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Masaman Curry Paste

Contributed by: Chris WebAdmin. of


  • 10 dried red chilies
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 2 carton pods
  • 3 cloves
  • 6 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 4 tablespoon chopped shallots
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 10 peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoon chopped lemon grass
  • 1 teaspoon chopped galangal
  • 1 teaspoon chopped bergamot skin
  • 1 teaspoon chopped coriander root
  • 1 teaspoon shrimp paste, grilled
  • 1 cup palm sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 4 tablespoon tamarind juice


Coarsely chop the chilies and soak in water for 10 minutes. Drain. Dry-fry the cumin and coriander seeds, cardamom pods and cloves over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes until they are aromatic and slightly browned.

Saute the chilies, garlic and shallots in the oil until lightly browned.

Pound in the following order:

  1. garlic, shallots and chilies
  2. coriander, cardamom pods, cumin, cloves and peppercorns
  3. lemon grass, galangal, bergamot, coriander roots

Place the shrimp paste on a piece of foil and cook it over a flame or burner for 1 to 2 minutes, or in a hot oven (425 F) until the outside is slightly burnt. Mix the shrimp paste with all the above ingredients plus the sugar, salt and tamarind juice to form a fine paste.

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