 23, 2014 at 09:20 #

      You’re welcome! I too have problems in Spain finding all that I need (sometimes I get lucky) so England is the place to buy :0 Let me know if you ever need anything and I can mail it to you from England when I’m here (for the next few months). I’d be happy to do so.

      • Soup Guru April 25, 2014 at 12:27 #

        Thank you! I still have a lot of stuff in stock, but is getting harder and harder to find curry pastes, so I will count on that! 🙂

  10. ChgoJohn April 23, 2014 at 08:58 #

    I’m way too much a novice to make my own curry pasts, Tanya. Besides, I don’t prepare curry dishes that often. If I buy all of the ingredients to make a curry paste, they will go stale long before I will use them up. Buying pre-made means much less waste. Even so, I don’t believe I’ve seen Massaman curry paste but will look for it. This dish sounds delicious and I want to learn to make a curry with beef.

    • Chica Andaluza April 23, 2014 at 09:22 #

      Just like me – in fact I went out with some girlfriends last night for a curry and that way we get to try a few different ones at the same time! Beef curry is really good made with a cheaper cut of beef which you can cook slowly until it’s tender and full of delicious flavours J

  11. mysimpledelights April 23, 2014 at 11:19 #

    Que buena pinta!!! I know what you mean about not being able to access a lot of Asian ingredients here in Spain. But lucky for me, the Chinese supermarkets here in Bilbao stocks some of the base ingredients needed for my Asian cooking! 😊

    • Chica Andaluza April 24, 2014 at 09:26 #

      You lucky thing! Bilbao is on my list of places to visit – perhaps on our next trip back to Spain from England 🙂

      • mysimpledelights April 24, 2014 at 10:02 #

        It’s lovely here. We lived in England before moving to Galicia for 9 months in March last year! 😊

      • Chica Andaluza April 24, 2014 at 10:45 #

        I returned to Spain to be with Big Man for a couple of months 9 years ago…and until recently (now we work together) never really went back to England apart from visits!

      • mysimpledelights April 24, 2014 at 10:53 #

        Yeah, my husband is Spanish so I think we will be here a while. Our families are here and Singapore so visits to th UK will not be as much now 😊

  12. Mad Dog April 23, 2014 at 11:32 #

    That sounds delicious!
    I don’t suppose this will effect your small village in the least, but I’ve noticed that lots of little Indian shops have opened in Barcelona during the last 20 years and it’s now quite easy to find curry ingredients in Cataluña 😉

    • Chica Andaluza April 24, 2014 at 09:08 #

      We can get them in the English shop in a nearby village (I think they come via Gibraltar!) but they’re very expensive. Things are slowly changing in the Spanish supermarkets with more spices available and even basmati rice in Mercadona!

  13. themateriallady April 23, 2014 at 11:46 #

    That looks delicious. I am lucky as I live close to the Birmingham ‘Balti triangle’ which means there are no shortage of wonderful Indian restaurants in easy reach when a need for a curry strikes. There are even FOUR Indian restaurants in my little town 🙂 (Only one really great one in my opinion!)

    • Chica Andaluza April 24, 2014 at 09:09 #

      You live in the best place for curry in the UK! Mind you, when I lived in Tooting Broadway, I was spoilt for choice there too J

  14. TBM April 23, 2014 at 13:50 #

    I never had many curries until I moved to England. Now I’m making up for lost time. Sounds wonderful.

  15. thecompletebook April 23, 2014 at 14:22 #

    I have never made my own curry paste before – there are so many wonderful ones available and usually contain ingredients like lemon grass which I don’t keep at home all the time. Your Massaman curry sounds delicious!
    Have a super day Tanya.
    🙂 Mandy xo

    • Chica Andaluza April 24, 2014 at 09:10 #

      I don’t think I’ve ever seen lemon grass locally in Spain….maybe I should try to grow it! Have a good day Mandy J

  16. Karen April 23, 2014 at 15:03 #

    I think your curry sounds terrific. If we have all the time in the world and access to a large amount of fresh ingredients, I guess making your own paste would be nice. But in the real world, I would never hesitate to use a paste…especially one that has no preservatives. Have a safe trip to England…I know your parents much be so excited with your new project. 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza April 24, 2014 at 09:12 #

      Thanks for all your good wishes Karen – we’re in England now and already getting to work J

  17. cookinginsens April 23, 2014 at 16:25 #

    I know that was good!

  18. Michelle April 24, 2014 at 05:05 #

    I love how the British groceries have huge sections of Indian and other curry ingredients, much like we now have aisles of Mexican and Central American stuff here. I know that was absolutely delicious!

    • Chica Andaluza April 24, 2014 at 09:07 #

      It’s changing in Spain, when I arrived almost 10 years ago there was very little non Spanish food you could buy easily…slowly, slowly!

  19. bitsandbreadcrumbs April 25, 2014 at 04:08 #

    I’ve never met a curry I didn’t love and green curry and Masaman are two of my faves. The masaman with the beef sounds particularly good as I’m pretty sure I’ve only ever had it with chicken and finished with avocado. Now I may have to go on the hunt for some good curry paste! Glad you arrived in England safely.

    • Chica Andaluza April 25, 2014 at 09:13 #

      Oh wow – chicken and avocado – that sounds amazing!

  20. narf77 April 25, 2014 at 21:51 #

    I love the look of this. I would just up the spuds and turn this into massaman spud fest. I love the combo of coconut cream, peanuts and potatoes…couldn’t get much better honestly. Pinching this recipe and adulterating it with shameless impunity 😉

    • Chica Andaluza April 25, 2014 at 23:44 #

      You adulterate as much as you like – as long as Steve is happy with your adultery 😉

      • narf77 April 26, 2014 at 00:41 #

        I will do it behind his back…in the cupboard…with a spoon (and apparently Colonel Mustard! 😉 )

  21. TheDorsetFinca April 26, 2014 at 08:37 #

    Sorry, I’m late in reading your lovely post… it’s been a busy week! We haven’t had curry in a good while and this one looks delicious. 🙂

  22. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide April 27, 2014 at 14:08 #

    Looks amazing. I have to substitute certain things sometimes. I like how yours is authentic.

    • Chica Andaluza April 27, 2014 at 16:44 #

      Thanks Greg – usually my recipes are fully of substitutions though 😉

  23. Amanda April 27, 2014 at 20:26 #

    I’ve been big into curries lately. This looks delicious. I’ve been making them to try to get rid of a cold. I was afraid at first that using the paste would be cheating, but it’s actually just so easy and delicious. I’m over my hesitation. Yum!

    • Chica Andaluza April 29, 2014 at 11:04 #

      I was like you too, but now I’ve found these all natural pastes, I’m happy!

  24. Sandal Boneka Murah April 16, 2015 at 03:19 #

    I can try this recipe .

  25. Burhan April 20, 2015 at 03:27 #

    This seems tasty and healthy food really is not ..?

  26. Jaketanakkarakter July 1, 2015 at 10:46 #

    I’ll try this recipe hihi I like the look of this food and I think I’ll like the taste of this food too:)

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