Massaman Curry

There is a little restaurant in Bangkok called Ban Chiang which I visit every time I’m there. It’s quite an unexpected place considering its location, but it never disappoints. It’s in an old Thai house, surrounded by loads of greenery and serves the most kick-ass Mussaman curry amongst other amazing dishes. Try to visit if you’re ever in the city.
For this dish, you need to use a lower grade cut of beef and cook it for a long period of time to get the end result of beautifully soft meat in the flavorful gravy, but trust me it’s worth it. Sweet potato replaces the white potato, and cashews replace the peanuts, so is it Paleo?? Hell yes!

Team it with cauliflower rice for a completely Paleo Thai meal.


Preheat oven to 180degrees Celsius.
Put tamarind paste in a small dish and cover with 2 tablespoons of boiling water. Break it down with the back of a spoon to make a tamarind syrup.
For the paste: put the shallots, lemongrass, garlic, ginger and coconut oil in a mini food processor and whizz to a paste.
Grind down the cumin and coriander seeds in a mortar and pestle, then add the pepper, salt, cardamom and clove powder. Add this mixture to the paste in the food processor and combine together.
Heat some coconut oil in a large casserole dish and brown the meat, do this in batches if you need, and remove from pot.
Put your paste in the same pot and fry off for a few seconds until it becomes fragrant, then add the meat and any juice back to the pot.
Pour in the coconut milk and bring to the boil. When it reaches a boil, remove from the heat and add the sweet potato, tamarind syrup, cinnamon stick and bay leaves to pot.
Cover with lid and put in the preheated oven for 2 hours.
Garnish with crushed cashews and fresh coriander.
Serves 4-6.


  • 1.5 kg beef (chuck or blade cut), cut into large chunks
  • 1 large sweet potato (around 600g), cut into large chunks
  • 2 x 400ml cans coconut milk
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon tamarind paste
  • Coconut oil for frying

For the curry paste…

  • 3 shallots
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, grated
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, white part cut roughly
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons cumin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 3 teaspoons dried chilli flakes
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves

To garnish…

  • 1/2 cup cashews, chopped
  • Fresh coriander