Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Thai Massaman Curry Paste

It's strange to think that this time a year ago I was on a cooking course on Koh Lanta in Thailand! This recipe is for a traditional Thai curry paste, the name of which is derived from the word 'Muslim'. It is packed with exotic flavours, all delicately balanced together. You can make a large batch, as it keeps in the fridge for ages.

Top tip: Many of the ingredients are fairly hard to find in the UK. Try local deli's for things like Galangal and Shrimp Paste.

Makes enough paste for a curry for 4.


Dried Red Chilli Skins - 2
Shallots - 2
Garlic - 2 cloves
Lemon Grass - 2 inches
Galangal - 1cm slice of the root
Turmeric - 2 tsp
Kaffir Lime Skin - 2 slices (you can use normal limes too!)
Small Dried Chilli (with seeds) - 1
Coriander Seeds - 1 tsp
Cinnamon - 2 tsp
Cardamon Seeds - 2
Cloves - 2
Cumin Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Black Pepper Seeds - 14
Mace - 2 tsp
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Shrimp Paste - 1/2 tsp

1. For the dried chilli skins, chop two large red chilies in half and de-seed them. Place on a radiator overnight. Once dried, finely chop.

2. Peel and finely dice the shallots and garlic cloves. Peel the skin off the limes, and save 2 large slices.

3. Once you have collected all your ingredients (no mean feat!), place them in a pestle & mortar, and proceed to grind until a paste is formed. This takes a while, and a strong hand. Alternatively you can process the ingredients in a blender, but you'll need to make sure it's a fine blender as you don't want a grainy texture.

You can store the paste in a jar in the fridge until needed.
Use this paste to make a Beef, Vegetable or Chicken Massaman Curry.

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