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5 from 4 votes

RECIPE - Massaman Curry Paste

This Massaman Curry paste is a wonderfully rich but relatively mild curry paste that is easy to make at home. Homemade curry pastes are so much fresher and so much tastier than store bought pastes. And you are control of the heat!!!! This Massaman blend is packed with flavor and uses easy to find grocery store ingredients!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Spice Blend
Cuisine: Thai
Servings: 6
Calories: 78kcal
Author: Claire | Sprinkles and Sprouts
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  • 5-10 dried red chillies (see note 1)
  • 1 kaffir lime leaf (dried or fresh)
  • 2 large shallots
  • 11 garlic cloves
  • 1 inch piece fresh ginger
  • 2 stalk lemongrass
  • 1 tsp vegeatble oil (or sunflower/canola/peanut)
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds (See note 2)
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds (See note 2)
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds (See note 2)
  • 3 cardamon pods (See note 2)
  • 1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1 tsp brown sugar/palm sugar
  • small bunch cilantro/coriander - with roots
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil (or sunflower/canola/peanut)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp Thai shrimp paste


  • Pre-heat oven to 350°F/170ºC/.
  • Fill a small bowl with warm water and soak the dried chillies and lime leaf for 15 minutes.
  • Drain them and gently pat dry.
  • Peel the shallots, garlic and ginger, then cut the shallots into 4 pieces, slice the ginger into 6 disks and leave the garlic cloves whole.
  • Finely slice the white part of the lemongrass, discarding the really woody green end.
  • Place the soaked chillies, shallots, ginger, garlic and lemongrass on a baking sheet , drizzle with a teaspoon of oil and roast the for about 7 minutes. Once roasted set aside to cool slightly.
  • Meanwhile, add the coriander, cumin, fennel seeds and cardamom pods to a small dry frying pan. (see note 2)
  • Toast the spices over a medium heat for about 2 minutes until they are fragrant. Set aside to cool.
  • Once cool, gently crush the cardamon pods, tipping the seeds into a pestle and mortor (or spice gringer) and discard the pods. Add the other toasted spices and grind.
  • Then add the nutmeg, cinnamon, ground cloves, turmeric, white pepper and brown sugar/palm sugar and move about to combine, breaking up the sugar as you go.
  • Place the toasted ground spices, roasted aromatics (shallots garlic etc) into a food processor along with the soaked lime leaf, fresh cilantro (including the roots and stems), the 1 tbsp of oil and the salt. Blitz until you have a course paste.
  • Add in the shrimp paste and blitz until smooth.
  • The paste will keep for a month in the fridge or in the freezer for a year.


  1. 5 chilies will give you a very mild curry paste, 10 will give it a bit of a kick, but still mild compared to most Thai curries.
  2. You can use pre-ground spices here. You'll need to reduce the quantity:
    • 3/4 tbsp ground coriander
    • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
    • 1/2 tsp ground fennel
    • 1/4 tsp round cardamon


Calories: 78kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 29mg | Sodium: 484mg | Potassium: 211mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 355IU | Vitamin C: 56.7mg | Calcium: 45mg | Iron: 1.6mg
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