When talking sisters, mine is as cool as they come. Other than being completely awesome, she is also very well travelled. She’s been everywhere (almost), and once went and spent several months in Thailand working with an underwater conservation team. It was on this trip she also managed to befriend several of the kitchen ladies, who ended up teaching her how to cook some of her favourite Thai meals. This Massaman curry is one of them. A dish that tastes so original, is perfect for entertaining and so tasty when made vegetarian. It is great served on rice, quinoa or cauliflower rice and an added squeeze of fresh lime and a few cashew nuts to top.

The homemade Tom Yam chilli paste is really the crown of this dish, but if the thought of making your own feels too intimidating or time consuming, it can be substituted for a storebought chilli paste. This one will last for up to 2 weeks in the fridge when kept in a glass jar (I collect old jam jars for these purposes) and it can be added to a multitude of curries, stews and other meals that go well with a fantastic kick of garlicky spice sensation. It is so good and while it can be added into the curry before serving, I like to keep it separate so people can decide how spicy they want it – and so my kids can eat it too.

This curry is dairy free, gluten free and full of healthy fats from the rich and dreamy creamy coconut milk. The chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans) add a good amount of plan protein as well as fibre. Just 1 can (1 1/2 cup) contains around 17 gm fibre, which is over 50% of the recommended daily intake!! Fibre promotes a healthy digestive system, help prevent certain types of cancers and can be helpful for weight loss since it helps keep you full and satisfied for longer.


Serves 4 people

Tom Yam Chili Paste

  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp carrot, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp chopped onion
  • 2 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 10 dried whole chilies
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce (or tamari sauce)
  • 2 tsp brown sugar / maple sirup
  • 2 tsp lime juice

Massman Curry

  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 3 tomatoes, diced
  • 3 tsp curry powder
  • 2 cans coconut milk (full fat)
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce (or tamari sauce)
  • 2 tsp maple syrup or sugar
  • 1 sweet potato / ½ butternut squash, chopped into small cubes
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • fresh lime juice to top


Chili paste

  1. Melt oil in a large pot and add carrots. Sauté for about 3-4 minutes until they start to soften. Then add onions, garlic and chilies. Sauté over medium heat for about 5 minutes.
  2. Turn the heat off, then add soy sauce, sugar and lime juice and stir well using a spoon.
  3. Put everything in a blender or food processor (I use my mini food processor). Process until a paste forms and there are no big pieces of chilies left.
  4. Put the paste back in the wok for 2 minutes, then transfer to a glass jar. Set aside.

Massaman Curry

  1. Melt the coconut oil in a large pot or wok pan. Add onion, carrot pieces, tomatoes and curry powder and sauté over medium heat for 3-5 minutes until the onions are soft.
  2. Add sweet potato and coconut milk and stir well. Leave to simmer until it thickens up a bit. Add a little water if necessary (depending on how thick your coconut milk is). Leave to simmer for 10 mins or until potatoes are cooked.
  3. Add soy sauce, sugar, chickpeas and stir to combine. Leave for about 5 minutes to allow the chickpeas to heat up.
  4. Turn off heat, add a touch of lime juice and top with tom yam chilli paste and roasted peanuts/cashew nuts. Serve over rice or quinoa.

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