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Chicken Massaman Curry with Wheat Beer and Crispy Shallots

This chicken massaman curry brings bold spices, flavors and colors to the table without bringing the heat. It warms without the burn!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Total Time1 hr 5 mins
Servings: 8
Author: Emily Clifton, Nerds with Knives


  • 1 tablespoon 15ml vegetable oil
  • 2 medium red onions about 3/4 lb., cut pole to pole into 8 wedges each
  • 8 ounces 300g massaman curry paste (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 bottle 12 ounces Belgian-style wheat beer
  • 1 14 ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
  • 3/4 cup 175ml low sodium chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoons 45ml fish sauce
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons 30g palm or light brown sugar
  • 2 star anise pods
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 8 -10 boneless-skinless chicken thighs cut into large chunks (about 3 lb., 1.5kg))
  • 1.5 lb. red-skin potatoes or Yukon Gold cut into large chunks
  • 1/2 cup 75g roasted unsalted peanuts
  • 3 tablespoons 45ml fresh lime juice (about 2 limes), more lime for garnish
  • 1 cup cilantro lightly packed leaves and tender stems, for garnish


  • Heat oil in a Dutch oven or large heavy pot over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onions and cook, turning once until soft and golden brown in spots but not fully cooked, 5–8 minutes; transfer to plate.
  • Add curry paste to pot and cook, while stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir in beer and bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Add coconut milk, stock, fish sauce, sugar, star anise, cinnamon. chicken and potatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Add onions back in and continue simmering with the cover off, until potatoes are tender and chicken is cooked through but not falling apart, 15 to 20 minutes. Turn off heat and remove star anise and cinnamon stick. Spoon off any excess fat on the surface, if needed. Stir in peanuts and lime juice, and season to taste with salt, if needed.
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