Massaman Curry

I had my first massaman curry in my favourite Thai restaurant; it was the only bad dish I ever had there!  They forgot the tofu (for the vegetarian version) and added it raw, the whole dish was bland and insipid.  I gave it another go in a vegan restaurant (Saf, London) and it was delicious.  This is my take on it, I used cashews for healthy protein.  There are lots of ingredients, but apart from the rice it’s a one pot dish.  My version is rich, creamy, spicy, aromatic and the most delicious!

Massaman Curry

Ingredients serves 4

an onion, diced

a little vegetable oil

half a teaspoon of salt

4 cloves of garlic, minced

a one and a half inch (3.8cm) piece of ginger, chopped

half a teaspoon of dried cumin seed

half a teaspoon of dried coriander

a tablespoon of turmeric

a teaspoon of dried chilli flakes

2 teaspoons of tamarind paste, stirred into two tablespoons of water

black pepper

4 medium potatoes, scrubbed and quartered (or cut into large chunks), I prefer to use a floury variety

2 large tomatoes, chopped

a 400ml (14 ounce) can of coconut milk

200g (7 ounces) cashew nuts

2 tablespoons of peanut butter

a tablespoon of agave nectar (or use brown sugar)

the juice of a lime

3 spring onions (scallions), sliced diagonally, to garnish


Put the cashew nuts in a cup and pour in boiling water to just cover them

Splash some vegetable oil in a large saucepan so it just covers the bottom, add the onion and salt, sitr and sweat on the lowest heat for about ten minutes until softened

Add the garlic, stir

Add the ginger, stir

Add the turmeric, coriander, cumin, dried chilli flakes and give another good stir and grind in some black pepper

Add the tamarind and water

Add the potato pieces so they start to absorb the flavours, followed by the chopped tomatoes

Add a little more water to loosen if necessary

Add the coconut milk and stir

Allow to come slowly to the boil and simmer for about 30 minutes until the potatoes have softened

(Now is the time to put on some rice if required)

After 15 minutes stir in the soaked cashews along with the soaking water

Just before serving add the peanut butter, half of the lime juice and the agave nectar.

Serve garnished with the spring onions, with a squeeze of lime and a pinch of dried chilli flakes (optional)