Thai-style curry has been in my weeknight dinner rotation for many years. It’s one of the recipe templates I turn to most often and I love that it helps me use up any vegetables I have on-hand. But it wasn’t until recently, when I tried massaman curry out at a restaurant, that I realized this version was what I should’ve been making all along.
This massaman vegetable curry was unlike any curry I’d tried before. The rich and creamy coconut-peanut broth was flavored with warming spices like cinnamon and cardamom. It had a hint of sweetness, which was perfectly balanced by the tanginess of lime. With crunchy vegetables and tender potatoes, each spoonful was more satisfying than the last, and I was set on recreating it at home.
This curry is typically flavored with an elaborate paste made with the usual mix of chilis, lemongrass, galangal, and shallots, along with roasted peanuts and a combination of spices more common to the Middle East. (“Massaman” refers to “mussulman”, a archaic word for “muslim”.) It’s also got soy sauce and fresh lime juice, so the broth feels simultaneously rich and balanced.
I added the “-ish” to the title because this recipe is more of a shortcut. Although massaman curry paste is available in some stores and online, it can be a pain to get your hands on. That’s why for my easy home version, I use red curry paste – since it’s more widely available – plus peanut butter and extra spices sprinkled in.
Feel free to use this recipe as a template and swap in whatever vegetables you’ve got or that are in season. Mushrooms, cauliflower, snow peas, zucchini, or sweet potatoes instead of white, would all be delicious in this rich broth.
This massaman vegetable curry is also wonderful for meal prep. It’s arguably even better on day two, after all the flavors have really had a chance to marry.
This rich and fragrant massaman vegetable curry features a creamy coconut-peanut broth, crunchy vegetables, and tender potatoes.
- 2 tablespoons coconut or avocado oil
- 1 medium red onion, sliced into 1/3-inch-thick half-moons
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1–3 tablespoons red curry paste, to taste
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
- One 13-ounce can full-fat unsweetened coconut milk
- One 13-ounce can light unsweetened coconut milk
- 3 tablespoons natural peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 medium white or Yukon Gold potatoes (about 1 pound), cut into ½-inch cubes
- 2 cups broccoli florets (reserve the stalk)
- Brown rice, for serving
- Basil or cilantro, for serving
- In a Dutch oven or large non-stick heavy-bottomed pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and pepper cook until they’re starting to brown, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the curry paste (use 1 tablespoon for mild or up to 3 if you like it spicy), cinnamon, and cardamom and cook for 30 seconds more.
- Add both cans of coconut milk, peanut butter, lime juice, soy sauce, sugar, and potatoes. Cover and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat to low and simmer with the lid ajar until the potatoes are cooked through, about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prep the broccoli stalk: Trim the bottom of the stalk and cut the stalk lengthwise into 2-3 chunks. Working with 1 chunk at a time, run a knife around the perimeter to remove the fibrous, knobby outer layer. Then cut the chunk lengthwise and slice into thin half-moons.
- Add the broccoli and chopped stalk to the pot and simmer until the broccoli is cooked but still bright green, about 3 minutes more.
- Turn the heat off. Taste and adjust the seasonings, if needed. Serve with brown rice and herbs.
- Serving Size: 1/6 of the recipe
- Calories: 300
Keywords: vegan, massaman, curry, thai