Full of hearty potatoes, creamy coconut milk and warming spices, this 1-Pot Vegan Massaman Curry recipe will quickly become a staple in your weekly meal plan!
The first time I had Massaman Curry was sitting on a curb with my now husband Brett. We had just begun dating and were craving Thai food after playing volleyball with some friends. We ended up getting our food to-go and sat outside the restaurant on the curb and scarfed down some delicious Massaman curry.
I was hooked.
I was also determined to learn how to make it myself.
This 1-Pot Vegan Massaman Curry Recipe is perfect for anyone new to plant-based cooking or even Thai curries for that matter.
Don't be overwhelmed by the list of ingredients in this vegan massaman curry recipe. If you have a good amount of spices in your cupboard, you'll be in good shape!
Let me share more about why massaman curry is so special and how you can make it in the comfort of your own home!
What is Massaman Curry?
In short, Massaman curry is a curry from southern Thailand.
Massaman curry paste is a fusion of a few popular ingredients from Indian, Malaysia and Thailand.
Usually Massaman curry is made with chicken, but other sources of protein can be used as well.
For vegan massaman curry, tofu is often used, like in today's recipe, and fish sauce and shrimp paste are omitted.
What Makes Massaman Curry Different from Other Curries?
Unlike other Thai curries, Massaman curry is different in that it includes whole spices (cumin, coriander, cinnamon and nutmeg), potatoes and roasted peanuts!
But I know a lot of you are like me...busy! So today's vegan massaman curry recipe is super simple, using ground spices you probably already have in your pantry.
What is the Difference Between Yellow Curry and Massaman Curry?
Yellow curry draws on dried curry powder and turmeric to produce its vibrant yellow color.
Massaman curry, on the other hand, uses whole spices often found in Indian cuisine such as cinnamon and cardamom.
Is Massaman Curry Vegan?
Usually, massaman curry contains fish sauce or a curry paste that contains shrimp paste.
So these are ingredients that would make massaman curry not vegan.
However, it's really easy to "veganize" massaman curry like you'll see in today's recipe, although it won't be completely authentic!
How to Make Vegan Massaman Curry
Let me walk you through how to make this 1-pot vegan massaman curry recipe!
STEP 1: Start by preparing your spice blend and chopping up all your aromatics. Set them aside.
STEP 2: Add a little oil to a large pot and sauté the onion, ginger and garlic for 1-2 minutes or until the onion is translucent.
STEP 3: Add in the vegetable broth and spice blend, stirring well to coat all the onions in the spice blend. Bring the mixture to a light boil.
STEP 4: Add in the coconut milk and cubed potatoes. Stir and bring everything back up to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and allow everything to simmer for about 20 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender.
STEP 5: Towards the end of the cooking time, add in your protein source of choice and sliced red pepper to the curry, remove the lid and allow everything to simmer a bit longer until the curry thickens.
STEP 6: Remove the bay leaves and cardamon pods and serve over rice!
What to Serve with Thai Massaman Curry
We always like to enjoy this curry over some steamed white or brown rice.
Additionally, we often like to have some fresh, homemade naan or chapati on the side to smear up extra sauce.
For some creaminess, I love to serve curry with a dollop of plain, non-dairy yogurt on top.
Additionally a side salad of chopped cucumbers and tomatoes spritzed with a little lime juice and salt adds some freshness.
Top everything off with some fresh cilantro and the chopped, roasted peanuts and you'll have a feast!
No adaptations need to be made to make this a vegetarian massaman curry recipe as it does not contain any animal products.
Vegan Massaman Curry
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 inch piece fresh ginger minced
- 4-5 cloves garlic minced
- 1 stalk lemongrass outer leaves removed and ends trimmed, finely chopped*
- ½ cup good-tasting vegetable broth or stock
- 1-2 medium potatoes cut into chunks
- 14 ounces coconut milk
- 1 small red pepper thinly sliced
- 1-2 tablespoons lime juice
- Garnish: roasted peanuts
- Prepare your spice blend by adding all of the spice blend ingredients to a small bowl. Set it aside.
- In a large pot, heat the coconut oil and sauté the onion, ginger, garlic and lemongrass until soft and fragrant.
- Add the vegetable broth and the spice blend, stirring well to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil.
- Add the coconut milk and potatoes. Stir and bring back up to a boil. Reduce heat to low, or just until you get a good simmer.
- Cover the pot and allow the curry to simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are tender. After 20 minutes, remove the lid and add in your protein source of choice as well as the sliced red pepper.
- Remove the bay leaves and squeeze in the lime juice.
- Taste and add more salt or lime juice if desired.
- Serve on top of rice with chopped, roasted peanuts. Enjoy!
- For the lemongrass, remove the woody outer stems and cut off the end. You'll only want to use the 6 inches towards the bottom of the stalk. Discard the harder, top part.
- For protein, I love to add in leftover baked tempeh or tofu or some vegan chicken pieces.