One Pot Meals

Easy and Delicious Thai-Inspired Beef Massaman Curry

at a glance
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 servings

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If you’ve never had massaman curry, you are in for a treat! All you need for this super easy recipe is 4 ingredients. That’s it! 4 ingredients and you’re on your way to flavor town. Yai’s Thai takes the bulk of the cooking out of the equation (without compromising any of the flavor) with their super flavorful, made-with-love, premade sauce. If you’re like me and are seeking out all of the quick-and-easy recipes to get dinner on the table fast, this is the recipe for you!

Side view of a bowl of massaman curry on a teal surface. There is a yellow dutch oven in the background and a jar of Yai's Thai beef massaman curry sauce. There are side plates with lime wedges, crushed peanuts, and a yellow linen.

Easy Beef Massaman Curry Recipe

This beef massaman curry recipe is the easiest (emphasis on the EASY) and quickest recipe you’ll find on the internet thanks to Yai’s Thai and 4 simple ingredients. You’ll cook everything (except the rice – which you can batch cook using this method and have ready for a variety of meals throughout the week) in one pot and have a complete meal on the table in less than 30 minutes, with minimal hands-on time. Yai’s Thai Massaman Curry brings the dish together in a rich and flavorful curry sauce that the entire family is sure to love. A note – it’s on the slightly spicier side, so you may want to use less sauce for people who aren’t as accustomed to spice. 

Massaman curry originated in southern Thailand and has influences from Malaysia and India. The flavors are built from aromatics including lemongrass, garlic, shallots, and galangal (similar to ginger with more of a citrus tone) common to Thai cuisine, and whole spices commonly found in Indian cuisines, like cinnamon, cumin, nutmeg, cardamom, and cloves. It’s a coconut curry made with massaman curry paste that is rich, slightly spicy, slightly sweet, a little tangy, and utterly delicious.

Jar of massaman curry resting on a wooden cutting board next to a pot of beef massaman. There are a couple bowls of rice in the bottom corner and a yellow linen draped to the side.

We LOVE Yai’s Thai and have been huge fans for a long time. Founders Leland (whose half-Thai heritage and mother influenced much of the cooking in the kitchen) and Sarah wanted to create products that not only tasted amazing and remained authentic to the traditional flavors but were made with better-for-you ingredients without compromising on flavor. They set out to develop an expansive line of sauces and curries that not only taste delicious, but are super easy to use (speaking our language!), and let me tell you, they deliver! Reaching for Yai’s Thai over and over again when looking to solve the dinnertime hustle is a no-brainer for us. 

Ingredients in Thai Massaman Curry

4 simple ingredients (in addition to your kitchen staples – salt, pepper, and olive oil) are all you need to make this super flavorful dish! The garnishes are totally optional for whatever you like.

Beef massaman ingredients on a grey and white marble surface.
  • 1 pound of Yukon gold potatoes, halved or quartered (into 2-3″ pieces)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 pound of beef sirloin stew meat
  • 1 yellow onion, quartered and sliced into 1″ pieces
  • 1 jar of Yai’s Thai Massaman Curry 
  • Rice, for serving
  • Crushed peanuts, for garnish (optional)
  • Thai chilis or red jalapeno pepper, for garnish (optional)
  • Cilantro sprigs, for garnigh (optional)

Why Yai’s Thai Massaman Curry?

While there are plenty of decent massaman curry pastes available on the market (so you don’t have to make your own from scratch), we love Yai’s Thai Massaman Curry because the entire sauce is already made and ready to pour. It has rich and complex flavors that are fragrant and warm, and it’s the perfect way to get dinner on the table quickly.  

What spices are in Massaman Curry?

Massaman curry is made with a blend of cinnamon, cumin, black pepper, nutmeg, cardamom, and cloves. 

Ingredient Modifications and Variations

This recipe was made to be simple. It is gluten- and dairy-free by nature, so no subs are necessary there! Here are some ways you can change things up:

  • Add more vegetables – while beef massaman is traditionally made with potatoes and onion (featured here), you can absolutely add more vegetables if you have some in the fridge. Carrots would make a nice addition. 
  • Change the protein – feel free to use whatever protein you have on hand. Chicken or ground beef would be really easy subs. You could also use pan-fried tofu to make it a vegetarian meal. 
  • Serve over quinoa, coconut rice, cauliflower rice, or zoodles if you’re wanting something a little different than regular rice. 

How to Make Easy Massaman Curry with Beef

The process to make this dish is truly simple and doesn’t require a lot of prep/hands-on time. Here’s how you’ll make it:

Hand holding a knife and cubing potatoes on a wooden cutting board.
Sirloin stew meat browning in a white pot.
Hand pouring jar of massaman curry sauce over the ingredients in a white dutch oven,
Hand adding potatoes to a pot of water.
Hand slicing white onion into pieces.
Wooden spoon adding boiled potatoes to a white dutch oven.
Hand seasoning sirloin meat with salt and pepper.
Wooden spoon adding diced onions to the pan.
Beef massaman curry combined together in a white pot.
  1. Cook the potatoes – in a large pot, add 3-4″ of water and the halved or quartered potatoes and bring to a boil. Boil for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are fork-tender. Drain the potatoes in a colander and set them aside.
  2. Brown the meat – to the same pot, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and heat over medium-high heat. Season the beef with salt and pepper. Add to the pot and brown on all sides. 
  3. Add the onions – add the sliced onions and saute for 5 minutes, or until the onions begin to soften.
  4. Add the sauce – pour the sauce over the beef and onion mixture, then add the potatoes and stir to combine. 
  5. Simmer – bring to a low boil, then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.
  6. Serve and enjoy! Garnish with a sprinkle of chopped peanuts, a few sprigs of cilantro, and some sliced Thai chilis or red jalapeno (for some extra heat, if desired), serve, and enjoy!

How to Store and Reheat Easy Massaman Curry

Stored in an airtight container in the fridge, this massaman curry is good for up to 5 days. To reheat, add it to a pot and heat over low heat until warmed through, or place it in the microwave and heat for 90 seconds, stir, and heat for additional 30-second increments until warmed through. 

Top down view of beef massaman in a yellow handled dutch oven and a wooden spoon resting inside. The dish is sitting on top of a wooden cutting board and there is a plate of sliced limes in the top corner. All are sitting on a bright teal surface.
Q Is Massaman Beef Indian or Thai?
A

Massaman curry originated in southern Thailand and has influences from Malaysia and India. The flavors are built from aromatics including lemongrass, garlic, shallots, and galangal (similar to ginger with more of a citrus tone) common to Thai cuisine, and whole spices commonly found in Indian cuisines, like cinnamon, cumin, nutmeg, cardamom, and cloves.

Q Is Massaman Curry spicy?
A

In comparison to other Thai curries, massaman is considered mild (Thai curries tend to be on the much spicier side and have a different measure of spice than some who are not accustomed to eating Thai cuisine may measure). Yai’s Thai Massaman is rated a medium level spice and definitely has a warm spice to the overall flavor.

Q What does Massaman Curry taste like?
A

Yai’s Thai Massaman Curry is truly something special! It is a blend of slightly sweet and spicy and tangy. It gets its depth of flavor from the warming spices of cinnamon, cumin, nutmeg, cardamom, and cloves and aromatics of lemongrass, garlic, shallots, and galangal (similar to ginger with more of a citrus tone).

Q What do you eat with Massaman Curry?
A

Massaman curry is traditionally served alongside jasmine rice. A simple cucumber and red onion or simple greens salad with Thai-inspired dressing would also be fresh and tasty.

Q What is the difference between Massaman Curry and Red Curry?
A

Massaman curry is generally more mild in spice and heavier on warming spices, such as cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, while red curry is heavily flavored with red chiles and usually much spicier.

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Easy Thai-Inspired Beef Massaman Curry

By: Melissa Guevara
No ratings yet
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 35 mins
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients  

  • 1 pound Yukon gold potatoes halved or quartered
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 pound beef sirloins stew meat
  • 1 yellow onion quartered and sliced into 1" pieces
  • 1 jar Yai's Thai Massaman Curry
  • Rice for serving
  • Crushed Peanuts for garnish (optional)
  • Thai Chilis or Red Jalapeño Pepper sliced thinly, for garnish (optional)
  • Cilantro Sprigs for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  • In a large pot, add 3-4" of water and the halved or quartered potatoes and bring to a boil. Boil for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender.
  • Drain the potatoes in a colander and set them aside.
  • To the same pot, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and heat over medium high heat.
  • Season the beef with salt and pepper. Add to the pot and brown for 2-3 minutes on all sides.
  • Add the sliced onions and saute for 5 minutes, or until the onions begin to soften.
  • Pour the sauce over the beef and onion mixture, then add the potatoes and stir to combine.
  • Bring to a low boil, then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Garnish with a sprinkle of chopped peanuts, a few sprigs of cilantro, and some sliced Thai chilis or red jalapeno (for some extra heat, if desired), serve, and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Ingredient Modifications and Variations

This recipe was made to be simple. It is gluten- and dairy-free by nature, so no subs necessary there! Here are some ways you can change things up:
  • Add more vegetables – while beef massaman is traditionally made with potatoes and onion (featured here), you can absolutely add more vegetables if you have some in the fridge. Carrots would make a nice addition. 
  • Change the protein – feel free to use whatever protein you have on hand. Chicken or ground beef would be really easy subs. You could also use a pan fried tofu to make it a vegetarian meal. 
Meet the Author
Melissa Headshot

Melissa Guevara

Melissa spends the bulk of her time writing, managing our content calendar, and lending a hand in recipe shoots. She values time spent exploring outdoors with her family and baking all things sourdough.⁠
Get to know Melissa
photographer: Jessica Gaertner

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