Thai Masaman Chicken, 'Gaeng Masaman Gai'
Buy ingredients for this recipe!
The "massaman" indicates that the recipe is of a "musselman" or islamic origin. It probably owes something to early Portuguese influences, and is similar in concept to the "sour and hot" Goan style vindaloo dishes. By Thai standards this is usually a fairly mild curry, so we find it's a good starting point.
In a July 2011 CNN story, Massaman curry was declared "World's Most Delicious Food" (see below).
You might also be interested in our instant massaman which is easy to make and tastes very good.
about 1 pound chicken (you can also use pork or beef), cut into the usual "bite sized pieces"
Peel potatoes, boil them partly in a cooking pot for 10-15 minutes, and cut in 1 to 2-inch pieces.
Allow the coconut milk to separate and you will have about two cups of thick "cream" and one cup of thin "milk". In a small saucepan bring the milk to a simmer and add the chicken or pork. If you are using beef you will need another two cups of milk. Simmer the meat until it begins to become tender (beef takes longer, hence the additional milk).
Put the coconut cream in a wok and bring to a boil, add the massaman paste and "stir fry" until the flavor is brought out and maximized. Add the remaining cream and curry paste to the meat.
Add the peanuts. Taste and adjust the flavor until it is (just) sweet (by adding sugar), sour and salty (by adding tamarind juice, lime juice and fish sauce).
Add the remaining ingredients and cook until cooked.
Note : the potatoes used in Thailand for this dish are a yellow fleshed sweet potato of the type sometimes called a yam in the US. Western style potatoes can be used, but absorb less of the sauce and flavor. The potatoes act as a "moderator" to reduce the heat of the curry, and should not be left out.
You can either serve it on a bed of Thai jasmine rice, or double the amount of potato and serve it alone.
Accompany it with a dressed green salad and a bowl of "ajad" (pickled cucumbers--see recipe below). The traditional Thai table also offers chilis in fish sauce (Phrik nam pla--see below) chilis in vinegar (prik dong, see below), and ground chilli (not to be confused with the powedered chilli mix sold as chilli powder in the US), sugar, and often MSG. You can if you wish add about a teaspoon of MSG to the above recipe to bring out the flavors, but we don't think it is necesary.
Combine the ingredients, and leave to stand overnight.
Nam pla prik
Thai massaman curry got "First Prize" in CNN's list of the world's 50 most delicious foods. Thailand is "a land where the world's most delicious food is sold on nearly every street corner."
Masaman Kit. A Great Value.
Here we've put together a kit of all the ingredients to make dozens of servings of masaman, for such a great price that your cost will end up a fraction of what a restaurant would charge.
Thai Street Vendor Video
All of our videos can be found in our Thai Street Vendor Videos section.
Share photos of this recipe from your own kitchen or a restaurant table, and earn rewards!
Details and quick sign up here.
Email This Recipe
Send this recipe to yourself or a friend.
September 8th, 2008
June 5th, 2009
August 19th, 2009
June 21st, 2010
August 20th, 2011
March 29th, 2012
March 29th, 2012
January 29th, 2014
Add a Comment
Related RecipesChicken Satay, 'Satay Gai' Thai-Style Peanut Sauce, 'Nam Jim Satay' Thai Pork Satay, 'Moo Satay' Thai Chicken with Hot-Sour-Salty-Sweet Sauce
Essential Thai Pantry
Find Another Thai RecipeNeed more help? Check out our Thai Recipe Helper
Start typing the name of the recipe you are interested in.