Dive into a delightful bowl of this homemade Slow Cooker Beef Massaman Curry – featuring succulent, melt-in-the-mouth beef enveloped in a tantalizing homemade paste. Immerse yourself in the perfect blend of spices, coconut milk, and a medley of sweet and white potatoes.
This Thai classic comes to life with a rich, homemade paste, promising a symphony of flavours that will transport your taste buds to the vibrant streets of Thailand.
Calories in Beef Massaman Curry
This curry makes 4 filling portions and is 365 calories per serving.
If you're following a calorie-controlled diet or a healthy eating plan, it's important to calculate your daily calorie intake using a reliable calorie calculator. Please note that the calorie counts provided are estimates and can vary based on specific ingredients and serving sizes. Personalizing your calculations is essential to meet your individual needs. By using a calorie calculator, you can make informed choices and stay on track with your dietary goals.
To prepare this yummy recipe, you will need the following ingredients:
- Homemade Beef Massaman Paste - I use my own homemade paste for this curry, see section below for ingredients used.
- Coconut Milk - I choose light coconut milk, but feel free to use regular if that's your preference; just be mindful of the higher calorie content. Avoid using coconut milk from a carton, as it has a higher water ratio and won't yield the desired richness.
- Cornstarch/Cornflour: this helps thicken the sauce, you can omit if you use regular coconut milk as it won't be needed.
- Beef Stock - It's crucial to use the right ratio of stock cubes for the required amount of stock. Not all stock cubes are the same, and using the wrong amount can result in either a bland and watery broth or an overly salty stock.
- Stewing Beef/Diced Beef - go for lean cuts. If there's excess fat, I suggest trimming it off to maintain a lower calorie count.
- Onion - just a regular white onion
- Maple Syrup - This imparts a subtle sweetness to the curry, a characteristic feature of Massaman curry. While the traditional recipe includes a generous amount of brown sugar, the sweet potato contributes enough sweetness, in my opinion. If you prefer, you can substitute sugar or honey. Personally, I opt for maple syrup, as it's readily available in my kitchen. I seldom have sugar at home, but a granulated sweetener works well too if that's your preference.
- Fish Sauce - this is a crucial element in Massaman Curry. If you're not a fan of fish, don't worry; its flavour doesn't dominate the curry. Instead, it contributes subtle umami depth to enhance the overall richness of the dish.
- Tamarind: this is available at most grocery stores and can be found at asian supermarkets or amazon if you struggle to find it. Different brands of tamarind have a different tangy level to them, so you may need to adjust.
- Bay Leaves, Cinnamon Bark, Star Anise - the final dried spices/herb added to the curry to impart a delicious balance of flavour before you set it to cook in the slow cooker.
- Peanuts - play a vital role in traditional Massaman Curry, being both cooked into the sauce and sprinkled on top during serving. To maintain a lower calorie count, I've chosen to solely sprinkle chopped peanuts on the individual servings
- Red Chili - finely chopped with seeds removed. It adds a vibrant touch of color to the final presentation. Feel free to omit if you prefer a milder taste.
- Fresh Coriander - it's the perfect finishing touch for the dish. You can skip it if you'd like, but it adds a delightful and healthy touch of green to the overall presentation
- Salt and Pepper - These basic yet essential flavour enhancers are key for elevating the taste of your dishes. No food will ever be bland when these are used to season to taste.
Homemade Massaman Curry Paste Recipe
While various brands offer ready-made Massaman paste, it may be challenging to find depending on your location. Personally, I prefer crafting my own paste—it's a straightforward process, quick once all the ingredients are ready. Plus, you can prepare it in advance and freeze it; I currently have a couple of batches stored in my freezer.
To make you will need the following ingredients:
- 8 dried red chillies, split open and remove the seeds
- 4 tablespoons of hot water
- 1.5 teaspoons of ground cumin
- 1.5 teaspoons of coriander
- ½ teaspoon of cinnamon
- pinch of nutmeg
- 4 green cardamom pods - case broken open and inner seed removed.
- 1 teaspoon of sea salt
- pinch of white pepper,
- 125g of red onion, roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons of lazy garlic
- 1 thumb piece of galangal, chopped - you can fresh ginger if you can't get this
- 1 teaspoon of shrimp paste - this is an ingredient worth sourcing for this curry if you can, but fish sauce is fine as a substitute if you can't get any.
- low calorie spray of choice
Place the red chillies in a mini food processor and pour in 4 tablespoons of hot water. Leave this to soak while you prepare the rest.
Heat a small frying pan over a medium heat, once it is hot, add in the dried spices (cumin, coriander, cinnamon, nutmeg, inner part of cardamom pod, salt and pepper) and toast in the pan for about 20 seconds (be careful not burn these otherwise you will impart a bitter taste in the paste). Then scrape all of the spices out of the pan into a small bowl.
Spray the frying pan with low calorie spray, then add in the onion and garlic and fry for a couple of minutes just to lightly brown and soften.
Then add in the galangal and lemongrass paste and stir until fragrant. Transfer everything in the pan to the mini food processor with the chilies. Then add in the toasted spices. Process until you have a smooth paste.
This is your curry paste all prepared and ready to use.
Slow Cooker to Oven Conversion
Don't have a slow cooker, but really want to try this Massaman Curry
To adapt this Slow Cooker Beef Massaman Curry recipe for oven cooking, preheat your oven to 325°F (163°C). Follow the recipe instructions up to the point where the ingredients are placed in the slow cooker. Instead of transferring everything to the slow cooker, use an oven-safe, heavy-duty pot or Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid.
Ensure the pot is large enough to accommodate the ingredients. Cover the pot tightly and place it in the preheated oven.
Cook for 2 hours
Periodically check for doneness and stir as needed. This method allows you to achieve the same tender and flavourful result as the slow cooker, with the added convenience of using your oven.
Tips for Freezing Slow Cooker Beef Massaman Curry
Freezing this Beef Massaman curry is a convenient way to have a delicious meal ready for later. Here are some helpful tips to ensure the best results when freezing this flavorful dish:
- Allow the curry to cool: Before freezing, allow the curry to cool completely. This helps maintain the quality and prevents condensation from forming inside the containers.
- Use freezer-safe containers: Choose airtight, freezer-safe containers or resealable freezer bags for storing the curry. Consider portioning the curry into meal-sized servings before freezing. This makes it easier to defrost and reheat only the amount you need, minimizing waste. Two-compartment containers are great for freezing alongside cooked and chilled jasmine rice, creating a complete meal.
- Label and date: Clearly label each container with the name of the dish and the date of freezing. This way, you can easily identify and track the storage time of your frozen curry.
- Freeze promptly: Place the containers or bags of curry in the freezer as soon as they have cooled. Avoid leaving them at room temperature for too long, as this can compromise food safety.
- Thawing and reheating: To thaw the frozen curry, transfer it to the refrigerator and allow it to thaw overnight. Once thawed, you can reheat the curry on the stovetop or in the microwave until piping hot. Stir occasionally to ensure even heating.
By following these tips, you can freeze this Beef Massaman curry effectively, preserving its flavours and textures for future enjoyment.
Sides for Beef Massaman Curry
When it comes to pairing sides with Beef Massaman Curry, the classic choice of fragrant Jasmine rice is a match made in heaven. The fluffy and aromatic rice perfectly complements the rich flavors of the curry.
If you're looking for a lower-carb alternative, consider serving the curry with cauliflower rice. Its light and neutral taste allows the savory Massaman flavors to shine while keeping the meal on the healthier side. For a delightful and well-rounded dining experience, you can check out my own Roasted Cauliflower Rice Recipe. Whether you opt for the traditional Jasmine rice or the cauliflower variation, both sides promise to enhance the culinary experience of your Beef Massaman Curry.
More Slow Cooker Recipes
Looking for some other slow cooker recipes? Try these tantalizing slow cooker recipes to make your cooking experience easier and more flavourful. With the convenience of the slow cooker, you'll have more time to enjoy the delicious results.
- Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken
- Slow Cooker Bolognese Sauce
- Slow Cooker Creamy Tomato and Turkey Casserole
- Healthier Slow Cooker Crack Chicken
- Slow Cooker Pineapple Pork
- Slow Cooker Thai Peanut Chicken Curry
or if you would like more recipe ideas or sides to make with this recipe - head on over to the FULL RECIPE INDEX where you will find over 900 delicious recipes with calories and you can search by meal type, ingredients, course, diet and more.
FAQ for Slow Cooker Beef Massaman Curry
If beef isn't your preference, lamb serves as an excellent alternative in this curry. Alternatively, chicken can be used, but for optimal flavour and tenderness, I recommend opting for boneless skinless chicken thighs. When using chicken, ensure it cooks for no more than 4 hours on low or 2 hours on high in the slow cooker.
If you prefer not to craft your own paste and opt for a store-bought alternative, that's completely fine. However, it's essential to note that not all pastes are created equal. Be sure to check the packaging instructions and use an amount suitable for serving four people. For reference, the homemade paste I utilize amounts to approximately 120ml (½ cup).
The difficulty with using chili powder lies in replicating the distinctive color and flavour characteristic of Massaman curry paste. Additionally, mild chili powder often includes a blend of spices, resulting in a different taste profile. If you choose to experiment with a substitution, a general guideline is to use 1 teaspoon of powder for each whole chili. However, it's crucial to avoid using hot chili powder since Massaman curry isn't intended to be overly spicy, as it utilizes dried chilies with the seeds removed. The use of a spicier powder may risk making the dish too intense and potentially inedible.
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