Massaman Curry Paste
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This recipe makes enough Massaman curry paste for two batches of curry. It keeps in the fridge for 2 weeks.
Recipe type: Curry
Cuisine: Thai
Serves: 2 batches
Spices - toast separately in a dry frying pan
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 star anise
  • 2 cm piece of cassia bark (can use cinnamon)
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg (fresh is best but jarred is okay)
  • ½ teaspoon ground mace
Massaman Curry Paste
  • 8-12 dried red chillies, deseeded and soaked in water until soft.
  • 1 Tablespoon rice bran oil (or whatever you have)
  • 4 golden shallots sliced thinly
  • 6 cloves garlic sliced thinly
  • 2 tablespoons galangal, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons lemongrass finely chopped (bash lemongrass with the pestle and remove the hard stem and outer leaves, then chop finely)
  • 3 coriander roots (cilantro), washed, scraped and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  1. Remove the seeds from the chillies and soak in boiling water until soft. Then finely chop.
  2. Toast all the spices, one at a time in a fry pan until fragrant and then grind in a mortar and
  3. pestle.
  4. In a medium sized frying pan, fry the shallots in the oil until they start to take on some colour.
  5. Add the garlic, galangal, lemongrass and coriander roots and continue to cook until the garlic turns golden brown. Add a little water if things brown too quickly. You will need to stir it more or less continuously. It took me 10 minutes.
  6. Combine the chillies, spices, cooked mixture and salt in the mortar and pestle and pound to
  7. make a finely textured brownish red paste.
  8. Place in a container and use to make Massaman curry.
One batch flavours enough curry to feed 8 people.
Recipe by Orgasmic Chef at