Thai Massaman Curry Paste

Thai Massaman Curry Paste
Thai Massaman Curry Paste

It’s strange to think that this time a year ago I was on a cooking course on Koh Lanta in Thailand! This recipe is for a traditional Thai curry paste, the name of which is derived from the word ‘Muslim’. It is packed with exotic flavours, all delicately balanced together. You can make a large batch, as it keeps in the fridge for ages.

Top tip: Many of the ingredients are fairly hard to find in the UK. Try local deli’s for things like Galangal and Shrimp Paste.

Makes enough paste for a curry for 4.


Dried Red Chilli Skins – 2
Shallots – 2
Garlic – 2 cloves
Lemon Grass – 2 inches
Galangal – 1cm slice of the root
Turmeric – 2 tsp
Kaffir Lime Skin – 2 slices (you can use normal limes too!)
Small Dried Chilli (with seeds) – 1
Coriander Seeds – 1 tsp
Cinnamon – 2 tsp
Cardamon Seeds – 2
Cloves – 2
Cumin Seeds – 1/2 tsp
Black Pepper Seeds – 14
Mace – 2 tsp
Salt – 1/2 tsp
Shrimp Paste – 1/2 tsp

1. For the dried chilli skins, chop two large red chilies in half and de-seed themPlace on a radiator overnight. Once dried, finely chop.

2. Peel and finely dice the shallots and garlic clovesPeel the skin off the limes, and save 2 large slices.

3. Once you have collected all your ingredients (no mean feat!), place them in a pestle & mortar, and proceed to grind until a paste is formed. This takes a while, and a strong hand. Alternatively you can process the ingredients in a blender, but you’ll need to make sure it’s a fine blender as you don’t want a grainy texture.

You can store the paste in a jar in the fridge until needed.
Use this paste to make a Beef, Vegetable or Chicken Massaman Curry.


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