EASY recipe with an authentic taste, this Thai Massaman Curry has tender cooked chicken and potatoes in a creamy coconut sauce. The best part is that you can also cook rice at the same time using the Pot-in-Pot technique and the whole meal is ready in under 30 minutes.
The recipe was originally posted in May 2018 and has been updated with new photos, a video, and more details on the ingredients.
For many years I have been making Thai masaman curry on a stovetop using my friend Punitha's recipe. The best homemade curry with a perfect combination of spices, chunks of creamy potatoes, and tender, fall-apart chicken. The addition of whole cashews adds a luxurious nutty taste resulting in a better-than-restaurant curry.
I am excited to share this easier take on the original recipe using Instant Pot that delivers the same authentic flavors with half the effort. This recipe not only makes the most tender chicken curry but it's also pretty hands-off. The best part is that you can cook Jasmine rice along with the curry, using the pot-in-pot method. A perfect meal that is quick and easy for busy weeknights.
What is Massaman Curry?
A fusion of Thai and Indian Curries, Massaman curry uses Indian spices such as cumin, coriander, and cardamom incorporated in a spice paste with the addition of lemon grass and galangal also known as Thai ginger or Siamese ginger which adds sharp citrusy flavors. Peanuts or cashews are often added to the curry to add nutty, luxurious flavors. Massaman Curry can be prepared with chicken, beef, lamb, or even a vegetarian version.
Maesri Curry Paste
So, what makes this Thai Massaman curry recipe so simple, delicious, and a repeat in my kitchen? A good quality curry paste. For me, it is the Maesri Massaman curry paste as it adds authentic Asian Curry flavors to this dish. It has all my favorite Indian spices such as coriander, cumin, cinnamon, and cardamom as well as lemongrass and galangal for an authentic Thai taste.
- Chicken - boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into 2-inch cubes
- Curry Paste -I highly recommend using vegan Maesri brand Massaman curry paste for an authentic-tasting curry. Here in the US, it is sold in whole foods, H-mart and Amazon. It comes in a 4-ounce can which is perfect for this recipe. Any leftover curry paste can also be frozen.
- Coconut Milk - A must in Thai curries, I like Trader Joe's or whole foods brand unsweetened canned coconut milk. In this recipe, I like to cook the chicken in the watery portion of the coconut milk and then add the cream after the chicken has been cooked. The best way to separate cream from water is to refrigerate the can for a couple of hours or freeze the can while you prep the other ingredients. Once the coconut milk is cold, the cream rises up and making it easy to separate from the coconut water.
- Potato - Russet potato adds body and creamy texture to the curry. Peel the potato and cut into 1-inch cubes. As the curry cools down, the starch from the potato makes the curry thicker. You can also use red potato, sweet potato, or carrots if you like.
- Onion - Yellow onions add a bit of sweet flavor to the curry while holding up well to pressure cooking. You can also use other types of onions if you like.
- Cashews - raw, unsalted cashews add nutty flavors and richness to the curry. You can also add other nuts like peanuts to the curry if you like or skip the nuts in case of allergies.
- Fish Sauce - A completely optional ingredient, you may add fish sauce if you like the salty, briny flavor. You can also add lime juice as a substitute.
How To Make Massaman Curry
- Turn the Instant Pot to Saute mode and heat oil. Add the masaman curry paste and saute for 10 to 15 seconds.
- Next, add the chicken and mix well with the curry paste.
- Add potatoes, onions, cashews, fish sauce, brown sugar, and salt. Add half a cup of the watery portion of the coconut milk.
- Stir everything well.
- To make pot-in-pot rice, add rinsed and drained Jasmine rice, water, and salt to a stainless steel bowl. Carefully place a tall trivet inside the Instant Pot. Place the prepared rice bowl on the trivet.
- Close the Instant Pot lid with the pressure valve to sealing. Pressure Cook(Hi) for 5 minutes followed by a 10-minute natural pressure release.
- Open the Instant Pot.
- Using heat-resistant mitts take out the rice bowl, and trivet.
- Add the reserved coconut cream.
- Mix well. Set the Instant Pot to Saute mode and bring the curry to a gentle boil.
Serve hot massaman curry with steamed jasmine rice.
The flavors of this curry also develop over time, so go ahead and make a double batch so you have lots of leftovers to enjoy. Curry can be refrigerated for 3 to 4 days. To reheat simply microwave or reheat on the stovetop.
- Looking for a vegetarian option? Here is my Vegetarian Massaman Curry Recipe
- Want to make more rice? Here is How to Cook Jasmine Rice in the Instant Pot.
- Thai food is often served with Jasmine rice. But you can also serve it with other white rice, basmati rice, brown rice, or low-carb cauliflower rice.
More Thai Curry Recipes
Enjoy Thai food? Here are more recipes that are easy and make for an easy and healthy meal:
Here are some more of my favorite Chicken Curry Recipes using Instant Pot:
Instant Pot Chicken Massaman Curry
- 1½ lbs chicken breasts cut into 2 inch pieces
- 1 4 ounce can massaman curry paste (maesri brand)
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 can regular unsweetened coconut milk seperate cream and water - see note1
- 1 large russet potato peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1 medium yellow onion sliced
- 20 whole raw cashews
- 1 teaspoon fish sauce
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
Pot in Pot Rice
- 1 cup Jasmine Rice rinsed and drained
- 1 cup water
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Add Jasmine rice, water and salt to a stainless steel bowl and keep aside.Separate the coconut cream and watery portion of the coconut milk and keep aside.
- Turn the Instant Pot to Saute mode and heat oil. Add the massaman curry paste and saute for 10 to 15 seconds.
- Add chicken and mix well with the curry paste. Add potatoes, onions, cashews, fish sauce, brown sugar and salt. Add ½ cup of the separated water from the coconut milk and stir everything well.
- Carefully place the tall trivet inside the Instant Pot. Place the prepared rice bowl on the trivet.
- Close the Instant Pot lid with pressure value to sealing. Pressure Cook(Hi) for 5 minutes followed by 10 minute natural pressure release.
- Open the Instant Pot. Using heat resistant mitts, take out the rice bowl and trivet.
- Stir in the reserved coconut cream. Set the Instant Pot to Saute mode and bring the curry to a gentle boil.
- Enjoy hot over steamed jasmine rice.
- Keep the coconut milk can refrigerated for a couple of hours which helps separate the cream from the watery portion. You can also freeze the can while you prep the remaining ingredients. Once the coconut milk is cold, the cream rises up and making it easy to separate from the coconut water.
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