Lamb Massaman Curry
Lamb Massaman Curry

Leftover Lamb Massaman Curry

Thai Massaman Curry is a mild, spiced coconut-based curry that can be served with any protein you wish such as chicken, pork, beef, duck, or tofu. For us, we love Lamb Massaman Curry. And today we are going to use up some of our leftover roast lamb to create this delicious curry for the family.

Thai Massaman Curry comes from the south of Thailand where the cuisine generally uses more coconut milk in their curries, and there is a large Muslim minority population there. It is thought this is where the name Massaman comes from. This means that Massaman curry is a combination of Thai and South Asian curries.

We love that this curry is a one pot stove top recipe. It uses leftover lamb so that cuts down on cooking time. Plus we use a good quality Thai curry paste, which again makes this a pretty quick recipe to make.

More often you will find chicken massaman curry or beef massaman curry on the menus in Thai restaurants. And you can of course use those meats if you prefer, or have only those available. We just love the aromatic flavour of lamb in this curry.

If you’re looking for a Thai lamb curry recipe, this might just be the one for you.

Lamb Massaman Curry Recipe
Lamb Massaman Curry

What is the recipe for Lamb Massaman Curry?

The lamb Massaman curry we are making today has a unique depth of flavour to it. The curry sauce is fragrant from the spices, the lamb adds meaty depth, and potato and peanut cut through. The combination of textures is delightful. Its sweet, spicy and creamy flavour is becoming increasingly popular outside of Thailand.

For this recipe we fry up some onions in coconut oil. We add the massaman curry paste and a touch of coconut milk. This is followed by some garlic puree, the rest of the coconut milk and some lamb stock. As the lamb is already cooked we begin by cooking the potato in the curry sauce before adding in the lamb and peanuts. We add some extra seasoning to the curry with fish sauce and sugar.

Massaman Curry with Lamb
Massaman Curry with Lamb

What is in Massaman Curry?

Like many Thai curries, Massaman curry uses a curry paste made with a combination of dried red chilli, lemongrass, garlic, shallot, galangal, shrimp paste, and kaffir lime. The South Asian influences adds the spices of cinnamon, cardamon, mace, and coriander seed. Some cooks also use star anise, cloves, cumin seeds and bay leaf.

The sauce in Massaman curry is usually a base of coconut milk and sometimes meat stock.

We often season the curry with sugar, tamarind paste, and fish sauce. This is usually added to personal taste.

For meat you can choose chicken, lamb, beef, duck, or pork. The latter is less common. If you prefer a meat-free version you can use tofu.

A massaman curry usually has potato and onion as the main vegetables. Some people also add carrot. This is all finished off with come crunchy peanuts.

Easy Lamb Massaman Curry
Easy Lamb Massaman Curry

What does massaman curry taste like?

Massaman curry is mild, sweet, tangy, and creamy. The four main cornerstones of Thai cooking are sweet, salty, sour, and spicy. Almost all Thai dishes will have those flavour cornerstones to some extent. With this curry, there is just the hint of spice but overall it is a mild curry. It’s a great Thai curry because it is not overly spicy or sweet.

Massaman Curry
Massaman Curry

Do you have to make your own curry paste?

You can try to make your own curry paste. But in our experience, the Mae Ploy range of curry pastes are as close to authentic as the curry pastes we have made on our cooking school experiences in Thailand. Making your own authentic curry paste can be time-consuming as you need to use a large pestle and mortar to work the spices.

We find that the best massaman curry paste is made by Mae Ploy. We then add a few more of our own ingredients to give it depth of flavour. The curry paste alone will be a kind of flat flavour with some extra oomph.

How to make Lamb Massaman Curry
How to make Lamb Massaman Curry
Delicious Lamb Massaman Curry
Delicious Lamb Massaman Curry

How do you serve massaman curry?

Like most curries, massaman curry is served with rice. We like a simple jasmine rice. You could also try serving with a flatbread such as roti.

Is massaman curry vegetarian or vegan?

The majority of Thai curries and curry pastes contain shrimp paste or fish sauce. If you prefer no animal product at all you might have to shop around for a vegan version or make your own. These ingredients add umami and saltiness to the dish so you would probably want to replace this with a viable alternative.

Lamb Massaman Curry Thai
Lamb Massaman Curry Thai

Can I make any substitutions to the recipe?

Yes! You can vary the quantities of the coconut milk and stock to make the consistency you prefer. More coconut milk will make it creamy, and more stock will make it lighter in texture.

We recommend making the entire curry first and tasting before adjusting how much extra seasoning you want to add. We like the flavour of fish sauce for that deep authentic Thai taste, but you can omit this if you prefer.

The potato could be substituted for carrot or sweet potato if you prefer. Likewise, you could use cashew nuts if you don’t have any peanuts to hand.

We used lamb stock which we made using the bones from the roast leg of lamb. This adds unbelievable depth to the curry. If you don’t have lamb stock you can use a chicken stock cube mixed with boiling water, or any kind of broth you have available. You can also just use water if you want a lighter flavour.

Thai Massaman Curry with Lamb
Thai Massaman Curry with Lamb
Delicious Leftover Lamb Massaman Curry
Delicious Leftover Lamb Massaman Curry

Thai Lamb Massaman Curry

LEFTOVER LAMB MASSAMAN CURRY (SERVES 4)

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 1 Onion, finely sliced
  • 1 Tbsp Massaman Curry Paste (we recommend Mae Ploy)
  • 1 Tbsp Garlic Puree
  • 400ml Coconut Milk (double for creamier sauce)
  • 400ml Lamb Stock
  • 1-2 Large Potatoes, diced into 1 inch cubes
  • 500g (approx.) Leftover Lamb
  • 1-2 Tsp Fish Sauce, to taste (optional)
  • 1 Tsp Sugar, to taste (optional)
  • 35g Unsalted Peanuts

METHOD

  1. In a large saucepan heat the coconut oil over a medium heat. Once melted, add the sliced onion and fry gently until softened and golden in colour.
  2. Add the massaman curry paste to the pan and stir into the oil and onions. Then add 2 tablespoons of the coconut milk and stir into the paste. When the oil in the paste starts to separate add the garlic puree followed by the rest of the coconut milk and the lamb stock. Bring to the boil.
  3. Add the potato cubes and cook on a simmer until the potatoes have just cooked through. It should take about 15 minutes.
  4. Now add the cooked leftover lamb and simmer for a further 5 minutes until the meat is heated through.
  5. Taste the sauce and add fish sauce and sugar to your preferred taste. Add the peanuts and allow to heat through for a further minute before serving.
  6. Serve with fresh jasmine rice.

Leftover Lamb Massaman Curry

Leftover Lamb Massaman Curry

Lamb Massaman Curry is a mild yet flavourful Southern Thai curry.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 1 Onion, finely sliced
  • 1 Tbsp Massaman Curry Paste (we recommend Mae Ploy)
  • 1 Tbsp Garlic Puree
  • 400ml Coconut Milk (double for creamier sauce)
  • 400ml Lamb Stock
  • 1-2 Large Potatoes, diced into 1 inch cubes
  • 500g (approx.) Leftover Lamb
  • 1-2 Tsp Fish Sauce, to taste (optional)
  • 1 Tsp Sugar, to taste (optional)
  • 35g Unsalted Peanuts

Instructions

  1. In a large saucepan heat the coconut oil over a medium heat. Once melted, add the sliced onion and fry gently until softened and golden in colour.
  2. Add the massaman curry paste to the pan and stir into the oil and onions. Then add 2 tablespoons of the coconut milk and stir into the paste. When the oil in the paste starts to separate add the garlic puree followed by the rest of the coconut milk and the lamb stock. Bring to the boil.
  3. Add the potato cubes and cook on a simmer until the potatoes have just cooked through. It should take about 15 minutes.
  4. Now add the cooked leftover lamb and simmer for a further 5 minutes until the meat is heated through.
  5. Taste the sauce and add fish sauce and sugar to your preferred taste. Add the peanuts and allow to heat through for a further minute before serving.
  6. Serve with fresh jasmine rice.

Notes

We recommend making the entire curry first and tasting before adjusting how much extra seasoning you want to add. We like the flavour of fish sauce for that deep authentic Thai taste, but you can omit this if you prefer.

The potato could be substituted for carrot or sweet potato if you prefer. Likewise, you could use cashew nuts if you don’t have any peanuts to hand.

We used lamb stock which we made using the bones from the roast leg of lamb. This adds unbelievable depth to the curry. If you don’t have lamb stock you can use a chicken stock cube mixed with boiling water, or any kind of broth you have available. You can also just use water if you want a lighter flavour.

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