Thai food is always on repeat menu in my home, especially on weeknights. It is quick and super easy to make, delicious and very easily customizable to our palette. Thai Massaman Curry or Thai Masaman Curry, is one of the milder curries in Thai cuisine, which is perfect when you’re making this for kids. I love the flavor combination in this curry. It’s a nice blend of sweet and spicy and the coconut milk adds a touch of creaminess to the curry. I finish this dish with a light squeeze of lime and it ties all the flavors together really well.
Easy and Perfect for Weeknights:
Thai Massaman Curry, or any other Thai curry, is one of the easy dinners that I make during weeknights. Like most of you, during weeknights, I don’t have enough time to make this curry paste from scratch, so I combine store-bought curry paste with coconut milk, add protein and a ton of veggies, cook it on the stove-top for 10-12 minutes, or a quick 5 minutes in my Instant Pot pressure cooker, and it’s done! I like using Maesri brand for curry pastes. I find the taste of this brand to be the most authentic. My local favorite Thai restaurant also uses Maesri pre-made curry pastes to make their curries:-)
I buy the curry paste from Amazon, or my local asian supermarket. My pantry is always stocked with one of these curry pastes, coconut milk and a can of baby corn. It makes life much easier for times when you don’t feel like doing take-out, but still want to eat something delicious. I combine the curry paste with coconut milk, add the baby corn, plus about a cup of any frozen veggies I have on hand, and dinner comes together with minimum effort!
Make it Vegetarian
You can make this Thai Massaman Curry vegetarian by substituting chicken with extra-firm tofu. Since tofu is already cooked, add it after cooking the curry, along with beans and broccoli. That will give it enough time to absorb the flavors of the curry. You can also make this curry with Paneer, Indian cottage cheese. If using Paneer, follow the same instructions as Tofu.
Customize your Thai Massaman Curry:
It is extremely easy to customize this curry to your liking. You can make this with shrimp or beef instead of chicken. Shrimp: Since shrimp cooks pretty quickly, cook the curry first, open the lid and then add the shrimp, along with the beans. That will be enough time to cook it perfectly and you won’t run into the risk of over cooking it.
If using beef, increase the cook time to 20 minutes, since beef chunks take a much longer time to cook than chicken. When I make this curry with beef, I split the cooking process to avoid over cooking the veggies. I pressure cook the coconut curry with beef chunks for 15 minutes, release the pressure manually (QR), add the veggies, and pressure cook it for another 5 minutes. Wait for the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes.
You can add the veggies of your choice. Traditionally, this curry is made with potatoes and onions, so feel free to add those. Other veggies that go well in Massaman Curry are squash chunks, zucchini and snow peas. You can even add a cup or so of any frozen veggie medley you have on hand.
Serving suggestion and Low-carb options:
Thai Massaman Curry is traditionally served with steamed Jasmine rice. If you like to eat it with white rice, you can even cook the rice in the same pot as the curry, using Pot-in-pot technique. My kids like to eat it with Brown Jasmine rice. Brown Jasmine is a healthier version of white Jasmine rice. It has the same nutty flavor and fragrance of a traditional Jasmine rice, but has almost 4 times the fiber than white rice.
My husband and I like to eat low-carb, so we enjoy this curry with some delicious Thai Papaya salad! (recipe coming soon) As a low-carb alternative to rice, this curry can also be served with cauli-rice (shredded cauliflower) , or ,with zucchini noodles!
More Thai favorites from Spice Cravings:
- Heat oil in a sauce pan on medium-high heat. Add crushed ginger and garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. Add curry paste and chicken and sauté for 30-45 seconds. Now add carrots, onions, baby corn and coconut milk and stir well. Will till the curry starts bubbling before closing the lid. This prevents the coconut milk from curdling under high heat.
- Close lid. Reduce heat to medium and let it simmer for 10-12 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.
- Open the lid. Beans go in now, cook for 2-3 minutes. I like the beans to retain their crunch, but you can cook them till your preferred doneness. Turn off the heat. Add broccoli florets and let them hang out in the curry for 2-3 minutes (or longer). This will give them enough time to steam and absorb the curry, and, still retain their crunch. Squeeze a few drop of lime juice to finish this dish.
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Thai Massaman Curry is one of the milder curries in Thai cuisine that is a nice blend of sweet and spicy and the coconut milk adds a touch of creaminess to the curry. I finish this dish with a light squeeze of lime that ties all the flavors together.
- 1.5 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breast or thighs, cut into bite-size
- 1 tablespoon light olive oil
- 1/2 inch ginger grated or pureed
- 2 cloves of garlic grated or pureed
- 4 oz Maesri Thai Masaman Curry (1 can)
- 1 cup carrot chunks
- 1 small onion cut in cubes or sliced
- 14 oz. cut baby corn (1 can or less, based on your taste)
- 14 oz. coconut milk (1 can)
- 1 cup french beans cut in bite size pieces
- 1 cup broccoli florets
- A light squeeze of lime before serving
Heat oil on SAUTE mode in Instant Pot. Add ginger, garlic, curry paste and chicken and sauté for 30-45 seconds. Add carrots, onions, drained baby corn and coconut milk and stir well. Will till the curry starts bubbling. This prevents the coconut milk from curdling under pressure or high heat. Close lid. Cancel SAUTE. Set the vent to sealing position. Pressure cook on Manual/PC for 5 minutes.
Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes before moving the vent from sealing to venting position (NPR10). Open lid after the pin drops. Turn on SAUTE. Add beans and cook for 2-3 minutes. I like the beans to retain their crunch, but you can cook them till your preferred doneness. Turn off SAUTE. Add broccoli florets and let them hang out in the curry for 2-3 minutes (or longer). This will give them enough time to steam and absorb the curry, and, still retain their crunch. Squeeze a few drop of lime juice to finish this dish.
Note: The nutrition facts below are my estimates. If you are following any diet plan, I recommend cross-checking with your preferred nutrition calculator.