Vegetarian Recipe: Massaman Curry (Vegan)

Massaman Curry (Vegan)

massaman curry recipe
  • Servings : 4
  • Prep Time : 25m
  • Cook Time : 20m
  • Ready In : 45m

Massaman Curry is my absolute favourite Thai dish, and it appears to be the case with a lot of other Thai food lovers! To make the curry from scratch would require an endless list of ingredients in order to make it well. I have simplified the recipe by using a store bought red curry paste (I prefer to use the one in a glass jar) combined with a tamarind paste which you can buy in an Indian or Asian supermarket. If you can find a tamarind paste or sauce in a jar, it would make the recipe even simpler. Tamarind has a very intensely tart taste, so the amount of tamarind you use depends on how dominant you want this flavour to be. Typically the dish has a sweetish/savoury/sourish flavour. I don’t add any hot chilli powder because the red curry paste has enough “heat” in it already. Adding a fresh green chilli pepper is optional if you want a bit more kick!



  • 1 medium onion, chopped into cubes
  • 1 bell pepper, sliced into 1.5 inch pieces
  • 3 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 cup cauliflower florets or green beans (optional)
    green chilli pepper, chopped fine (optional)
  • 1 cup firm tofu, cubed
  • 1/2 cup roasted cashews
    Handful of chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 Tbs tamarind paste
    3 Tbs red curry paste
  • 3 Tbs coconut or brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp paprika or sweet chilli powder (add 1/2 tsp chilli paste if you want a spicy kick)
  • 1.5 tsp sea salt (adjust depending on taste)
    2 cups coconut milk
  • 2 Tbs coconut oil or other cooking oil
  • 2 to 3 bay leaves (optional)
    Fresh basil or cilantro


Step 1

In a medium sized bowl combine tamarind paste, red curry paste, sugar, turmeric, paprika, and salt. Mix well. Add about 1/2 cup of coconut milk and mix to make a smooth thick sauce. Set aside.

Step 2

Microwave the cubed potatoes for 3 minutes until they are partially cooked but not soft. Set aside.

Step 3

Meanwhile, heat 1 Tbs of oil in a wok or large saucepan on medium high heat. Lightly brown the tofu for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove into a small bowl and set aside. Add remaining oil and onion, and sauté for about 2 minutes. Add potatoes, cauliflower and green chilli (if using), cook for another 5 minutes. Now add the prepared curry mix, tofu, green beans and bell peppers. Mix well. Cover and cook for 4 to 5 minutes. Add the remaining coconut milk and bay leaves.

Step 4

Cook on medium heat until potatoes are soft and curry has a rich consistency (approx. 8 minutes). Add a little water if it's too thick and cook a few minutes longer. If not thick enough, cook uncovered for a few minutes to thicken. Throw in the cashews and cilantro just before removing from heat.

Step 5

Serve with jasmine rice.

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