Authentic tasting Thai Massaman Curry made easy at home in the Instant Pot. Brimming with flavorful Massaman curry paste and creamy coconut, with tender beef, potatoes and peanuts. It’s delicious with rice for a cozy and warm weeknight dinner.
Massaman beef curry is my favorite dish to order when we go out for Thai food. I love the creamy coconut curry and beef, but truth be told, it’s the potatoes and peanuts that get me. My oldest daughter is the same way, something about those potatoes in curry sauce!
It’s really easy to make at home in the pressure cooker, with ingredients that aren’t too hard to find. I researched quite a bit to help guide me in making this dish in the Instant Pot. This recipe for Massaman Beef Curry from Paint the Kitchen Red is full of knowledgeable tips, ingredient descriptions and substitution ideas, and the starting point for this recipe.
WHAT IS MASSAMAN CURRY?
Massaman curry is on the milder side of other Thai curries like red, green or yellow. It happens to be a fusion of Indian and Thai curries, a rich curry with cardamom, cinnamon and cumin from India and the Thai flavors of lemongrass, dried chili pepper and coriander. It’s commonly prepared with chicken or beef along with potatoes and peanuts. My favorite is with beef!
HERE’S WHAT YOU’LL NEED
- Thai Massaman curry paste I really like Maesri brand of Masaman (it’s spelled that way on the can) curry paste. It comes in a 4-ounce can and that’s exactly how much you need. Mae Ploy is another good brand. They both taste authentic and can easily be found in any Asian market and some grocery stores.
- Coconut milk regular full-fat coconut milk in a can. I highly recommend a good quality brand and my favorite is Aroy-D. I’ve heard Trader Joe’s is very good, too.
- Tamarind paste or concentrate adds tartness and I buy Thai tamarind concentrated at the Asian market. If you don’t have tamarind, just omit it or try adding a little fresh lime juice.
- Fish sauce is essential and the only brand I like is Red Boat. I’ve tried several brands over the years and Red Boat is the best in my book, and many others agree. Trust me, icky fish sauce is icky.
- Beef stew meat I use lean beef stew meat or beef chuck, cut into smallish cubes. I also brown the meat first which is not traditional but I find it adds so much flavor and color to the dish. You can skip the browning step if you want and just add the beef cubes at the time called for in the recipe. I’ve prepared it the traditional way without browning first and it’s delicious!
HOW TO MAKE INSTANT POT MASSAMAN BEEF CURRY
- Turn on sauté mode and brown the beef, remove and set aside.
- Sauté and caramelize the curry paste and brown sugar.
- Whisk in the coconut milk.
- Add the browned beef back to the pot.
- Add water, tamarind concentrate and fish sauce.
- Stir to combine and pressure cook.
- Quick release and add the potatoes, onions and peanuts.
- Finish pressure cooking, quick release, stir and serve!
RECIPE NOTES AND TIPS
- I recommend Yukon Gold potatoes, or another boiling potato that will hold up in the pressure cooker and not disintegrate. Skip the baking potato here.
- I use regular old roasted salted peanuts that I buy in bulk in the bulk section.
- Massaman curry is delicious served with jasmine rice. Also good garnished with a little fresh chopped cilantro, and maybe a squeeze of lime. Not sure if that’s traditional or not, but neither am I.
- See ingredients above for some notes about the Thai ingredients and the cut of beef to use.
If you have an Instant Pot and you love Thai curry as much as I do, then definitely give this Instant Pot Massaman Beef Curry a try. It’s so easy and you will love it! xo- Kelly🍴🐦
Some other Thai/Asian inspired recipes you might like to try:
- Thai Sweet Potato Curry with Skillet Chicken
- Easy Coconut Curry Salmon
- Instant Pot Chicken Pho
- One Pot Coconut Roasted Chicken
Instant Pot Massaman Beef Curry
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1½ - 2 pounds lean beef stew meat or beef chuck, cut in about 1-inch cubes I use about 1¾ pounds of beef
- 4 ounces massaman curry paste I like Maesri brand in the can
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 14-ounce can regular, full-fat coconut milk good quality like Aroy-D
- ¼ cup water or beef broth
- 1 tablespoon Thai tamarind concentrated
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce preferably Red Boat brand
- 2 large Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into about 1-inch cubes
- ½ cup onion, large dice/cubes
- ½ cup roasted salted peanuts
- Brown the beef. Turn on sauté function and heat the olive oil, add the beef and brown on all sides. Remove to plate and set aside. Work in batches if needed.
- Remove all but a tablespoon of oil and add the curry paste and brown sugar. Whisk together and cook for a minute or two to caramelize. Slowly whisk in the coconut milk, continue whisking to combine and it comes to a boil, about a minute. Turn off sauté mode.
- Return browned beef and accumulated juices to pot, add water, tamarind concentrate and fish sauce. Stir to combine. Secure lid and seal, manually set to 'Pressure Cook' on high for 15 minutes.
- Quick release the pressure, open the pot and add the potatoes, onions and peanuts. Close the lid and pressure cook on high another 5 minutes.
- Quick release the pressure, open and gently stir the beef curry. Taste for seasoning, add more fish sauce or salt, if needed. Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with fresh chopped cilantro, if desired, and serve with jasmine rice.
- I like Yukon Gold potatoes for this dish, other boiling type potatoes will work also.
- If you don't have tamarind paste/concentrate or can't find it, just omit it. I have and it is still delicious. Or try stirring in some lime juice when it's finished to add a little tartness.
- You can skip the browning step if you want and just add the beef cubes at the time called for in the recipe. You can also use beef broth instead of water for the ¼ cup of liquid.
- Salted or unsalted peanuts work, adjust for salt as needed.
- Fresh cilantro and a squeeze of fresh lime are a nice finishing touch but totally optional.