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vegan massaman curry

Vegan Massaman Curry

Vegan Massaman Curry is a deliciously rich and decadent Thai curry. It's sweet and spicy, creamy and nutty. Packed with aubergine and potatoes this is such a great date night dinner.
Course Dinner
Cuisine Thai, Vegan
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 576kcal


  • Blender or food processor
  • Large pan with tight-fitting lid


For the Paste

  • 2 birds eye chillies
  • 4 shallots roughly chopped
  • 2 sticks of lemongrass just the bottom part, tough outer layers removed, base trimmed, then roughly chopped.
  • ½ cup fresh coriander/cilantro (30g) leaves removed and set aside for serving, just the stalks are going into the blender.
  • 4 ½ tablespoon smooth peanut butter (100g)
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 ½ level tsp ground cumin
  • ¾ level tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ level tsp ground cloves
  • 1 ½ level tbsp galangal paste if you can't find galangal paste then ginger will do, use about a thumb-size piece peeled then finely grated
  • 1 ½ level tbsp tamarind paste
  • 2 level tsp brown sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt

For the Curry

  • 1 medium aubergine/eggplant (295g) cut into chunks
  • 2 ½ cups of waxy salad potatoes (550g) skin on, cut into quarters
  • ½ a cup fresh or frozen green beans (100g) cut the beans in half
  • 1 lime, the juice of + more for serving
  • 2 ½ cups of coconut milk (600ml) I used reduced fat coconut milk, full fat coconut milk works very well too.

For Serving

  • The reserved coriander/cilantro leaves
  • Lime wedges
  • Plain rice


To make the paste

  • Add all the paste ingredients to a blender or food processor along with 100ml of water and blend until you have a smooth paste.
    If you are using a food processor then you may need to scrape down the sides and blend again.

To make the curry

  • Heat a large pan with a tight-fitting lid over medium heat. Once the pan is hot add the paste.
    Cook the paste for 5 minutes stirring continuously, making sure that the paste doesn't burn. The paste should be a dark brown in colour and shiny.
  • Slowly add the coconut milk, again stirring all the time.
    Once all the coconut milk has been added add the potatoes to the sauce. Let the sauce bubble up around the potatoes then after 5 minutes add the aubergine/eggplant and the lime juice.
    Stir everything together then reduce the heat to the lowest setting.
    Pop the lid on the pan then leave to simmer for about 20 - 25 minutes stirring occasionally.
  • 5 minutes before the end of cooking add in the green beans to the sauce then pop the lid back on the pan.
    The curry is done when the potatoes are cooked through and the aubergine/eggplant has collapsed. If you find that the sauce is too thick stir in a little water.
  • Serve immediately with the reserved coriander/cilantro, plain rice and lime wedges.


  • Nutritional Information - is approximate and is calculated using an online nutrition tool. It does not include rice.
  • Lemon grass - I used 3"/ 7 cm of the bottom part of the lemon grass. Trim off the base then remove the tough outer layers. 
  • Chillies - Massaman curry is not meant to be overly hot, I found that just two birds eye chillies was more than adeqate for this curry. I love spicy food and can handle quite a lot of heat. I've tested this with 3 and 4 chillies and found that they were too much altogther. So if you like it really hot then go for 4 but if you like a milder curry than 1 may be the way to go.
  • Galangal paste - you should be able to find this is in larger supermarkets, in the world food section. I found this easier to find than fresh galangal. If you can't find it then a thumb-size piece of ginger, finely grated is a good substitute. 
  • Tamarind paste - again I found this easily in my local larger supermarket in the world foods/speciality section. 
  • Making the paste - you will need a blender or food processor for this, it should be strong enough to blend the ingredients into a smooth paste.
  • Coconut Milk - I have made this curry with both full-fat and reduced-fat coconut milk. I found that the reduced fat coconut milk was better in this curry as it is quite rich. If you are going reduced fat make sure and get a good quality one if you can.
  • Storing - you can keep any leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • Freezing - You can freeze this curry, just let it cool then transfer to a labelled freezer bag. Store for up to 3 months. Let it thaw overnight in the fridge before cooking. Reheat it on the hob, it will need a good stir and possibly a little water.
  • Recipe source - this recipe is roughly adapted from Meera Sodha's aubergine and sweet potato massaman curry. While Meera's curry is gorgeous, we found it very spicy and very rich. I made this 4 or 5 times apapting it slightly each time until it until I ended up with a less spicy, less rich curry.
  • Is this curry gluten-free? Yes it is.


Calories: 576kcal | Carbohydrates: 38.5g | Protein: 12.3g | Fat: 45.3g | Saturated Fat: 33.6g | Sodium: 919mg | Potassium: 1160mg | Fiber: 10.5g | Sugar: 8.4g | Calcium: 100mg | Iron: 8mg