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Massaman Curry

So many curries are made throughout the world that it's hard to pick favorites. But this dish, based on a Thai and Muslim combination including potatoes, peanuts, and five-spice powder, must be one of the best.

Plus: More Chicken Recipes and Tips

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

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  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock
  • 1/2 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk or heavy cream
  • 1/2 pound boiling potatoes (about 2), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 1/3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 4), cut into 12-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup chopped peanuts
  • 1/2 pound plum tomatoes (about 4), cut into wedges
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro


  1. In a large saucepan, heat the oil over moderately low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, five-spice powder, cumin, cayenne, turmeric, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Whisk in the broth and then the coconut milk; bring to a simmer. Stir in the potatoes, cover, and cook over low heat until they are almost tender, about 12 minutes.
  2. Add the chicken to the sauce, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the peanuts, tomatoes, cilantro, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Turn the heat off, cover, and let steam until the chicken is just done, about 2 minutes longer.

Serve With

For this curry, steamed white rice is the only accompaniment you need.

Suggested Pairing

For this bold curry, bursting with heat, spice, and sweetness, a fresh, aromatic white that won't get pushed around—a Chenin Blanc from the Loire Valley in France or from California, for example, or a Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand—is a good match.

Photo © Melanie Acevedo

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