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prawn massaman

Prawn And Sweet Potato Massaman Curry

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 big portions 1x


The quantities given here for the curry paste make about a cup. You’ll only need 2 tablespoons to make the curry. The rest will keep in the fridge for about a week. Alternatively divide it up into smaller batches and pop it in the freezer.



For the massaman curry paste

  • 6 whole cardamom pods
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 1 1” piece of a cinnamon stick
  • 2 tablespoons of coriander seeds
  • 2 teaspoons of cumin seeds
  • 2 green chiles
  • 1 red chilli
  • 1 whole bulb of garlic, peeled
  • 3 lemongrass stalks, tough outer layers removed, and roughly chopped
  • 4 medium sized shallots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 1½” piece of galangal, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 1½” piece of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • ½ cup of coriander
  • ½ cup of salted, dry-roasted peanuts
  • 1 teaspoon of chilli flakes
  • ½ a teaspoon of ground nutmeg
  • ½ a teaspoon of ground turmeric.
  • ½ a cup of vegetable oil

For the massaman curry

  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 2 heaped tablespoons of massaman curry paste
  • 400ml of fish stock
  • 400ml of coconut milk
  • 6 shallots, roughly chopped
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 star anis
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves
  • 300g of sweet potato, peeled and diced into half inch chunks
  • the juice of 3 limes
  • 2 tablespoons of fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of tamarind paste
  • 40g of palm sugar
  • 400g of tiger prawns
  • 1 head of bok choy, roughly chopped
  • 100g spring onions, sliced
  • 25g of coriander, chopped


To make the curry paste

  1. Split the cardamom pods in half and remove the black seeds from the outer green husks.
  2. Cut the cinnamon stick into small pieces and add into the cardamon followed by the cloves, coriander seeds, and cumin seeds.
  3. Heat a pan on the stove and gently toast all the spices for a couple of minutes to release their flavour. Than transfer them to a mortar and pestle and grind them up to a fine powder. set aside while you make the rest of your paste.
  4. Place the chillies, garlic, lemongrass, shallots, galangal, ginger, coriander, and half your roasted peanuts in a blender and whizz to a fine paste. Than add in the nutmeg, turmeric, chilli flakes, and the spices you toasted earlier. Give the paste a final blitz and loosen it a little with the vegetable oil.

To make the curry

  1. To make the curry heat the vegetable oil in a large pan or wok. Add in the curry paste and fry over a high heat for about minute, stirring constantly so it doesn’t burn.
  2. Add in the fish stock and coconut milk and bring the curry up to a gentle simmer. Next, in go the shallots followed by the cinnamon, star anise, kaffir lime leaves, and sweet potato.
  3. Cook the curry for about 15 minutes until the sweet potatoes are tender and all the flavours are well mingled.
  4. Add the fish sauce, tamarind paste, lime juice, and palm sugar to the curry and mix in well. Give your curry a quick taste and adjust the flavour to your own liking. If it needs more salt, then add in a little more fish sauce. Not sweet enough, than add another spoon or two of sugar. If you like it sour than squeeze in a little more lime or tamarind paste.
  5. Finally in go your prawn, bok choy, spring onions, chopped coriander and the remaining peanuts. Give it a good stir and finish the curry by simmering gently for a minute,
  6. Serve up by spooning the curry over some steamed jasmine rice.