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How to Make Massaman Chicken Curry: An Aromatic Thai Delight

Published: November 20, 2023
Thai Massaman curry is a rich, aromatic curry that blends Thai flavors with Indian spices, typically featuring meat, potatoes, and coconut milk. (Image: Manos Angelakis/Luxury Web)

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Massaman chicken curry holds a special place in my heart as one of my most cherished dishes. I often find myself preparing it in my own kitchen, typically serving it atop a bed of rice. While jasmine rice is the traditional choice in Thailand, I have a penchant for shorter grains like Italian Carnaroli, Arborio, or Vialone Nano.

My first encounter with this exquisite curry was during a stay at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Bangkok. It was a staple at the Sala Rim Naam, a traditional Thai restaurant located across the river from the iconic hotel. The restaurant, known for its cuisine derived from royal Thai recipes, also hosted an enchanting Thai folkloric show each night — a must-see for anyone visiting Bangkok.

(Image: Manos Angelakis/Luxury Web)

That stay at the Oriental remains a luminous memory from my travels in Thailand.

(Image: Manos Angelakis/Luxury Web)


  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon massamun curry paste, plus more to taste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon coconut sugar
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • 1/2 medium onion, sliced into strips
  • 1/2 medium red capsicum, cut into strips (adjust quantity as desired)
  • 2-3 large potatoes, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 10-12 green beans, trimmed and halved lengthwise
  • 1 teaspoon chopped cilantro, divided
  • Fish sauce, to taste
  • Chicken or Chinese duck breast and thighs, sliced into strips


  • ¼ cup roasted peanuts (crushed or whole)
  • Cubed pineapple slices
  • White rice
  • 1 lemon or lime, quartered
  • Fresh cilantro leaves, chopped, for garnish (to taste)


  1. Gently simmer the coconut milk and chicken broth. Stir in 1 tbsp of massamun curry paste, juice of half a lime, 2 tsp of Thai fish sauce, 1 tbsp of coconut sugar, and a pinch of salt. Mix well for a few minutes, then adjust the seasoning with additional curry paste, lime juice, and coconut sugar as desired.
  2. In Thailand, broth isn’t always a component of coconut curries. Opt for broth for a thinner sauce, or omit it for a creamier texture.
  3. Add the vegetables and half of the cilantro, simmering for a few minutes.
  4. Introduce the chicken or duck, simmering until it’s cooked to your preference.
  5. Serve over rice, garnished with crushed peanuts, pineapple cubes, and the remaining fresh cilantro. Enhance with a squeeze of lemon or lime juice and additional fish sauce, if desired.
(Image: Manos Angelakis/Luxury Web)

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