Thai Masaman Beef Curry

Now that it’s getting colder, a lot more hearty dishes like stew, chili, and curry are going to be hitting the blog. Rumor has it that I’ll be up for another chicken mole in my style come Saturday night.

Now for tonight’s dish: masaman curry (sometimes spelled "massaman").

Thai Massaman Beef Curry
Thai Masaman Beef Curry

The typical recipe calls for beef (I used sirloin filets), onion, carrot and white sweet potato (I used cubed butternut squash). As for the curry paste, minimum a huge heaping tbsp per can of coconut milk. I did about 1 1/2 tbsp plus maybe a half tsp cayenne pepper for heat. Ultimately, you’ve got to find your own taste. The recipe also calls for peanuts. I said "what the hell" and added a tsp of organic, unsweetened peanut butter.

I first browned the meat in 2 big tbsp of coconut oil. Then, add the coconut milk (1 can per pound of meat is what I do) and curry paste; bring to a boil, cover & simmer about 15 minutes. Then add the veggies and simmer another 15. Test for tenderness in the meat & veggies and go a little longer if you need to. This was the first time I used butternut squash. It was not as good as the sweet potato, but acceptable. (Anyone know offhand the carb difference?) Anyway, it got soft really fast, so next time I’ll put it in for only the last 5-10 minutes.

For the "rice" I took some cauliflower, broke it into small pieces and then used very brief pulses in small batches in the food processor. Way easier than chopping finely. Then the wok went on high with 2 tbsp coconut oil and about a heaping tbsp of almond meal. Let the almond meal brown, toss in the cauliflower and stir fry on high for a bit, then reduce to let moisture escape. Sprinkle with cinnamon to taste for an amazing taste combo with the curry.


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  1. Brian Strow on October 29, 2009 at 03:35

    Hi Richard, thought that you may wish to contact Professor Mackay and tell him like it is, he’s showing a little promise and could use some wise consultation so as not to waste all of his research monies.

  2. JonnyO on October 29, 2009 at 06:27

    Hi Richard – awesome site, I’ve been reading your site like crazy over the past month, and have been doing my best to follow a primal diet for about 2 weeks now.

    You asked the difference between sweet potato and butternut squash
    1 ounce (28g) sweet potato – Carb 5g Sugar 2g
    1 ounce (28g) Butternut Squash – Card 3g Sugar 1g

    This information comes from

    • Richard Nikoley on October 29, 2009 at 07:38

      Ah, thanks.

      So about half the carbs. I may just stick with the sweet potatoes. The squash was OK, but since I almost always forego the rice in favor of cauliflower…

      Thanks for reading. Glad you’re enjoying, and let us know how things progress for you. Also, in your reads, let me make sure to tell you that there’s just as much — maybe more — great info in the comments as in the posts.

      • Lucy on October 30, 2009 at 18:28

        I made your cauliflower almond recipe to go along with the lamb Roganjosh I made. They went well together. Thanks.

  3. Athena on October 30, 2009 at 12:16

    As I sit here eating a riceless bowl of lamb thai red curry I was THRILLED to come upon your cauliflower rice substitue! I tend to make a lot of sauce (because I love it) so I want something to put my darned curry over.

    I can’t wait to try this for my next curry!

    Thanks SO much!

  4. Patrik on October 30, 2009 at 13:31


    My wife and I just made this dish thanks to Richard’s recipe. It turned out amazingly well and delicious. Gonna make another batch this weekend.

    Thanks Richard.

  5. […] I believe I used a 70% bar the first time, and this was 85%. I definitely noticed that it wasn't as sweet as before. But that was fine. I definitely liked the spiciness. On the side was my chopped & stir fried cauliflower with almond meal & cinnamon. I detailed how I do that here. […]

  6. Eric Kawaler on January 8, 2010 at 07:47

    When I eat curries, I like to eat the leftovers for breakfast the next day. Just put it in a saute pan and heat it up on low. When it’s hot crack a couple of eggs on top, cover and let the eggs cook to your favorite doneness. Yum!

  7. Gayle on January 9, 2010 at 16:47

    I just made your cauliflower recipe with my own curry recipe this evening and it was a home run! It reminds me a little of couscous. I can’t wait to try it with some other dishes. Great blog!

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