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Vegan Massaman Curry Recipe

If you are familiar with Thai food, then you would have definitely heard of Massaman curry. It is a staple curry in Thailand and is most often made with chicken or beef. Some believe this dish was brought to Thailand by Persian merchants and soon became a part of the Thai Muslim cuisine. Yet others believe that this dish is a mix of Malay and Indian cooking since it made with flavourful spices and coconut milk!

My version of the Massaman curry is vegan, one which is rich in flavour and relatively mild! This recipe is quite detailed and it also includes the instructions to make the aromatic curry paste from scratch. Certainly, this dish requires some time and effort to make, but believe me it is so worth it!


Prep Time - 30 minutes

Cook Time - 1 hour 30 minutes

Total Time - 2 hour

Servings - 4



  • 4 tbs curry paste

  • 2 cups of coconut milk (70% coconut)

  • 200g roasted peanuts

  • 1 sweet potato sliced in bite size

  • 1 aubergine sliced in bite size

  • Tender stem broccoli or 200g of frozen green beans blanched

  • 400g tempeh cut in cubes and stir fried in oil

  • 1 tbs brown sugar

  • 3 small shallots

  • 1 tbs of kaffir leaves

  • 60ml of tamarind paste or lemon juice


  • 10 dried long chillies soaked, deseeded and chopped

  • 1 tsp ground coriander seeds

  • 1 tsp ground cumin

  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

  • 1 tsp ground cloves

  • 1 tsp ground star anise1

  • tsp ground cardamom

  • 1 tsp ground pepper

  • 4 tbs small shallots roughly chopped

  • 4 tbs garlic roughly chopped thinly

  • 5 cm lemongrass stalk, chopped thinly

  • 1.5 cm ginger sliced thinly

  • 1 tsp salt


  • 200g of sticky rice, rinsed andsoaked overnight



  1. Add the oil to the pan and turn on to medium high

  2. Fry the curry paste until fragrant, about 3-4 minutes. Keep stirring so it doesn’t burn.

  3. Add the shallots. Fry for 2-3 minutes.

  4. Add 1/2 coconut milk into the first pan with the curry paste and mix slowly. Simmer until the oil separates for around 2-3 minutes.

  5. Add the vegetables, ½ peanuts and onions into the pan. Simmer for a few minutes

  6. Simmer and stir for 15-20 minutes until the mixture browns and a good deal of oil comes to the top

  7. Add the remaining coconut milk. If the curry starts to dry, add some water. Add the green vegetables now.

  8. Add the fish sauce or salt, brown sugar and tamarind paste to your taste at the end. When serving, add the crispy cubes of tempeh on top + roasted peanuts + coriander leaves

Curry Paste

  1. Pound the paste in a  stone mortar and pestle. Start by grinding up the dried spices until powdered, then set aside. Put the chillies in the mortar and pound until uniformly smashed, then add the rest of the ingredients, starting from hardest and driest and working up to softest at the end.

  2. Cut the vegetables into bite-sized pieces.

Sticky Rice

  1. Drain the rice. Put it on a steamer on top of a pot with boiling water

  2. Steam for 20-30 min (toss gently after 15min to ensure even texture

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