Chicken Massaman Curry With Wheat Beer and Potatoes Recipe

Photograph: Emily and Matt Clifton

Why It Works

  • Thai massaman curry uses mostly Middle Eastern spices, which create a warmth instead of a fiery burn.
  • Adding peanuts at the end helps them retain their crunch.

This chicken massaman curry brings bold spices, flavors, and colors...without an unbearable level of heat.

Recipe Facts



Active: 60 mins
Total: 60 mins
Serves: 6 to 8 servings

Rate & Comment


  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) vegetable oil

  • 2 medium red onions (about 3/4 pound), cut pole to pole into 8 wedges each

  • 8 ounces massaman store-bought curry paste (about 1/2 cup; 300g)

  • 1 (12-ounce; 355ml) bottle Belgian-style wheat beer

  • 1 (14-ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk

  • 3/4 cup (175ml) homemade chicken stock or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock

  • 3 tablespoons (45ml) Asian fish sauce

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons (30g) palm or light brown sugar

  • 2 star anise pods

  • 1 cinnamon stick

  • 8 to 10 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 3 pounds; 1.5kg), cut into large pieces

  • 1 1/2 pounds (700g) red or Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into large chunks

  • 1/2 cup (75groasted unsalted peanuts

  • 3 tablespoons (45ml) fresh juice from about 2 limes, plus lime wedges for garnish

  • Kosher salt, to taste

  • Steamed or boiled rice, for serving

  • 1 cup (30g) lightly packed cilantro leaves and tender stems, for garnish

  • Fried shallots, for garnish (optional)


  1. In a Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened slightly and golden brown in spots, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

  2. Add curry paste and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir in beer and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Add coconut milk, chicken stock, fish sauce, sugar, star anise, cinnamon stick, chicken, and potatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.

  3. Add onions back to pot and continue simmering, uncovered, until potatoes are tender and chicken is cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes longer. Remove from heat. Discard star anise pods and cinnamon stick. Spoon off any excess fat on the surface, if necessary. Stir in peanuts and lime juice and season to taste with salt, if needed.

  4. Serve with rice, garnishing with cilantro, lime wedges, and fried shallots (if using).

Special equipment

Dutch oven

This Recipe Appears In

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
386 Calories
20g Fat
41g Carbs
12g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 386
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 20g 26%
Saturated Fat 12g 58%
Cholesterol 18mg 6%
Sodium 961mg 42%
Total Carbohydrate 41g 15%
Dietary Fiber 4g 14%
Total Sugars 8g
Protein 12g
Vitamin C 17mg 85%
Calcium 61mg 5%
Iron 4mg 20%
Potassium 918mg 20%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)