Milder than many Thai curries, massaman curry draws its influence from far beyond its nation’s cuisine. Because of this, it includes many spices not often associated with Thai curries: cardamom, star anise, cinnamon, cloves, cumin, and others. This is because massaman curry’s centuries-long history starts with Persia and India, and its flavors reflect that.
Rewinding a few hundred years, this dish originated with Muslim traders who came to Thailand and brought flavors from further west in the Middle East and South Asia. In fact, the name “massaman” likely comes from an old Persian word for Muslim. By the 1700s, massaman curry had become a favorite of the Thai royal family, and the rest is history.
Although massaman curry’s uniqueness comes from its Muslim influence — along with those spices, it’s usually served with chicken or another non-pork protein — it also contains other, more conventionally Thai ingredients. That includes chili peppers, lemongrass, coriander, white pepper, shrimp paste, garlic, and coconut milk. Combine all these, and the end result is absolutely delicious.
Uwajimaya carries all the ingredients to make your own massaman curry throughout our stores.