MASTERCLASS: Mussaman Curry with Lamb

MASTERCLASS: Mussaman Curry with Lamb

Here’s some trivia for you!! The word Mussaman is thought to refer to the Muslims with early century writers labeling this dish as ‘Mussulman Curry’; an ancient form of the word for Muslim. This dish originated in Thailand and as it was a dish eaten by Muslims, chicken was the preferred meat used.
Today this dish has become so popular among many groups that beef and lamb is used as well as vegetarians creating their own version without any meat added.

I have a real passion for curries. I love visiting Fiji and finding myself surrounded by good curries made by relatives of those I was visiting. It was during this time that I discovered how passionate I was about using spices, not just for their robust flavours but their health benefits are just as exciting. Since returning home, I have extended my experience with a variety of curries and Mussaman is one of my favourites.

India is famous for their version of curries too…which I love to cook up a hearty Aloo Gosht (North Indian Lamb Curry), Butter chicken or Chana Masala (Chickpea Curry)..just to mention a few. But my real love of India is when flying across the seas and I get to watch all those Indian movies. Have you seen them? If you have, you will know what I mean. The acting is fabulous, the story line unforgettable and the array of colours in the way they are dressed is simply beautiful. Their culture is so rich with history and tradition and you can’t help but discover that as you watch the story line unfold in the movies.

Anyway, back to this masterclass. This curry is easy to make and the step by step instructions will ensure you not only make a fabulous dish, but your family and friends will be singing your praises!

P.S. Let me know if there were enough step-by-step instructions or you may like more or less?!

Mussaman Curry with Lamb


  • 3 red jalapeños, stems removed
  • 3 long green chillies, stems removed
  • ½ cup shredded coconut, toasted
  • ½ cup roasted unsalted peanuts
  • 1
 dried bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 3 cans (270g) coconut cream
  • 2
 cinnamon barks
  • 2 tablespoons grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon palm sugar, optional
  • ¼ cup fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tamarind
  • 1 leg of lamb, cut into 3 cm chunks, reserving bones
  • 4 medium-size potatoes, cut into chunks
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon fresh coriander, roughly chopped


Step 1: Begin with cutting up your leg of lamb into 3cm chunks and set aside with bones.

Step 2: Using a mortar and pestle, grind your chillies, toasted coconut, toasted peanuts and bay leaf until a coarse paste is created. Add to this ground spices and mix through. Set aside.

Step 3: Heat oil in a large pot over low heat. Add onion and fry until transparent. Stir in spice mixture, adding tomato paste, coconut cream, cinnamon bark, grated ginger, grated palm sugar, fish sauce and tamarind. Stir to combine all the ingredients.

Step 4: Add lamb and bones to mixture and coat with cream and spice mix. Bring to boil, cover reducing heat and simmer for 45 minutes.

Step 5: Add potato chunks to pan and coat with cream. Cook for a further 25 – 30 minutes or until potatoes soft. You may need to occasionally stir to prevent meat from sticking. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Step 6: 15 minutes before curry is ready, steam rice. Serve curry with rice and a sprinkle of fresh coriander leaves.




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