Massaman beef curry

Serves: 4
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 2 hours 20 minutes


2 tbsp sunflower oil
1kg (2¼lb) skirt of beef, cut into large chunks
2 red onions, cut into thin wedges
400ml (14fl oz) coconut milk
4 tbsp Massaman paste
4 black cardamom pods
½ cinnamon stick
350g (12oz) waxy new potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
Juice 1 lime plus wedges to serve
1 tbsp fish sauce
Coriander sprigs to garnish


1 Heat a little of the oil in a large non-stick saucepan. Add the beef in batches and cook over a medium-high heat until browned all over. Set to one side. Add the remaining oil and add the onions. Cook for 5 minutes until softened.

2 Add a little of the coconut milk – just a tablespoon or so and then add the curry paste. Cook for 2 minutes until fragrant. Add the remaining coconut milk, 400ml (14fl oz) water and then return the beef to the pan.

3 Drop in the cardamom pods and cinnamon stick, slowly bring to the boil and then cover and simmer for 1 hour 30 minutes. Add the potatoes and simmer for a further 30 minutes until perfectly tender. Season to taste with the lime juice and fish sauce. Serve on hot rice with a garnish of fresh coriander and some extra lime wedges.

Expert tip…

If you’ve never come across black cardamom before it’s a large dried black seed pod with a delicious camphor-smoke flavour. You need only a couple as they’re pretty strong. Visit for more info.


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