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Chicken and pumpkin massaman curry

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Ditch your Thai takeout and whip up our Chicken and pumpkin massaman curry recipe instead. Filled with fragrant spices, it’s a warming dish that’s ideal for weeknight dinners.

  • Serves6
  • Cook time1 hour
  • Prep time15 minutes
Chicken and pumpkin massaman curry


  • 1kg Coles Australian RSPCA Approved Chicken Thigh Fillets, fat trimmed, each cut into 3 pieces
  • 1 tbs vegetable oil
  • 2 x 400ml cans coconut milk, unopened
  • ¾ cup Massaman Curry Paste (see tip)
  • 2 tbs fish sauce, plus more if required
  • 2 tbs palm sugar or brown sugar, plus more if required
  • 1½ tbs tamarind puree
  • 800g butternut pumpkin, peeled, seeded, cut into 2.5cm pieces
  • 1 lime, juiced

Check ingredient labels to make sure they meet your specific dietary requirements and always consult a health professional before changing your diet. View dietary information here.

Percentage Daily Intake information on our recipes is calculated using the nutrition reference values for an average Australian adult.


  1. Step 1

    Pat chicken dry and season with salt. Heat a large heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Add oil and cook chicken, in batches, for 3 mins each side or until golden. Transfer to a plate.
  2. Step 2

    Return the pan to medium heat. Without shaking the coconut milk, open cans. Spoon ¹⁄³ cup (80ml) of solidified coconut milk from the top of the cans into the pan. Add curry paste and cook, stirring frequently, for 3 mins or until mixture is aromatic. Return chicken to the pan with the fish sauce, sugar and tamarind puree and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 mins to blend flavours. Stir in the remaining coconut milk and ½ cup (125ml) of water. Bring to a simmer.
  3. Step 3

    Simmer, partially covered, for 20 mins. Add pumpkin and simmer, partially covered, for 15-20 mins or until chicken and pumpkin are tender. Remove from heat. Stir in 3 tsp lime juice. Taste and add extra salt, fish sauce or sugar if required.

Recipe tip

Serve with fresh coriander sprigs, salted roasted peanuts, steamed jasmine rice and lime wedges.

Massaman Curry Paste: Make your own curry paste for this curry. Store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

You will need:

• 1 tbs each coriander seeds and cumin seeds

• 2 cinnamon sticks or quills

• 3 whole cloves

• 1 1/2 tsp ground cardamom

• 2 tbs vegetable oil, divided

• 2 long red chillies, stemmed, halved lengthways

• 1 large shallot, peeled, quartered

• 4 garlic cloves, peeled

• 30g-piece ginger, peeled, cut into 1cm pieces

• 1/3 cup (45g) salted roasted peanuts


1. In a medium frying pan over medium heat, toss the coriander, cumin, cinnamon and cloves for 3 mins or until spices are aromatic and a shade darker in colour. Let spice mixture cool slightly. Transfer to a spice grinder or clean coffee grinder with cardamom. Process until mixture is finely ground.

2. Return frying pan to medium heat and heat 1 tbs oil. Add the chilli, shallot, garlic and ginger and cook, turning occasionally, for 5-8 mins or until vegetables are deeply charred all over. Set aside to cool slightly.

3. In a food processor, process the ground spice mixture, charred vegetables, peanuts and remaining 1 tablespoon oil until pureed as finely as possible, stopping machine and scraping the sides of the processor occasionally.

Shortcut to flavour: Making your own paste from scratch is great, but if you don’t have time you can whip up a great-tasting curry using bought curry paste. Find massaman curry paste in the Asian food section and keep it handy for a faster meal.