Lamb Massaman Curry Recipe

(20 ratings)

Lamb Massamun Curry photo
Lamb Massamun Curry photo
(Image credit: New Zealand Lamb)
Preparation Time45 mins including marinating
Cooking Time2 hours 30 mins
Total Time3 hours 15 mins

There's nothing more indulgent than a hearty curry recipe and this Massaman version is just the ticket for a Saturday night in. It's a lamb recipe that you'll want to go back to again and again.



  1. Mix together the garlic and ginger in a large bowl, add the lamb and mix well. Marinade for 30 minutes or over night if possible, covered in the fridge.

  2. Heat 2 tbsp of the oil and cook the onion until softened and lightly caramelized, about 10 minutes. Remove to a plate. Toast the coriander and cumin seeds and crush in a pestle and mortar with the cardamon seeds. Mix in the turmeric and star anise.

  3. Bring the lamb to room temperature. Heat the remaining tbsp of oil and brown the lamb in its marinade. Add the spice mix and chopped lemon grass and cook for a few minutes until really fragrant, being careful not to burn the spices.

  4. Add the onions back to the pan, give everything a good stir the pour in the stock, coconut milk, lime leaves and chilli. Cover and cook gently for 1 hour then add the potatoes and tomatoes, shrimp paste, tamarind and sugar. Cook for another 30 minutes or so until or so until the meat is meltingly tender and potatoes are cooked. Add the baby corn and green beans and cook for 6-8 minutes more, until cooked but still a little al dente.

  5. Add the fish sauce and let the curry sit for 10 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. It should be sweet, tangy, spicy and delicious! Serve with rice.


  • 750g New Zealand Lamb; middle neck, shoulder or leg, cut into approx 2cm chunks
  • 6cm piece ginger, minced
  • 10 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 2 large onions, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp each of coriander and cumin seeds
  • 8 cardamon pods, crushed to remove seeds
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 4 star anise
  • 4 stalks lemon grass, tough ends removed and finely chopped
  • 4 lime leaves
  • 1-2 thai red chillies, split and de-seeded
  • 1 litre lamb or chicken stock
  • 400ml can coconut milk
  • 3 medium waxy potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 4 juicy, vine-ripened tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 tsp shrimp paste
  • 1 ½ tbsp tamarind paste
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 150g both green beans and baby corn
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • chopped coriander, to serve