Massaman Curry VS Panang curry- 8 Differences in just 1 min

Like me, you may love Thai food but not know the difference between massaman and Panang curry. Both are incredibly delicious Thai foods and look similar. 

This cousin of massaman curry is also famous in another cuisine. While it shares some similarities with its more well-known counterpart, This blog post will cover the key differences between these two popular Thai curries. 

Spoiler alert: massaman curry vs Panang curry- both are amazing, but I have a personal favorite… 😉 we’ll take a closer glance at what makes these two curries extra and help you decide what is better, panang or massaman curry, for your next meal treat.

A Quick Comparison Table: Massaman Curry VS Panang Curry

ParametersMassaman CurryPanang Curry
OriginThai Cusine but influenced by Persian CuisineAuthentic Thai Cuisine
TextureThick & Creamysavory Thick curry
Made ofMassaman curry pastePanang curry Paste
IngredientsMeat, tofu, coconut milk, onion, peanuts or cashews, 
potatoes, bay leaves, 
cardamom pods, 
cinnamon, star anise, 
palm sugar, fish sauce, chili, 
and tamarind juice
Dried chili peppers, 
makrut lime zest, 
coriander root, coriander seeds, 
cumin seeds, garlic, 
shallot, shrimp paste, salt, and peanuts
Which is
Mild favorSpicer than Massaman curry
Serve witheaten with riceeaten with rice and noodles

What is the difference between Massaman curry and Panang curry?

The main differences between Massaman curry and Panang curry are the flavor, heat, ingredients used, and how they are served.

What is Massaman curry?

Massaman curry is a famous dish in Thailand. It is often served as a family meal made with Massaman curry paste, coconut milk, and beef. The dish is usually served with rice and can be garnished with peanuts, cilantro, and lime. 

It is a fusion of southern Thai, Persian, Indian, Malay, and even Dutch cuisine. The dish is usually made with chicken or beef but can also be prepared with tofu for a vegetarian option. It is rich and hearty yet still packed full of flavor. The perfect comfort food!

Some key ingredients in Massaman curry include coconut milk, peanuts, potatoes, bay leaves, cinnamon, star anise, and tamarind paste. This dish is typically served with rice or naan bread.

What is massaman curry taste like?

The flavor of the curry will also be influenced by the addition of any additional spices or herbs that are used slightly sweet, mild, and somewhat spicy zing.

What is The Texture of Massaman Curry?

The texture of Massaman curry is thick and creamy, with a slightly spicy kick. The dish is usually made with chicken or beef but can also be made vegetarian. 

The rice is usually cooked in the same pot as the curry, absorbing all the flavors. This creates a very hearty and filling meal.

Is Massaman Curry spicy?

Massaman curry is a Thai dish that is usually not spicy. The flavor is usually more sweet than spicy. However, you can always ask for it to be made spicier if you prefer. 

Massaman curry is made with various spices, including Cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, star anise, cumin, bay leaves, nutmeg, and mace. These spices lend the meal its distinct flavor. Also, add peanuts, fish sauce, and tamarind juice.

A massaman curry is a good option if you are looking for a Thai dish that is not too spicy.

What is Panang Curry?

Panang curry is a Thai red curry made with various ingredients, including chili peppers, coconut milk, fish sauce, and peanuts.

The dish is frequently accompanied by rice or noodles.

Panang curry is typically made with beef or chicken but can also be made with shrimp or tofu. It is often served over steamed rice or noodles.

What does Panang curry taste like?

It is thick, salty, and sweet, with a zesty makrut lime flavor.

What is The Texture of Panang Curry?

Panang curry is characterized by its thick, red curry paste and creamy coconut milk. The dish gets its name from the island of Phuket, where it is said to have originated. 

Is Panang curry spicy? 

Yes, Panang curry is spicy. It is made with chili peppers and other spices that give it its characteristic heat. If you are sensitive to spice, you may want to order it milder when dining out. When making Panang curry at home, you can control the spice level by adjusting the number of chili peppers used.

Panang curry is spicy. It is made with chili peppers and other spices that give it its characteristic heat.

Difference between massaman and Panang curry By Taste

The main difference between massaman and Panang curry is the taste. 

Massaman curry is usually milder and sweeter, while Panang curry is spicier and more savory. Both are delicious, but if you’re looking for something with a little more heat, panang is the way to go.

Ingredients & Preparation: Panang curry VS Massaman curry

What is massaman curry sauce made of 

There are a few key ingredients in massaman curry sauce, including coconut milk, lemongrass, cumin, and chili peppers. 

· These ingredients combine to create a rich and flavorful sauce perfect for pairing with meats or vegetables. 

· When made correctly, massaman curry sauce should be thick and creamy with a slightly sweet and spicy flavor.

What is Panang curry made of

Panang curry contains various ingredients, including Thai chili peppers, galangal root, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, cilantro stems, fish sauce, shrimp paste, and coconut milk. 

The exact proportions of these ingredients vary depending on the recipe. Still, they all work together to create a uniquely delicious dish.

Panang curry is often served with rice or noodles and can be garnished with fresh cilantro leaves.

Panang curry paste VS Massaman Curry Paste

When it comes to Thai curries, there are two main types of curry pastes you need to know about – Panang and Massaman. 

These pastes have unique flavor profiles that make them ideal for different dishes. So, what’s the difference between Panang and Massaman curry pastes? Which one should you prepare for your next Thai meal?

Panang curry paste is made with a blend of dried chili peppers, galangal, lemongrass, kaffir lime peel, cumin, coriander, and pepper. 

· This paste has a blazing red color and a strong flavor that is ideal for stir-fries and other foods that require a lot of flavors.

On the other hand, Massaman curry paste is made with a blend of dried chili peppers, peanuts, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom. 

· This paste has a more mellow flavor than Panang curry paste and is often used in curries and stews where you want a richer, more complex flavor.

If you want a quick and easy stir-fry with lots of flavors, then Panang curry paste is the way to go. Massaman curry paste is the better choice if you’re looking for a richer, more complex flavor in your curry or stew.

Comparison of Panang curry with Massaman curry by Texture and Appearance

When it comes to texture, Massaman curry is usually thicker and more stew-like. In comparison, Panang curry is thinner and more soup-like. 

In terms of appearance, Massaman curry is usually darker in color due to cinnamon and other spices. Panang curry is typically lighter in color due to chili peppers.

Which Thai curry is hottest- Panang VS Massaman Curry

There are a variety of Thai curries, each with its own unique flavor and level of spiciness. Among the most popular are Panang and Massaman curry. So, which one is the hottest?

When it comes to spice level, Panang curry is usually considered to be milder than Massaman curry. However, both can vary in heat depending on the recipe and how much chili pepper is used. 

Overall, Massaman curry is typically more flavorful than Panang curry, as it includes a wider range of spices like cardamom, nutmeg, and cloves.

If you’re looking for a hearty, warming meal that isn’t too spicy, then Panang curry is a good choice. 

For something with a bit more of a kick, go for Massaman curry. Either way, you’re sure to enjoy the delicious flavors of Thai cuisine!

Variation Comparison between Massaman curry with Panang curry

There are several critical differences between Massaman curry and Panang curry. 

Massaman curry is made with beef or chicken, while Panang curry is usually made with pork or shrimp. 

Additionally, Massaman curry typically contains more peanuts than Panang curry. 

Read More- Red curry VS Yellow Curry vs Green Curry

When to use Massaman curry and when to use Panang curry?

When it comes to choosing between Massaman curry and Panang curry, it really depends on what you’re looking for in a dish.

Massaman curry is probably your best bet for a hearty, filling curry. Also, Massaman curry is the way to go if you’re after something that is rich and creamy.

If you’re peeking for a softer, more refreshing curry, more fragrant, and packed with flavor, then Panang curry is your best bet. 

Similarities between Massaman curry and Panang curry

There are a few similarities between Massaman curry and Panang curry. 

Both are Thai curries that are relatively mild in heat, and both use coconut milk as a base. 

They also share some common ingredients, such as cumin, coriander, and cardamom. 

Read More- Best Massaman Curry Paste Substitutes

Bottom Line: What makes Massaman curry different from Panang curry and vice versa?

The main difference between Massaman curry and Panang curry is the addition of peanuts in the former. 

Panang curry is mainly made with beef or chicken. In contrast, Massaman curry can be made with either beef, chicken, or seafood. 

Both curries are relatively mild in terms of spice level.

Massaman curry is often sweeter than Panang curry due to the addition of palm sugar or tamarind paste. 

Massaman curry typically uses more whole spices than Panang curry, resulting in a more complex flavor profile.

So, what do you feel? Which is better, Panang curry or Massaman? Tell me in the comment section.

Read More- Salt Pork VS Bacon: what’s the difference?


Q1. What is the best type of Thai curry?

There are many types of Thai curry, each with its own unique flavor. 

The most popular type of Thai curry is green, made with green chilies and herbs. 

Other popular types include red curry, Massaman curry, and Panang curry. 

Each type of Thai curry has its own distinct flavor, so it is hard to say which one is the best. Ultimately, it depends on your personal preferences.

q2. Is Panang curry sweet?

No, Panang curry is not sweet. It is actually quite spicy, with a strong flavor of chili peppers.

Q3. What is the difference between Panang curry and red curry?

Panang curry is a Thai curry made with a thicker, more peanutty sauce, while the red curry is made with a thinner, spicier sauce. 

Red curry is typically made with chicken or beef, while Panang curry is usually made with pork or shrimp.

Q4. Is Panang Curry hotter than red curry?

The heat of a curry dish can vary greatly depending on the ingredients and methods used. That being said, some people might find Panang curry slightly hotter than red curry due to the added chili peppers in the dish. 

However, others may not taste much difference at all in terms of heat levels. 

Finally, it comes down to your particular preferences and tolerance for spice.

Q5. What curry paste is similar to Massaman?

The closest curry paste to Massaman is probably panang. Panang is a bit sweeter and not as rich, but it has a similar flavor profile. 

If you can’t find panang, you could also try red curry paste. Red curry is more spicy than Massaman, but it has a similar sweetness and depth of flavor.

q6. What can I use instead of Panang curry paste?

If you can’t find Panang curry paste, you can use red curry paste or Thai green curry paste. Just be familiar that the flavor will be different. 

Red curry paste will be spicier, while Thai green curry paste will be more savory. 

To keep the flavor as close to Panang curry paste as possible, you can combine red and green curry pastes.

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