Easy to cook Black Garlic Massaman Curry

Massaman curry is a mildly spicy Thai curry that originates from the southern part of the country. It blends influences from Indian, Malaysian and Muslim cultures, as its name suggests. It’s an excellent choice for meat, poultry, fish, vegetables and potatoes. It’s popular in Thailand, but is now enjoyed around the world. 

So, what is black garlic?

Black garlic is garlic that has been fermented. The month long fermentation process creates high levels of antioxidants and natural cancer-preventing compounds. Forms of fermented garlic have long been eaten in countries like Korea and Japan, but is just now finding it’s way into the American fine dining scene

More importantly, what does black garlic taste like?

As soon as you open the bag the deep aroma hits you. The garlic has a slightly sweet flavor, like molasses or tamarind. The garlic flavor is present, but it is very subtle and quickly diminishes from your mouth. The texture is soft, almost like dried fruit.

I entered a contest on Marxfood and though I did not win, I sent Justin Marx an email thanking him for letting me know about the contest. A few more emails were exchanged and the next thing I know I have some black garlic in the mail and need to create a recipe using it. (how exciting!)

The black garlic reminded me of tamarind, which I happen to have a big chunk of in my fridge. I planned on making Massaman curry for dinner (which is a coconut based Thai curry), and I usually add a tablespoon of tamarind, but this time I used a tablespoon of black garlic. It was fantastic and added a very slight garlic flavor and molasses undertone. I used beef when making this curry, though you could use chicken, tofu, or simply eat the curry alongside rice.

Black Garlic Massaman Curry

The curry is best served with rice. Its spicy and sweet flavors will make your guests feel refreshed. The curry is a wonderful meal to serve with a glass of beer or a glass of wine. If you love spicy food, you should try a homemade version. The homemade version is always better than store-bought. This recipe is perfect for vegetarians and vegans alike. There are no preservatives, and the coconut milk will be thick and fragrant.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Thai
Servings 4 serves
Calories 322 kcal


  • In a large sauce pot combine the coconut milk, stock, massaman curry packet, and black garlic. Whisk to combine and turn on low heat. The massaman curry will take at least 30 minutes to melt and dissolve fully.
  • Meanwhile chop up all your vegetables and add them to the pot.
  • Let everything simmer for a few minutes before turning to low heat and covering with a lid. Let the curry slowly cook for about 30 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.
  • Meanwhile add salt and pepper to the beef (chicken, tofu, whatever you are using) and grill or sear for at least 4 minutes on each side until medium rare. Cook longer if you prefer.
  • Let the beef rest at least 5 minutes before cutting into thin slices. Add to the curry.
  • Serve the curry with steamed rice and sliced black garlic.



You can find massaman curry packets and coconut milk in your nearest Asian grocery store. If you are unable to access black garlic then replace with tamarind, which can also be found at your Asian grocery store.
Keyword black garlic, curry

Tips and Tricks

Beef massaman curry

To make this delicious curry, you must first prepare the ingredients. If you are using canned or frozen massaman paste, make sure to add the coconut milk last. You should also add some extra oil to avoid the excess moisture. The oil should be sufficient to cover the meat. Otherwise, use a nonstick pan. When cooking with coconut milk, remember to leave the curry paste in the pan for a few minutes before adding water.

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To make the curry paste, roast the cumin, cardamom pods, and coriander seeds until fragrant. Then add the coconut milk and stir until the coconut oil bubbles. Once the paste is fragrant, add the chicken. If you prefer beef, you may submerge the chicken with water. If you do not like chicken, you can try lamb or beef. You can also substitute beef for chicken.

Once the paste is prepared, saute it until aromatic. The coconut milk is an emulsion, so it will separate into layers of water and oil. When you are ready to use the curry paste, remove the water from it and keep the coconut milk and oil to add flavor. Alternatively, you can buy a readymade massaman curry. Then, follow the instructions provided in the package to add the spices.

Massaman Curry - Cilantro and Citronella

To make this curry, you will need a good amount of coconut milk. The coconut milk will separate into two layers. The oil layer will cook while the other will remain. Sauté the curry paste until it’s aromatic. If you are serving it as a meal, you can add the curry paste to a bowl and serve it immediately. You can even prepare it the night before and let the curry sit overnight.

When making a Massaman curry, it is important to take the time to prepare the chicken. This is because it will be the easiest to prepare and the most flavorful dish. If you make it in advance, you can save it for later. It also makes great leftovers. If you prepare it ahead of time, you can freeze the leftovers. You can also freeze it if you don’t have enough meat.

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For a more authentic flavor, use fish sauce or brown sugar. Fish sauce is very salty, so don’t add it too much. It’s important to use the right amount of both for the curry. When you’re using palm sugar, you’ll want to make sure that it’s sweet and salty. You can even substitute it with brown sugar instead of palm sugar. For a milder dish, you can leave out the fish sauce.

The main ingredients in this curry are chicken and makrut lime zest. You can also add fresh herbs to your curry for a more authentic flavor. When making a Massaman curry, it is important to make it ahead of time. You can then let it sit overnight to develop its flavors. The flavor will improve over time. You can serve it immediately or let it sit for a couple of hours for more.