Beef brisket massaman curry Sparrow

Beef brisket massaman curry

  • serves 6
  • Easy

This beef brisket massaman curry recipe is served in Terry Blake's new south London restaurant, Sparrow. This dish is served with basmati rice dressed with duck fat, soy sauce and rice wine vinegar, which is then blow-torched until crisp. They also add a slice of deep-fried lotus root


Make this beef brisket massaman curry, then check out our quick beef curry.

*This recipe is gluten-free according to industry standards



  • beef brisket 1kg
  • coconut milk 400g tin
  • cassia bark 10cm piece
  • star anise 3
  • garlic 5 cloves
  • ginger a thumb-sized piece, sliced
  • dried red chillies 5
  • coconut cream 160ml
  • tomato 1, grated
  • peanuts 40g, roasted
  • lime leaves 2, torn
  • fish sauce 1 tbsp
  • lime 1/2, juiced
  • roasted shallots (see cook's notes)
  • cooked basmati rice, crispy shallots and fried curry leaves to serve


  • cloves 6
  • cardamom 3
  • bay leaves 4
  • star anise 3
  • garlic 2 cloves
  • ginger a large thumb-sized piece, roughly chopped
  • shallots 100g, roughly chopped
  • lemongrass 3 stalks, chopped
  • lime leaves 3, shredded
  • peanuts 20g, roasted
  • desiccated coconut 15g, toasted


  • Step 1

    Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Put the brisket into a roasting tray with the coconut milk, cassia bark, star anise, garlic, ginger and dried chillies, cover tightly with foil and cook for 3½ hours until the meat is tender. Remove and chop into pieces.

  • Step 2

    To make the curry paste, add all of the dry herbs and spices to a spice grinder, or use a pestle and mortar, and grind to a powder. Add this, and the remaining ingredients, to a food processor and blend until smooth.

  • Step 3

    Gently fry the coconut cream in a frying pan until the oil separates. Add 6 tbsp of the curry paste and fry until fragrant. Add the tomato, 300ml of water, the peanuts and kaffir lime leaves, and simmer for 20 minutes. Season with fish sauce and lime juice. Add the beef, any sticky bits from the roasting tray and the roasted shallots to the curry, and heat through.

  • Step 4

    Serve with rice, crispy shallots and fried curry leaves.

To make the roasted shallots, roast 200g of small, round, red shallots with 2 tbsp of vegetable oil and a pinch of salt at 180C/fan 160C/gas 4 for 45 minutes until caramelised and soft. Any left-over curry paste will keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks (or freeze it). You can buy crispy shallots in large supermarkets.

Nutritional Information

  • Kcals 649
  • Fat 52.3g
  • Saturates 30.3g
  • Carbs 7.2g
  • Sugars 4g
  • Fibre 1.8g
  • Protein 36.5g
  • Salt 0.8g