Vegetarian Thai Massaman Curry

Massaman curry with chapatti
MelanieMaya / Getty Images
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 25 mins
Total: 40 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
294 Calories
16g Fat
25g Carbs
15g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 294
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 16g 21%
Saturated Fat 11g 56%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 357mg 16%
Total Carbohydrate 25g 9%
Dietary Fiber 3g 10%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 15g
Vitamin C 9mg 46%
Calcium 60mg 5%
Iron 4mg 22%
Potassium 652mg 14%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

With Indian influences and popular amongst Muslim communities in Southern Thailand, Massaman curry is a truly global dish. This vegetarian and vegan version is simplified for American cooks, but still has a distinct kick from the unique combination of spices: ginger, turmeric, cinnamon and a bit of sugar and especially the Chinese five-spice powder. Yes, I know it sounds odd, but give it a try and see if you don't just like it as much as I do.

Traditional Thai Massaman curry ingredients are chicken and potatoes, which is why this vegetarian version uses seitan, but if you want to add veggies, try baby corn or green peas. Or, instead of the seitan, pick up a chicken substitute from the grocery store. Gardein is one popular brand, and Beyond Meat strips also get high reviews, but any kind of vegetarian meat substitute you like will work just fine, even plain tofu in place of the seitan. 

Reprinted with permission from The Daily Vegan Planner.


  • 1 tablespoon oil

  • 1 tablespoon Chinese five-spice powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated

  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric

  • 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne pepper, or to taste

  • 1 1/2 cups coconut milk

  • 1 cup vegetable broth

  • 2 potatoes, chopped

  • 1 cup seitan, chopped

  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter

  • 2 whole cloves

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar

  • 1/3 cup peanuts or cashews, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a large skillet or stockpot, heat five-spice powder, ginger, turmeric, and cayenne in oil for just one minute, stirring constantly, until fragrant.

  3. Reduce heat to medium-low and add coconut milk and vegetable broth, stirring to combine. Add potatoes, seitan, cloves, and salt, cover, and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  4. Uncover, add peanut butter, cinnamon, sugar and peanuts or cashews, and heat for one more minute. Serve over rice (or another cooked whole grain, if you prefer).

If you prefer a thicker vegetarian Massaman curry, dissolve 1 tablespoon cornstarch in 3 tablespoons water and add to the curry, simmering for 2 to 3 minutes, until thick.

Makes 6 servings

Nutritional information, per serving:
Calories 305; Fat 20 g
Protein 11 g
Sodium 391 mg
Fiber 1.8 g
Carbohydrate 25 g
Sugar 1.6 g, Zinc 1.1 mg, Calcium 56 mg, Iron 2.8 mg
Vitamin D 0 mg, Vitamin B12 0 mg

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