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massaman beef curry with garnishes in a bowl ready for serving

Slow Cooker Massaman Beef Curry

Julia | The Yummy Bowl
Slow Cooker Massaman Beef Curry is an easy, fulfilling comfort food that has layers of flavors from two worlds - Thai and Indian cuisine. Beautifully fragrant, creamy, mildly spicy, and can be eaten on its own with just a slice of bread!
4.50 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 8 hrs
Total Time 8 hrs 15 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian, Thai
Servings 6 portions
Calories 547 kcal


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable or coconut oil
  • 1 ½ - 2 lb chuck roast trimmed and cut into 1 ½ inch chunks
  • 1 large yellow onion cut into half-moons, about ¼ inch thick
  • 4 tablespoon red curry paste
  • 3 larger garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 1 13.5 oz coconut milk
  • 1 ½ cup potatoes peeled, cut into bite-size chunks
  • 2 medium carrots cut into half-moons, about ½ inch thick
  • ½ cup green beans fresh or frozen, ends trimmed
  • 1 ½ tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 cup beef broth add another ½ cup if needed
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce gluten-free if using
  • 1 pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 1 pinch of red chili flakes
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar or coconut sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 tablespoon cilantro leaves
  • 2 Kaffir leaves optional

For Garnish

  • Chili flakes
  • Lime wedges
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Roasted peanuts


  • Prepare your meat by trimming the excess fat off and cutting the beef into 1 ½ inch cubes. Season the meat with salt and pepper.
  • Heat vegetable oil in a large heavy bottom pan over medium-high heat. Sear the beef chunks until well golden brown (about 4 minutes on both sides is enough). Don’t overcrowd the pan, you’ll need to do this in batches, carefully cleaning the surface of the pan with a paper towel if necessary and adding more oil before the next batch. Don’t change the heat temperature and don’t overcook the beef. Transfer to slow 4.5-quart cooker.
  • Add chopped potatoes, carrots.
  • In the same pan (cleaned slightly with a paper towel), saute onion until softened and add red curry paste and garlic. Saute 2 minutes more on medium-low. Transfer to slow cooker.
  • Add spices, broth, lime juice, coconut milk, sugar, soy sauce, cinnamon stick to the slow cooker. If using kaffir leaves, add them now.
  • Cook on LOW for 8 hours or HIGH 4 hours. After that taste for seasoning and add more salt/pepper if necessary. Top with green beans and cook on HIGH for another 15 minutes or LOW for 30 minutes. Taste for seasoning again.
  • Garnish Massaman Beef Curry with plenty of fresh herbs such as cilantro, thai basil, mint, parsley, lime wedges, more crushed red chili flakes, peanuts. Serve as it is with bread, grains, rice.



  • Beef - any chuck roast cut or round cut will work for this Massaman curry. I always buy the meat at the local butcher. I usually explain to them what I need it for, and they will always ensure I have the freshest and the cut needed for the specific recipe. I would avoid buying ready-made stew cuts or similar as they often have too much fat. And with the whole chuck cut, you can regulate what and how much goes into the curry. If you got a really big chuck roast, cut whatever you need for the curry and immediately freeze the rest for next time.
  • Red curry paste - different brands will vary in terms of spiciness and you may need only 2 tablespoons in the end. If not sure, add 2-3 spoonfuls only.
  • Cinnamon - for those folks who don’t like strong cinnamon scent or flavor, I would either add only ½ teaspoon or even less ground cinnamon or skip it entirely. As you will feel all the spices cooked in this Massaman Beef Curry very well, especially the cinnamon stick. It is very common in Indian dishes and after tasting this curry I understood why!
    Additions - kaffir leaves give a nice lime flavor if you have it
  • Beef broth - I wrote 1 cup of beef broth, but you may add another ½ cup if needed for a thinner curry. It is just a matter of preference. Also, full-fat coconut milk is preferred for a more luscious creamy texture.
  • Slow cooker - I used a 4.5-quart slow cooker for this which is more than enough for 5-6 portions or even 7-8 if served with plenty of rice on the side. I cook my food in a slow cooker low and slow, usually, at about the 7-hour mark, I will open the lid and check the beef for doneness. If it is tender enough, I will immediately add in green beans, and let it cook for another 15-20 minutes, and serve right away.
  • What beef is best for curry? The best beef for curry is the beef that you would use in stews, pot roasts, and anything that will cook to nice soft and fork-tender almost fall apart pieces. My recommendation is to use chuck roast, round, or brisket beef for this Slow Cooker Massaman Beef Curry. Chuck roast is preferred as it is a lean cut however with a good amount of marbling and less fat that makes it is easy to achieve the tender beef chunks in the end.
  • How do I thicken my Massaman Curry in a slow cooker? If you are looking to make your Massaman Curry even thicker, I would recommend using less broth and increasing full-fat coconut milk amount instead. Another way is to use flour or 1-2 tablespoons of cornstarch mixed with water until the liquid paste-like texture and stirring it in the curry towards the end of cooking. Mix it into the slow cooker and cook further on high for 15 minutes until desired thickened result. Keep in mind that curries will thicken even more once cooked and refrigerated.



Calories: 547kcal
Keyword massaman beef curry, massaman curry slow cooker, slow cooker massaman beef curry
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