Gluten-free | Dairy-free | Sugar-free
Makes enough for 6 portions
Why it’s delicious
Massaman curry is a deeply rich and highly fragrant curry. A long-time lover of this style of curry, I had been missing this dish from one of our favourite Indo-Malay restaurants, so I decided to tackle a healthy alternative for us to all enjoy at home. Try it, you will not be disappointed!
Helpful hints and tips
There are a fair few spices that go into the production of the spice blend for this dish, but please don’t let that put you off. It is so worth it!
Instead of lamb, you can use a stewing steak like gravy beef or chuck steak, and you can cook this curry in a heavy-bottomed pot, slow cooker or pressure cooker. The choice is yours!
Ideally, start this recipe the night before you intend to cook it, as the meat greatly benefits from marinating it overnight.
To ensure my recipe stays free from sugar and gluten, I use my Roasted Tomato Sauce. You will need to prepare this sauce before continuing. My sauce is extremely versatile, and I use it in so many other delicious recipes. I always keep a jar of it in my fridge for impromptu curries, sauces and zucchini noodle pasta dishes. You can find the recipe here.
- 1 ½ kg (3.3 lbs) stewing lamb or beef, boneless and cut into thick cubes
- 2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp Himalayan or mineral salt
- 1 tsp chilli powder
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
Massaman spice blend
- 2 tbsp coriander seeds
- 2 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 tsp black peppercorns
- 9 whole cloves
- 2 star anise
- 4 cardamom pods
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 tbsp coconut or avocado oil
- 500 g (1.1 lb) red onion, peeled and thickly diced
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 tbsp finely chopped fresh garlic
- 3 tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger
- 1-4 green chillies, sliced in half (use at your discretion, 1 is mild, 4 is spicy hot) 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 100 g (3.5 oz) Bridget’s Roasted Tomato Sauce
- 250 m (8.8 fl oz) Kombu Water
- Unsweetened coconut yoghurt to serve
- Prepare the meat for marinating overnight by placing the cubed meat into a mixing bowl and adding the lamb marinade of turmeric powder, ground black pepper, salt, chilli powder and vinegar. Using gloved hands, mix and stir the meat to ensure the spices are evenly dispersed throughout.
- Cover the bowl with cling film and ideally allow the meat to marinate overnight in the refrigerator or for at least 4 hours.
- Prepare the spice blend by gently toasting the coriander, fennel and cumin seeds in a large heavy-bottomed frying pan on medium heat along with the peppercorns, cloves, star anise, cardamom pods and cinnamon stick until the spices are fragrant.
- Allow the spices to cool, and then grind them to a powder in a small, powerful food processor, spice or coffee grinder or with a mortar and pestle. You can store this spice blend in an airtight jar for up to 2 weeks before you intend to use it.
- When you are ready to cook the curry, heat the coconut oil on medium heat in a large, heavy-bottomed pot. Add the red onion and bay leaves, sauté for a minute, and then add garlic and ginger.
- Continue to sauté the mixture for a couple of minutes, and then add the chillies, turmeric powder, roasted tomato sauce and an extra teaspoon of salt. Stir these ingredients together and sauté for a further minute.
- Add the marinated meat and scrape the bowl to add any residual juices or spices, and add in the ground massaman spice blend. Stir well and add the kombu water.
- To slow cook the curry, you can add a lid to the pot and turn the pot on to the lowest possible temperature setting or pour the contents of the pot into a slow cooker. If using a pot, check the curry every 30 minutes and give it a stir to ensure the meat is not sticking to the base. You may
- also find that you need to add additional kombu water as it cooks if the curry begins to dry out. Cook the curry for 4-8 hours or until the meat is tender.
- To fast cook the curry, pour the contents of the pot into a pressure cooker and set the pressure cooker on medium to hot and cook for 45 minutes.
- When the meat is tender, you can simmer the curry to thicken the gravy if its a little watery for your liking or serve it as is with a side of coconut yoghurt (my favourite), freshly chopped mint or coriander leaves, cauliflower or broccoli rice, gluten-free flatbreads, or the vegetables of your choosing.