Venison Massaman Curry with naan bread

Have a few hours up your sleeve? There are worse ways to spend them than cooking a big pot of this curry.

Ingredients (serves four)

Naan bread:

430g plain flour + extra for dusting 2 tsp salt

2 tsp dried active yeast

1 cup warm water

1 tbsp sugar

⅓ cup of milk

3 tbsp plain yoghurt

2 tbsp veg oil

5 garlic cloves minced

4 tbsp nigella seeds

¼ bunch coriander

6 tbsp butter

Curry paste:

1/2 cup toasted peanuts

3 shallots sliced

6 garlic cloves sliced

2 red chillies sliced

A thumb of ginger sliced

1 lemongrass sliced

1.5 tsp ground coriander

1.5 tsp ground cumin

½ cumin seed

¼ nutmeg

1tsp ground cinnamon

¼ tsp ground clove

¼ tsp ground cardamom

4 tbsp fish sauce

2 tsp white sugar

4 tbsp coconut milk

2 tsp salt

Curry Sauce:

2 venison shanks

4 shallots cut in half

2 tins coconut milk

2 tbsp fish sauce

3 tsp sugar

3 tbsp tamarind

2 cinnamon sticks

5 star anise

2 large potatoes peeled & diced


1 lime cut into quarters

1 handful coriander roughly chopped Crispy shallots

How to make it

  1. Firstly, place all the curry paste ingredients in a blender and mix until smooth.
  2. In a thick based pan or dutch oven, heat until medium hot and add a glug of vegetable oil.
  3. Pat dry the shanks and place in the pan and seal until you have a golden caramel colour all over.
  4. Remove the shanks, add the halved shallots and char until almost back.
  5. Then remove the shallots, add the curry paste, reduce the heat to medium and cook out for about 2 minutes until very slightly darker
  6. Add the coconut milk, water, cinnamon and star anise and bring to a low simmer.
  7. Adjust the flavour with fish sauce, sugar, and tamarind to taste.
  8. Reintroduce the shanks to the pot and completely submerge.
  9. Cover with lid and place in the oven at 160°C for 3 hours.
  10. Now move on to the naan bread.
  11. In a small bowl place the yeast and sugar and slowly mix in the water. Set aside until the yeast has bloomed. This should take about 10 minutes.
  12. In a large bowl, sift in the flour and salt, then make a well in the centre.
  13. Once the yeast mixture is fully bloomed, pour into the well with the oil, yoghurt, milk and half of the garlic.
  14. Mix with one hand until combined, adding extra flour if necessary (the dough should be slightly sticking but not dry).
  15. Once thoroughly mixed, place on a workbench that has been dusted with flour.
  16. Knead for about 5 minutes until the dough has become smooth.
  17. Place back in the bowl and cover with a hot damp tea towel, then set aside for 90 minutes.
  18. When ready, remove the dough from the bowl and divide into 8 even balls, roll each with the palm of the hand until smooth, then cover again with the tea towel and set aside for a further 30 minutes.
  19. Meanwhile, take the curry out of the oven, stir and add the potatoes, then back in the oven for another hour and a half.
  20. With about half an hour left of cooking time for the curry, heat a skillet to a medium-high heat, then melt the butter with a pinch of salt.
  21. Roll out each dough ball until flat, to about 10x6 inches in diameter, and one at a time place in the skillet
  22. Brush one side with the garlic butter mixture and sprinkle with nigella seeds.
  23. Once the dough starts to bubble, turn and cook for another minute or so, until the colour on both sides has changed to light gold in places.
  24. Once all are complete, sprinkle with coriander.
  25. Once the curry is ready, use tongs and a fork to pull apart the venison into small chunks
  26. Serve into bowls with rice, naan bread and garnish to taste.
Massaman Curry ingredients
Massaman Curry paste ingredients
Naan bread


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