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Massaman curry paste recipe image

Print Massaman curry paste

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 & thinly sliced
  • 3 medium shallots, thinly sliced
  • 3cm piece galangal or ginger, peeled & 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 & salt


  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.
  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.
  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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