Lamb Neck Massaman Curry

Lamb Neck Massaman Curry Photo: Tim Elwin

Lamb Neck Massaman Curry
Photo: Tim Elwin

Lamb neck fillets are perfect for this dish and slow cooking them makes them beautifully delectable. If you can't find lamb neck fillets then shoulder is a good substitute.  


  • 400g Lamb Neck Fillets, cut into 1 Inch Squares
  • 2 Large Potatoes, cut 1 Inch Squares
  • 100g of Green Beans, ends topped
  • 1 Large Onion, peeled and sliced, 2-4mm thick
  • 600mls Coconut Milk
  • 2 Teaspoons Fish Sauce
  • 2 Teaspoons Grated Coconut or Palm Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil
  • 3-4 tablespoons of Maesri Massaman Curry Paste or to make your own paste;
    • 2 Long Red Chilli’s, seeds removed
    • 4-5 Birdseye Chilli’s, (only if you want extra heat otherwise leave out)
    • 2 stalks of Lemongrass, outer few stalks removed
    • 1 tablespoon grated Galangal or Ginger
    • 4 Eschallots, peeled roughly chopped
    • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
    • 2 Tablespoons Shrimp Paste
    • 1 Tablespoon Tamarind Juice
    • 1 Tablespoon Salt
    • 1 Teaspoon Sugar
    • 2 Kaffir Lime Leaves
    • 2 Bay leaves
    • 2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil
    • Spices
      • 1 Tablespoon Coriander seed
      • 1 Teaspoon Cumin seeds
      • 1 Teaspoon Cardamom seeds
      • ½ Teaspoon Cloves
      • 1 small Cinnamon Stick
  • Fresh Coriander
  • Jasmine Rice or Paratha Bread

Method - Paste

If making your own paste, dry-fry the spices in a pan on a medium heat until they start to smoke then grind to a powder in a mortar & pestle or in a spice grinder. Add the remaining Paste Ingredients and grind to form a fine paste. You can store in the fridge for up to 6-8 weeks or freeze for up to 6 months.

Method - Curry

In a medium sized pot fry the onions in a tablespoon of coconut oil for 5 minutes on a medium-high heat, then add the 3-4 tablespoons of the curry paste with half (300mls) of the coconut milk and cook for a further 5 minutes. Add the lamb neck pieces plus the remaining 300mls coconut milk, stir until it boils, then reduce to a gentle simmer. Simmer for a minimum of 4 hours but preferably 6-8 hours.

30 minutes before the end add the  then add the sugar and fish sauce and gently stir through for another 3-4 minutes to dissolve the sugar.

Serve with fresh coriander and jasmine rice or my favourite, Paratha Bread!

© Tim Elwin 2015