Thai Massaman Curry

Thai Massaman Curry

Despite the fact that my dietary issues originate from travelling in Southeast Asia one of my favourite cuisines is Thai. And the good news is if you can’t eat gluten then Thai is a great option for you! In Thailand they traditionally use tamari sauce which is a soy sauce made without wheat, it looks like traditional soy sauce as is almost identical in flavour.

The first time I went to Thailand, I was there visiting my friend who was a diving videographer on a small island called Koh Tao. What was meant to be a brief two-week visit, turned into a five-month stay, full of amazing experiences and long lasting friendships. My first day on Koh Tao my friend took me on tour of the island on the back of his scooter and after showing me where you can snorkel with sharks (seriously!), he took me to a tiny local restaurant on the side of the road and introduced me to massaman curry.


I decided to make my curry paste from scratch, but I don’t always have time to do it and sometimes I can’t find all ingredients in my local shops. If you don’t want to make your own paste you can pick up it up from an Asian supermarket or larger supermarkets. This will cut down the amount of time it makes takes to make the recipe.

To see the curry paste recipe I used CLICK HERE


Massaman is usually a meat curry (lamb, beef, chicken) but it is equally delicious with tofu. The vegan instructions are at the bottom of the recipe card. 


I couldn’t decide between lamb or beef for this recipe as both work well. Usually, I would go for lamb but my local butcher had some excellent stewing steak.

The recipe uses potatoes but if you are not a fan of having both rice and potatoes in one dish you can swap out the normal potatoes for sweet potatoes.

This curry is creamy, spicy, packed full of flavour and is the ultimate comfort dish.


Thai Massaman Curry- Gluten and Dairy Free

A melt in the mouth, slow cooked thai curry that is naturally gluten and dairy free.

Prep Time:
15 minutes
Cook time:
2 hours 30 minutes
Servings: serves 4
Tags: gluten free, dairy free, vegan option


  • 85g unsalted peanuts
  • 400ml can coconut milk
  • 4 tbsp massaman curry paste
  • 600g stewing beef steak, cut into large chunks
  • 1 .5 tbsp cornflour
  • 450g waxy potatoes, cut into 2½ cm chunks
  • 1 onion, cut into thin wedges
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tbsp palm or soft light brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp red chilli, chopped and deseeded
  • jasmine rice to serve
gluten and dairy free thai massaman


    1. Heat oven to 200° C and roast the peanuts on a baking tray until golden brown – approximately 5 minutes.

    2. Reduce the oven to 160° C,

    3. Heat a little oil in a heavy bottomed pan. Toss the beef in the cornflour. Brown the meat in batches and set aside.

    4. Add the curry paste to the pan and fry for a minute before adding a spoonful of coconut milk to loosen it. Then add the beef and stir until it is well coated.

    5. Add the rest of the coconut milk, 200mm of water, the potatoes, onion, lime leaves, cinnamon, taramind, sugar and fish sauce to the pan and stir well so that it is thoroughly combined. Bring to a simmer then cover and cook in the oven for 2 to 2 ½ hours until the beef is tender.

    6. Sprinkle with the chilli and peanuts and service with jasmine rice.



To make the dish vegan, chop the tofu into cubes and then fry it with in a little sesame oil until it is browned.

Omit the fish sauce and make sure your paste does not have fish in it!

Add the curry paste to the pan for a minute then add a spoonful of coconut milk to loosen it.

Add the rest of the coconut milk, 200mm of water, the potatoes, onion, lime leaves, cinnamon, taramind, and sugar to the pan and stir well so that it is thoroughly combined.

Cook on the stove top for 20 minutes or so until soft.


To see the original recipe from BBC Good Food here


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