Massaman Curry Recipe (Gaeng Masaman Gai) | แกงมัสมั่นไก่ – original

Massaman Curry Recipe
Massaman Curry Recipe (Gaeng Masaman Gai) | แกงมัสมั่นไก่

Massaman Curry Recipe

▷ Thai massaman curry tastes as delicious as it looks. Here I show you how to cook an original Thai massaman curry yourself. It’s based on the original recipe from my home country – Thailand.
In Thailand we call the Chicken Massaman Curry “Gaeng Masaman Gai”. It is the Thai curry that is the least spicy, so that even Europeans can eat and enjoy it.
In Thailand, it is often served at Thai weddings.

Ranking Info:
In the international TOP 50 list of the best dishes in the world of the US news channel CNN, many Thai dishes have reached the first places.

The 1st place is held by Massaman Curry Thai.

What is the taste of the Massaman Curry?

The Thai Massaman Curry is a creamy, spicy, mildly hot and sweet Thai curry of the classic Thai cuisine. The flavourful curry exudes the much-loved exotic flavours of Thailand. In the paste are flavours of kaffir lime leaves, Thai chillies, lemongrass, cardamom, coriander seeds and cumin.

A good Thai massaman curry paste gives the massaman curry the authentic taste as in Thailand.
Traditionally, chicken is used in Thailand. The curry is cooked in coconut milk to make it tasty and creamy.

Difference to Indian curry preparation:
Thai curry, unlike Indian curry, is not made with ground dried spices, but with a spice paste. Furthermore, in India the spices are fried in fat – in Thailand the paste is mostly cooked in coconut milk.

The massaman curry is also called gaeng matsaman, masaman curry or Muslim curry. It comes from the south of Thailand where many Muslims live. Nowadays, the curry is an essential part of Thai cuisine throughout central Thailand.

The history of Massaman Curry

Massaman Curry Thai was one of the favourite dishes of King Rama II – Phra Phutthaloetla. He wrote a very famous poem in Thailand about the Massaman Curry and its cook. It is still taught in primary schools in Thailand today. The pupils have to learn the poem by heart. Gaeng Masaman has been an integral part of Thai cuisine since the 19th century.

An excerpt from the royal poem:

มัสมั่นแกงแก้วตา หอมยี่หร่ารสแรงร้อน
– Massaman the jewel in my eyes. With fragrant cumin and spicy flavour.
ชายใดได้กลืนแกง แรงอยากให้ใฝ่ฝันหา
– Any man who tastes her curry can’t help but dream about her.

Conclusion: Maybe I am biased because I am Thai. But for me, Thai cuisine is the best cuisine in the world. Try the original Thai Massaman Curry recipe. You will be thrilled.

Massaman Curry Recipe Thai – Mild Thai Curry

Here I show you the original mild Thai curry recipe from my home country Thailand.

Recipe for 3-4 people.

Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking: 45 minutes
Total time: 60 minutes

Ingredients: Massaman Curry Recipe Thai | Massaman Gai

  • 400 g chicken breast fillet | เนื้อไก่ – preferably organic
  • 2 large potatoes (Man Farang) | มันฝรั่ง
  • 700 ml Coconut milk | (Gati) | กะทิ
  • 50 g Massaman Paste (Prik Gaeng Masaman) | พริกแกงมัสมั่น
  • 6 to 8 small Thai shallots (Hom Daeng) | หอมแดง or a 1 Thai onion (Hom Yai) | หอมใหญ่
  • 2 tbsp roasted Thai peanuts (Tua Li Song) | ถั่วลิสง
  • ½ tsp Salt from Thailand (Gua) | เกลือ
  • 1 tbsp palm sugar (Nam Tan Puek) | น้ำตาลปึก
  • 1 ½ tbsp tamarind paste (Makam Peik) | มะขามเปียก – dissolved in hot water
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce (Nam Pla) | น้ำปลา
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil, e.g. Soybean oil (Nam Man Thua Luang) | น้ำมันถั่วเหลือง
  • ½ tsp cinnamon (Ob Choei) | อบเชย
  • 3 dried bay leaves | ใบกระวานแห้ง
  • 1 tsp black cardamom (Krawan Dam) | กระวานดำ

INFO: tsp=teaspoon, tbsp= tablespoon.

You can get the ingredients in all Asia shops.

Cooking utensils:

  • Pot or wok or wok pan


  1. First, wash the chicken breast fillets under cold running water and pat dry with kitchen paper. Then cut the meat into approx. One inch bite-sized pieces.
  2. Follow this with the potatoes, which are peeled and cut into large cubes.
  3. Peel the onion and cut it into quarters. If you use Thai shallots, you only need to halve them.
  4. In a wok, wok pan or saucepan, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat and stir the paste into it until it starts to smell.
  5. Only then add half of the coconut milk on hand.
  6. Then stir well until the paste and the coconut milk have become a homogeneous creamy liquid.
  7. Then you can add the pieces of chicken breast fillet, bay leaves, cardamom, salt, crushed palm sugar, cinnamon, fish sauce and tamarind juice and cook for 10 to 15 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  8. Once the meat is cooked, add the remaining coconut milk with the shallots, diced potatoes and peanuts.
  9. Now let the curry simmer for about 20 minutes until the potatoes are cooked.
  10. Add the tamarind paste dissolved in water and the fish sauce slowly and gradually to taste.


Preparation in pictures

1. First cut the chicken breast fillet into pieces of about 1-2 inch.

Chicken breast fillet pieces

2. Then prepare the ingredients. Coconut milk, palm sugar, fish sauce, tamarind juice, salt, dried bay leaves, cardamom, cinnamon and chilli powder.

recipe Gaeng Masaman

3. Then prepare the peeled onions, peeled potatoes and roasted peanuts.

Gaeng Masaman ingredients

4. Heat the vegetable oil in a saucepan and stir the massaman curry paste until it smells aromatic. Then add half of the coconut milk and stir to a creamy liquid. Then add the meat and bay leaves, cardamom, salt, cinnamon, crushed palm sugar, fish sauce and tamarind juice and cook for 15 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Cooking your own Gaeng Masaman

5. When the meat is cooked, add the remaining coconut milk with the onions or Thai shallots, diced potatoes and roasted peanuts.

Thai massaman curry cooking

6. Leave the Massaman Curry to simmer with the lid on for about 20 minutes until the potatoes are cooked.

Cooking Muslim Curry

7. After the potatoes and meat are cooked, slowly season with the tamarind juice and fish sauce.

Gaeng Masaman Gai to taste

8. All the ingredients harmonise very well to make the Thai Massaman Curry a treat for the palate.

Eating Chicken Masaman Curry

9. The delicious Thai Massaman Curry is ready to be served. You can hardly wait for it.

A serving of Massaman Curry

And this is how you serve it?

Traditionally, steamed jasmine rice is served with the massaman curry.
It can also be served with roti and raw or cooked vegetables with a spicy Thai dip.

Other Thai curry recipes

Panang Curry (Gaeng Panaeng Moo) | แกงพะแนง (spicy).
Red Thai Curry (Gaeng Pet) | แกงเผ็ด (spicy)
Green Thai Curry (Gaeng Kiao Wan) | แกงเขียวหวานไก่ (very spicy)

… What is Som Tam? …

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