Mussaman Curry

Mussaman curry is the perfect dish when you feel like a Thai curry, but someone in your house isn’t keen on anything too spicy; the use of coconut milk and coconut cream softens the heat of the curry paste. I love the combination of the succulent beef, soft potato and crunchy peanuts – the different textures are definitely part of this curry’s appeal.

In a strange fit of baby-brain, the last time I made this, I used Panang curry paste instead of Mussaman….both are quite mild, and the flavours are quite different, but it worked! However, a true Mussaman is much lighter in colour than shown here!

Mussaman Curry – serves 4-6

600ml coconut milk
675g stewing beef, cut into 2cm chunks (I used chuck steak)
250ml coconut cream
3T mussaman curry paste (use the recipe below, or buy a jar!)
2T fish sauce
1T palm sugar (brown sugar is a fine substitute)
4T tamarind juice (if using tamarind puree, use only 1-2T as it is much stronger)
6 cardamom pods
2.5cm piece cinnamon stick
225g potatoes, cut into even-sized chunks
1 onion, cut into wedges
50g roasted peanuts (unsalted)
plain boiled rice, to serve

Bring the coconut milk to a gentle boil in a wok or large pan. Add the beef and simmer for 1.25hrs, or until tender.

Pour the coconut cream into a small pot, the cook for 5-8 minutes, stirring, until an oily sheen appears on the surface. Add the curry paste and cook until fragrant.


Stir the curry paste into the beef. Add the fish sauce, sugar, tamarind, cardamom, cinnamon, potatoes and onions. Simmer gently for 15-20 minutes.

Add peanuts and cook a further 5 minutes.


Serve with plain boiled rice.

Recipe: Curry, by Mridula Baljekar

Homemade Mussaman Curry Paste

Soak 4 large dried red chillies in water until softened; chop roughly.

In a pan, dry-fry 2 cardamom pods, 1t coriander seeds, 1/4t cinnamon
1 1/2T chopped shallots, 1T chopped garlic, 1T chopped lemongrass, 1t chopped galangal, 1/2T chopped coriander root, and 1/2t turmeric.

Grind roasted ingredients with a mortar and pestle (or use a spice grinder or food processor); add chillies and pound/grind/process until paste is smooth.

Recipe: Asia Scenic Thai Cooking (cooking school in Chiang Mai, Thailand)

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One thought on “Mussaman Curry

  1. Pingback: Meal Planning | Tall, Short, Tiny & a Pickle

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