Massaman curry

Massaman curry…. Thai’s don’t really eat it, and I can’t say I was ever particularly jazzed about eating a dish that seems more aimed at western tourists’ feeble palates than representative of Thai cuisine. At least, not while I was living in Thailand…

But one day, years after moving back to Australia, I developed a craving – totally out of the blue – for a mildly spicy, fragrant curry laden with starchy potatoes, crispy tofu, crunchy peanuts, and mouthwateringly juicy pineapple. I was having a massaman moment, and I had to seek out a recipe that would help me satisfy my craving.

This here is my own take on massaman curry that ticks all my own massaman-craving boxes, and I admit it’s strayed a little from the original recipe, but I think this little detour from authenticity is just what it needs to become your curry recipe of choice… 😉

Flavour: Spicy and fragrant

Serves: 4 as a main meal


Feel free to vary this to your own taste, and you’ll learn how you like it soon enough. I generally prefer a ratio of more potatoes and peanuts to less tofu and pineapple, and I like to add lots of sugar and extra kaffir lime leaves, and up the ante with the chilli 😉

  • 2 medium potatoes – or 1 large one – cut into small chunks (peeled or unpeeled – up to you)
    • get ideal-sized chunks of potato by cutting your potato lengthways into four quarters – then cut each quarter into half-centimetre wide chunks
  • 1 small onion, cut into large chunks
  • 200g firm tofu, cut into cubes
  • handful of peanuts
  • 1 cup pineapple chunks (fresh, please) – this is optional, just in case you don’t dig the combination 😉
  • 2 tablespoons massaman curry paste (see here for recipe)
  • 2 tablespoons unflavoured oil – I use sunflower
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cup coconut cream (I use coconut cream powder – 2-4 tablespoons dissolved in warm water)
  • 6 tablespoons soy sauce
  • juice of half a lime


  1. Fry tofu in small skillet over high heat in 1 tablespoon of oil until it begins to turn crispy and golden
  2. Toss peanuts in with tofu, and continue to cook until the tofu is crispy and golden all over, and the peanuts have started to char
  3. While your tofu is cooking., fry your potato chunks over high heat in a wok in 1 tablespoon of oil until the potato starts to turn translucent
  4. Toss in onion, stir, and fry until both potatoes and onions have started to turn golden, then turn down heat to medium
  5. Add curry paste, stir, and fry for 1 minute
  6. Add the pineapple chunks, coconut cream, sugar, and soy sauce, stir, and cook until the liquid reduces and thickens, and the potatoes are tender (you might need to add a little extra water if the potatoes are taking a long time to cook and the liquid is reducing quickly – don’t turn the heat down)
  7. Add the lime juice, and toss in the tofu and peanuts
  8. Take off the heat, and serve immediately with steamed jasmine rice


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.