Massaman Curry Paste

Massaman Curry Paste

  • Servings: Makes 1 cup
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This paste is used to make the delicious recipe for Thai Massaman Curry with Beef.


  • 4 large dried red chillies
  • 2 tsp shrimp paste
  • 3 shallots, chopped finely
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped finely
  • 1 -inch piece fresh galangal, chopped finely
  • 2 lemongrass stalks (white part only), chopped finely
  • 4 fresh coriander roots
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • seeds from 3 cardamon pods
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp salt
  • vegetable oil


  1. Remove and discard the chilli stalks. Cut the chillies in half and remove and discard the seeds
  2. Place the chillies into a bowl. Cover with hot water and set aside to soak for 15 minutes. Drain and roughly chop.
  3. Dry-fry the shrimp paste for 2-3 minutes, turning once or twice. Set aside.
  4. Dry fry the cloves, coriander, cumin, cardamon, and peppercorns over low heat, stirring frequently, for 3-4 minutes, or until aromatic. Transfer to a mortar and pestle.
  5. Carefully crush the spices with the pestle and then add the shallots, garlic, galangal, lemongrass, coriander roots, chillies and salt, and pound to a smooth mixture, adding a little vegetable oil if needed.


  • The paste can be refrigerated for two weeks, or frozen for two months.


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