This Curry Paste can be used to make Massamun Curry, one of the heartiest Thai-inspired stew-like curries. The ingredients used to make this paste keep in the fridge for quite some time, so a little paste goes a long way. This recipe is jam-packed with flavor, so get ready for a curry that will keep you interested.

Massamun Curry Paste [Vegan, Gluten-Free]



Cooking Time




  • 6-8 dried red chiles
  • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 5 cardamom seeds
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 5 cloves
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 medium shallot, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons lemon grass, chopped (tender midsection only)
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon galangal
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons kaffir lime skin or leaves
  • salt, to taste


  1. Stem and seed the dried red chilies. Soak them in warm water for 10-15 minutes or until soft. Drain and squeeze dry.
  2. Dry roast the coriander seeds, cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and peppercorns in a pan over medium heat for 5-7 minutes or until fragrant.
  3. Using a mortar and pestle, pound and grind all the ingredients, adding in each new ingredient only after the previous one is pureed and incorporated into the paste.
  4. Alternatively, combine all the ingredients in a food processor and process into a smooth paste, adding a small amount of water to facilitate blending. Use as needed to make Massamun curry or freeze for later use.


This recipe yields roughly 1 cup of curry paste, and Massamun curry typically calls for 3-4 tablespoons. The remaining paste can be frozen for later use.