Slow cooker beef massaman curry recipe

Rating: 4.78
26 October 2021

There’s nothing better than throwing in lots of ingredients, leaving it for the whole day, and then dishing up a delicious meal for the whole family in the evening. I really do love slow-cooking. And one of the best dishes to cook in a slow cooker is this beef massaman curry recipe. It’s fragrant, tasty and the meat just melts in your mouth. And the best thing about it? You really don’t have to do much cooking.

What is beef massaman curry?

I remember when I first had a steaming hot bowl of massaman curry in Thailand. Having eaten so many spicy green curries, it was a pleasant change to have a curry with tender meat and potatoes, that was rich in flavour but not overly spicy. 

Massaman curries are really delicious and this beef massaman curry recipe is super easy because you don’t have to make your own paste. So if you have some in your cupboard, all you have to do is throw in some potatoes and beef. If you don’t have beef, you can also use chicken. This massaman recipe is extremely versatile. 

What if I want to make my own curry paste?

There’s no denying that making your own curry paste from scratch offers the freshest and more authentic taste of spices and flavours. However, for ease, this recipe uses ready-made massaman paste, which you can buy in all good supermarkets. And if you can, I would suggest getting the best massaman paste you can afford – I like to use Mai Ploy.

beef massaman curry with rice - Cook Simply

Making Massaman curry paste from scratch

If you would like to make your own paste or make it ahead of time, all you have to do is blitz together 2 red chillies, one red onion, 4 cloves of garlic, lemongrass, 1 teaspoon of ground coriander, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 tablespoon of soft brown sugar, 1 tablespoon of fish sauce, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1cm piece of peeled ginger, and a handful of fresh coriander

What ingredients are needed

  • Stewing beef
  • Plain flour
  • massaman curry paste
  • potatoes
  • onion
  • lime juice
  • brown sugar
  • fish sauce
  • fresh coriander
  • beef or chicken stock
  • coconut milk

How to make it

After combining the stock, massaman paste, lime juice, sugar and coconut milk together, pour over the beef, onions and potatoes. Cover and cook for eight hours on low, or on high for five hours, giving it a stir halfway through. 

What if the curry is too runny?

Traditionally, Thai curries shouldn’t have a thick sauce – they are meant to be quite watery – and more soup-like. However, if your preference is to have a thicker sauce, then you can thicken the curry using corn flour slurry. Add around 1 tablespoon of cornflour to 2 tablespoons of water and mix – then add to the slow cooker around 30 minutes from the end of your cooking time and stir through. 

What to serve with it?

Serve this massaman curry over boiled rice is, with a good sprinkling of fresh coriander and a squeeze of lime. It’s just perfect. 

Can you freeze this massaman curry?

If you have any leftovers, you can put them in a suitable container and refrigerate for up to three days and reheat them thoroughly. You can freeze for up to three months and defrost thoroughly before heating up again.  

Love Thai food or Asian food?

Check out these other recipes including:

beef massaman - cook simply

Slow cooker beef massaman curry

4.78 from 40 votes
No need for any hard work, throw a few ingredients in, leave for 8 hours and then you'll enjoy an unctuous beef curry that is fragrant, warming and delicious.
Servings 6
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 10 minutes


  • 500 g of stewing beef cubed
  • 3 tablespoons plain flour
  • 2 potatoes peeled and diced
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 5 tablespoons of massaman Thai curry paste
  • 200 mls of beef stock or chicken stock
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • Juice of one lime
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • Fresh coriander chopped to serve


  • Coat the beef in flour and set aside. Place the diced potatoes and finely chopped onion into the bottom of a slow cooker.
  • To make the sauce, whisk together the massaman curry paste, beef stock, coconut milk, fish sauce, lime juice, and brown sugar until well combined.
    sauce for beef massaman curry - cook simply
  • Pour the massaman sauce over the potatoes and onions, then put in the floured beef. What’s great is there is no need to stir.
    potatoes and onions for beef curry - Cook Simply
  • Cover and cook on low for a minimum of 8 hours.
    pour sauce over beef - Cook Simply
  • Sprinkle with chopped coriander and serve with steamed rice. If you'd like an extra zing, squeeze some lime juice over the top.


Calories: 680kcal
Author: cooksimply
Calories: 680kcal
Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: Asian, Thai
Keyword: Dinner, one-pot, Slowcooker

Did you make this massaman curry recipe?

Please let me know if you have tried this recipe. Leave a comment below and tag @cooksimplyathome on Instagram. You can find other delicious recipes here.

Join the Conversation

  1. 5 stars
    Brilliant Brilliant recipe and the family loved it

  2. 5 stars
    Can’t believe how easy this is to make – love a recipe you can prep so quickly and then just leave to cook. Smells (and tastes!) amazing as well.

  3. 5 stars
    Can’t wait to try this!

  4. 5 stars
    Will make again!

  5. 5 stars
    Make this all the time now! Love it!

  6. 5 stars
    This was so easy and delicious too – a great midweek meal for the whole family.

  7. Suzy Smithson says:

    5 stars
    So easy and convenient. Lovely winter warmer

  8. Maybe I did something wrong. My potatoes were raw though everything else was cooked, it was very watery and mostly just tasted salty! A bit disappointed.

    1. That’s a shame. That’s strange your potatoes were raw even after eight hours of cooking. You do need to cut them quite small, and make sure they’re submerged in the cooking liquid. As for it being watery – I would then suggest mixing some cornflour and cooking the last part on the hob to thicken the sauce. And in terms of flavour, fish sauce is quite salty – but you can reduce that and perhaps try a different paste next time. It’s best to buy the best paste you can.

  9. 5 stars
    My fave!

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