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Jason Palin – Massaman Curry with Sticky Rice Recipe

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Massaman Curry Recipe – Jason Palin

Massaman Curry is perfect for entertaining as it is quick to prepare and delicious without being too spicy. It’s a guaranteed crowd pleaser, and children like it too!

Preparation –  20 mins

Cooking time – allow 30 minutes from when you add the chicken to ensure it is cooked through.


  • 2 shallots, or 1 small onion
  • 1 stalk lemongrass
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3-4 tsp red Massaman curry paste
  • 500g of boneless and skinless chicken breasts whole or cut into chunks. As an alternative, Chef uses chicken thighs as they have more flavour. He puts the thighs in whole or you can cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1tbsp fish sauce
  • 1tbsp tamarind
  • 1 tsp sugar, brown is best
  • 4 freeze-dried kaffir lime leaves
  • 400ml can coconut milk
  • 450g potatoes – peeled and cut into 2cm chunks
  • 20g pack fresh coriander (optional)
  • Small packet of roasted peanuts (salted or unsalted – to suit your taste optional)


  1. Peel shallots or onion and cut in half from top to root. Lay the cut sides flat on board and thinly slice
  2. Chop the lemongrass into three chunks. It’s needed to add flavour rather than to be eaten.
  3. Heat the oil in a wok or large saucepan for a couple of minutes until the oil separates (it looks more liquid at this point). Add the shallots or onion. Fry for 3-5 mins, until soft and translucent.
  4. Stir in the Massaman curry paste and cook for 1 min, stirring all the time.
  5. Add chicken pieces and stir until they are coated.
  6. Add the fish sauce, tamarind, sugar, kaffir lime leaves and coconut milk.
  7. Add the diced potato
  8. Bring slowly to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 15 – 20 mins until the chicken is cooked. Stir the curry a few times while it cooks, to stop it sticking and to keep the chicken submerged.
  9. If you feel it needs more liquid, use the can from the coconut milk, half fill it and add to your cooking in small amounts until you are happy with the consistency of the sauce.
  10. While the chicken is cooking, strip the leaves from the coriander stalks, gather into a pile and chop very roughly.
  11. Taste the curry and add a little more curry paste and salt if you think it needs it.
  12. Stir half the coriander into the curry.
  13. To serve – sprinkle the other half of the coriander and the chopped peanuts over the top.
  14. Serve with sticky rice.

How to prepare Sticky Rice – Serves 4

  • 300g Thai sticky rice
  • 500ml water – ensure the rice is completely covered by water – approx. 2cm of water above the rice level.

If you have time, pre-soak the rice in water for around an hour. Then drain before cooking it in the 500ml water. If not, put it in a sieve and run water through it for about 5 minutes.

  1. Put the rice and the water in a pan
  2. Bring to the boil
  3. Reduce the heat and cover and simmer for approx.15 minutes
  4. Make sure all the water has been absorbed and taste the rice to ensure it is tender.