Thai Mussaman Chicken Curry

Thai Mussaman Chicken Curry

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Marsha Gardner


The very first Thai dish I ever ate and still my all time favorite. I have tried it with beef or shrimp and it just isn't as good to me.

Served with Jasmine rice and a side of Thai cucumber salad, a perfect meal.


★★★★★ 2 votes



  • 1 1/2 lb
    boneless, skinless chicken pieces, breast meat or thighs or both
  • 2 medium
    potatoes, cut into chunks
  • 14 oz
    can coconut milk
  • 1 small
    red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbsp
    coconut oil or canola oil
  • 1 c
    onion, sliced
  • 1
    thumb size piece of ginger, grated
  • 4-5 clove
  • 1
    red chili or 1/2-3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2-3/4 c
    chicken stock
  • 1
    stalk of lemongrass, smashed with side of cleaver
  • 3
    bay leaves
  • 1 tsp
    turmeric, ground
  • 1 tsp
    cumin seed
  • 1/2 tsp
    freshly ground white pepper
  • 1/4 c
    dry roasted cashews plus a handful for garnish
  • 1/8 tsp
    cardamom, ground
  • 1 tsp
  • 1 tsp
    tamarind or 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 3/4 tsp
    shrimp paste (available in asian market)
  • 2 Tbsp
    fish sauce
  • 1 Tbsp
    palm sugar or brown sugar
  • ·
    fresh coriander (cilantro) for garnish

How to Make Thai Mussaman Chicken Curry


  1. Heat a wok, over medium-high heat. Drizzle in the oil and swirl around, then add the onion, ginger, garlic, and chili. Stir-fry 1-2 minutes to release the fragrance.
  2. Add the stock plus the following: lemongrass, bay leaves, turmeric, chopped cashews, ground coriander, whole cumin seed, white pepper, cardamon, tamarind (or lime juice), shrimp paste, fish sauce, and sugar. Stir with each addition and bring to a light boil.
  3. Add the chicken, stirring to coat with the spicy liquid, then 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.
  4. Simmer 30 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until chicken and potatoes are tender. Add red pepper during last 10-15 minutes of coooking time.
  5. Taste-test the curry, adding more fish sauce for increased flavor/saltiness, or more chili if you want it spicier. If too sour, add a little more sugar. If too salty or sweet for your taste, add a touch more tamarind or lime juice. If too spicy, add more coconut milk.
  6. Add a handful more cashews and fold in. Transfer to a serving bowl, or plate up on individual plates or bowls. Top with fresh coriander, if desired, and serve with Thai jasmine rice. ENJOY!
  7. Tamarind Substitution Tip: Tamarind paste can be tricky to find, hence I have offered a substitute here. Yes, lime and tamarind are two very different fruits; however, they provide that same sourness you're looking for in this curry (it is balanced out with the palm sugar or brown sugar). Whenever I run out of tamarind paste, I find lime juice works in a pinch. In fact, I have witnessed accomplished Thai chefs create tamarind-based dishes purely with lime juice (such as pad Thai) - good to know if you can't find tamarind paste where you live!
  8. I buy my tamarind on line at Grocery Thai. I also buy Mussaman curry paste from there, makes this dish look a lot simpler when all the spices are already in the curry paste. I have substituted fresh peanuts pan roasted by me in place of the cashews.

Printable Recipe Card

About Thai Mussaman Chicken Curry

Course/Dish: Chicken
Regional Style: Asian

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