This Beef Massaman Curry with Pumpkin is a mild Thai curry that's easy to make and perfect for the whole family.
The beef is slowed cooked in the oven with a delicious mixture of curry paste and coconut milk, then tender, caramelized, oven-baked pumpkin is added.
The recipe is can be made with store-bought massaman curry paste or use a homemade blend. Finish with crunchy peanuts, lime wedges and strips of red chili for those wanting a little spice. This really is a simple Thai curry!
Massaman Curry with Beef
Massaman curry is one of our favorite Thai curries. It is packed with flavor but isn't too spicy.
You may have seen it on Thai menus as Massaman, Masuman, Masumun or Matsaman, and it is typically served with beef or chicken.
Here we use beef and also finish the dish with some wonderful roasted pumpkin. You can use potatoes, but we love the sweetness of the pumpkin and it makes it just that little bit healthier, without negatively impacting the flavor! WINNER!
What is Massaman curry?
Massaman is a Thai curry that takes influences from the Iranian, Indian and Malaysian range of spices.
The curry paste contains spices such as cumin, cinnamon, cardamon, fennel, spices that are more familiar in the Indian curries.
But when mixed with more traditional Thai flavors like coconut, fish sauce, and kaffir lime leaves, Massaman curry becomes a rich and delicious dish!
How long does Massaman Curry take to make?
Beef Massaman is a long slow cook, where the spices blend together and the beef becomes soft and tender.
The recipe will take 3 hours but for most of that time, you can just sit back and do something else, as the curry cooks slowly in the oven.
What beef to use?
Because of the long slow cooking, you can use a cheaper cut of beef designed for braising. I like to use beef chuck as it has a rich flavor and becomes meltingly tender.
You can also use: round steak, blade steak, topside, shoulder steak, rump roast, or gravy beef. You could even use short ribs to make this Beef Massaman Curry!
You want to cut the beef into quite large chunks as they will shrink as they cook, plus this helps them to stay tender and juicy.
Just look at those juicy tender chunks of beef!
Massaman Curry Paste
For this recipe you can use store-bought curry paste or a homemade paste. You can use my recipe for Massaman Curry Paste. It is pretty straight forward.
But a good store-bought paste will work just as well here.
How to roast pumpkin
To roast the pumpkin, it gets cut into bite-sized chunks, drizzled with a little oil, seasoned with salt and then roasted in the oven along with the curry for the last 40 minutes.
The beauty of roasting pumpkin is you can leave the skin on! It gets all chewy and delicious. But feel free to peel the pumpkin if you prefer a smoother bite.
Is Massaman Curry spicy
This is a relatively mild curry, it is richly flavored and packed with spice, but not hot spice, just wonderful aromatic spice that gives you great flavor without excessive chili heat.
If you like spicy curry then you can add chili/red pepper flakes to the recipe. Or serve the curry with plenty of sliced red chili peppers.
What goes with Massaman Curry?
This curry is perfect for serving with plain rice or Thai coconut rice, or this delicious pineapple rice from Greedy Gourmet. The rice is the ideal side for soaking up all the wonderful curry gravy!
For some delicious Thai side nibbles why not try:
- Thai Shrimp Salad Appetizer Spoons
- Thai Beef Skewers with Hot & Sour Dressing
- Thai Oysters with a Lime and Cucumber Granita
- Thai Pork Meatballs
For other delicious Thai inspired dishes why not try:
- Quick and Easy Thai Fish
- Thai Panang Chicken Curry
- Mini Thai Chicken Meatballs
- Thai Mussels
- Thai Pork Meatballs
- Thai Yellow Fish Curry (Kitchen Sanctuary)
- Thai Basil Pork Stir Fry (Scrummy Lane)
- Thai Curried Lentils (Stacey Homemaker)
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Beef Massaman Curry with Pumpkin Recipe
- 1 tbsp oil - see note 1
- 1.5 lb beef chuck - see note 2
- 5 tbsp massaman curry paste - see note 3
- 1 can coconut cream (400ml/13.5floz can)
- 2 cups beef broth
- 2 onions - cut into chunks
- 4 kaffir lime leaves
- ⅓ cup roasted peanuts - unsalted or salted is fine
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 3 cups pumpkin - cut into 1 inch/2½ cm chunks - see note 4
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 red chili - deseeded and finely sliced
- Preheat the oven to 320ºF/160ºC.
- Cut the beef into large bite-sized chunks.
- Heat the oil in a large dutch oven, then add the beef chunks and the curry paste.
- Cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the coconut cream, beef broth, chopped onion, kaffir lime leaves, brown sugar, fish sauce and half of the roasted peanuts.
- Stir well and bring to a simmer.
- Cover the dish and cook in the oven for 2 hours and 40 minutes.
After 2 hours get the pumpkin in the oven.
- Lay the pumpkin on a sheet pan and drizzle with oil, season generously with salt.
- Place the pumpkin in the oven and roast for 40 minutes. By this time the curry will have had its full time.
- Add the roasted pumpkin to the curry, sprinkle with sliced chili and the remaining roasted peanuts.
- I use coconut oil, but you can use any neutral oil for this curry.
- You can also use round steak, blade steak, topside, shoulder steak, rump roast, or gravy beef. You could even use short ribs to make this Beef Massaman Curry!
- A good store-bought paste is fine, or you can make your own using my recipe here.
- There is no need to peel the pumpkin as the skin will cook and become chewy and delicious in the oven. But feel free to peel it if you prefer.