Massaman curry paste

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Massaman curry paste

Serves 0 25 min
Obviously you can buy massaman curry paste, but if you're starting from scratch here's how to do it. Makes 1 jar.


  • 12 dried red chillies
  • 12 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 3 lemongrass stalks, tough outer layers removed and thinly sliced
  • 3 medium shallots, thinly sliced
  • 3cm piece galangal or ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 6 whole cardamom pods
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 3cm piece cinnamon stick
  • 2 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 3 star anise
  • stems from large bunch of coriander
  • 50g salted dry-roasted peanuts
  • ½ tsp each ground nutmeg, turmeric and salt


Prep time: 25 min
  • Step 1

    Preheat oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4. Soak the chillies in warm water in a small bowl for 15 minutes, then drain and pat dry. Toss the chillies, garlic, lemongrass, shallot, and galangal/ginger with oil in a baking tray and roast for 4-5 minutes. Give the tray a good shake and return to the oven until the chillies are golden brown. Allow to cool.
  • Step 2

    Meanwhile, combine the 'Cs' (cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, coriander and cumin) and star anise in a small frying pan and toast over medium heat for 2 or 3 minutes, until fragrant. Allow to cool.
  • Step 3

    Gently crush the cardamom pods to remove the seeds and discard as much pod as possible, then grind the spices in a spice mill, or with a mortar and pestle. Next, blitz everything to a coarse paste in a food processor and transfer to a clean jar. It will keep for several weeks in the fridge.

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