Thai cuisine is one of our favourite cuisines in the world, and Vegan Massaman Curry is my husband's favourite curry. Whenever we go out to restaurants, if massaman is on the menu, he won't bother looking at the rest of the dishes, massaman curry is always his choice. Can you guess which was the best present I could ever give him? Perfecting this recipe!
We travelled around Thailand for a month, and we found this lovely massaman curry on a tiny island called Koh Lipe. After trying that dish, we couldn't order anything else but that curry. They served it with vegan protein and it was absolutely delicious. We always joke about going back to Koh Lipe just for that curry, even if we have to travel halfway around the world.
One thing we learnt about trying this dish in so many restaurants is that it can be a really amazing dish or it can be tasteless if not using the proper ingredients. Don't worry, we have an easy and tasty recipe for you to cook the best massaman curry at home.
How to cook the best Massaman Curry
Use homemade paste. I know for a fact that you can get a delicious Massaman using store-bought paste, we have been there, but homemade massaman paste, that's another level. The deep flavour you will bring to your massaman curry making your own homemade paste is just not possible to get from a store-bought one. We make the curry from scratch in 40 minutes, including the paste. You can do it too, you just need the right ingredients and if you love Asian food as much as we do, you probably already have most of them in your kitchen. The paste can be prepared in advanced and you can have it ready for an easy and quick meal another day. We always make enough for another day and store it in the fridge.
To cook the curry paste, we add in a hand blender jar sliced shallots, lemongrass, ginger, garlic, cilantro stems and the spice mix. We blend all the ingredients for one minute until we get the desired consistency, and that's the paste done. Easy right?
You can use dried bird's eye chillies instead of chilli flakes. Just make sure you take out the seeds and hydrate them for at least 10 minutes.
Use fresh, good quality spices. If you want your dishes to have a rich flavour, you need good quality spices. For our massaman curry paste, the spices you will need are cardamon pods, cinnamon, coriander powder, cumin powder, ground nutmeg, turmeric and chilli flakes. While cooking the curry we also add star anise and cloves. With the right spices, you will get the perfect massaman paste.
Our Massaman Curry is cooked with tofu, onion, potatoes and carrots. We like it simple, as the sauce already has an extraordinary taste. But you can add more vegetables, change the tofu for seitan, or vary our recipe with ingredients that you already have available at home.
It works better if you cook the tofu separate before adding it into the curry. You can cook it in a frying pan with some soy sauce, or bake it in the oven.
Serve your curry with jasmine or basmati rice, crushed peanuts, fresh cilantro and some chilli flakes on the top. You can also squeeze some lime on top for a tangy kick.
Looking for more vegan curries?
- Vegan Cauliflower Korma. One of our favourite ways to cook cauliflower. Creamy, rich and fantastic vegan curry for an easy weekday meal.
- Vegan Palak Tofu Paneer. Cooking a delicious Indian meal at home was never so easy. Our Palak Tofu Paneer tastes better than the one you could order in most restaurants. It’s vegan and gluten-free
- Thai Red Curry with Tofu. Lovely Thai Curry with homemade curry paste.
Vegan Massaman Curry
Massaman Curry Paste
- 3 shallots thinly sliced
- 2 lemongrass stalks thinly sliced
- 1 thumb-piece ginger thinly sliced or grated
- 3 garlic cloves crushed
- Seeds of 4 cardamom pods
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon powder
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ½ teaspoon white pepper
- 2 coriander stalks
- 2 teaspoon chilli flakes
- 4 tablespoon massaman curry paste
- 600 ml coconut milk
- 300 ml water
- 1 onion sliced
- 2 carrots sliced
- 2 potatoes cubed
- 1 ½ tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 star anise
- 4 cloves
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 400 gr tofu
- 2 tablespoon crushed peanuts
- 1 handful fresh coriander chopped
- Add in a hand blender jar the shallots, lemon grass, ginger, garlic, the cardamom seeds inside the pods, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, nutmeg, turmeric, white peppercorn, coriander stalks, and chilli flakes. Blend until smooth consistency. It will be stringy, but that how is supposed to be (from the lemongrass/ginger).
- Heat 1 tablespoon of coconut oil or vegetable oil in a large pot, we use our cast iron pot. Add 4 tablespoons of curry paste and fry it for two to three minutes. Add the coconut milk, the water, soy sauce and stir to combine all the ingredients.
- Add the cut onion, carrots, potato, star anise, cloves and brown sugar and leave it simmering on medium heat until the potatoes are cooked through.
- Cut the tofu into cubes, transfer into a mixing bowl and marinate it with soy sauce, garlic and onion powder (or a squirt of sriracha). Fry tofu on high heat for 5 minutes.
- Transfer the curry to a bowl, add the tofu, crushed peanuts and fresh cilantro on the top and serve.