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Flavorful Vegan Massaman Curry
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5 from 1 vote

Vegan Massaman Curry

Tender jackfruit and potato chunks simmered in a gravy of coconut milk, lemongrass, red chile, and a variety of fragrant spices. Powerful but not overpowering and nicely balanced, this curry is tastier and more complex than you’ll find at most restaurants. {Adapted from the Jackfruit Massaman Curry recipe in East Meets Vegan}
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time55 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Thai
Servings: 4


Spices to toast

  • 4 cardamom pods seeds only
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

Ground spice blend

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Fresh herbs

  • 5 garlic cloves chopped
  • 2 shallots diced
  • 2 Fresno chile peppers seeds removed and chopped
  • 1 inch ginger chopped
  • 1 lemongrass stalk peeled and chopped

To simmer

  • 1 can coconut milk (13.5 oz / 400 mL)
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 star anise pod
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons Serundeng optional
  • 4 small waxy potatoes chopped
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon palm sugar
  • 2 1/2 Tablespoons tamarind paste
  • 1 can green jackfruit drained and chopped to bite-size pieces (20 oz / 570 g)
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons soy sauce


  • Roasted peanuts crushed
  • Fresh cilantro chopped
  • Lime wedges
  • Fresno chile peppers sliced thinly


Toast and grind the spices

  • Combine all the ingredients in the “spices to toast” list in a small, dry skillet and heat over medium heat. Once the pan has heated, toast the spices for 2 minutes, stirring continuously to make sure they don’t scorch. Transfer the toasted spices to a spice grinder and grind to a fine powder (or use a mortar and pestle).

Make the curry paste

  • Combine the ground toasted spices, the “ground spice blend” ingredients, and the “fresh herbs” in a food processor. Blend until it forms a mostly consistent paste. You can also use a mortar and pestle for this stage if your equipment allows.

Simmer the stew

  • Pour a quarter of the coconut milk into a large saucepan and heat over medium heat until boiling. Add the curry paste from the food processor. “Fry” the curry paste for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Add the rest of the coconut milk and all the ingredients under the “To simmer” list. Stir well. When the liquid reaches a boil, turn to low heat, cover, and simmer until both the potato and jackfruit are tender.

Season and serve

  • Before serving, taste the gravy and add more soy sauce or palm sugar, if needed. Garnish with peanuts, cilantro, lime juice, and Fresno chile slices. Serve with steamed jasmine rice.


Use green jackfruit, not ripe. Green jackfruit typically comes canned in brine.
Use regular coconut milk, not the light version. Do not use coconut cream or Coco Lopez.
The coconut milk may separate during cooking. This is not uncommon and doesn’t mean anything has gone wrong.
Consider making a double batch because this curry is really tasty.