Massaman Curry Paste

Fragrant and not too hot. Use with beef, chicken or pork. If you leave out the fish sauce, you can use it for a vegetarian meal.


  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 small onion or 3 shallots, peeled and chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 red chillies, seeds removed and flesh roughly chopped
  • 4 cm piece galangal (or ginger), peeled and sliced
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, outer leaves and bulb removed, then sliced thinly (or 2 tablespoons bottled lemongrass)
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves, sliced
  • 1/4 cup peanut or macadamia paste
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce or 1 tablespoon shrimp paste (optional)


  1. Toast coriander seeds, peppercorns, cumin seeds and cardamom seeds until fragrant.
  2. pour into a mortar and pound seeds until powdered
  3. add all other ingredients and pound until you have a pase
  4. bottle and refrigerate until required.


This mix will keep in the fridge for a couple of weeks. I generally use half the mix for a serving to 4 people.