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Massaman Curry Paste Recipe

This Massaman curry paste recipe is a mix of Indian and Thai flavors with a mild level of spice, essential for Massaman curry, though quite versatile.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time5 minutes
Course: Condiment, sauce
Cuisine: Thai
Keyword: galangal, guajillo, japones, tamarind
Servings: 16 tablespoons
Calories: 8kcal


  • 6 dried Japones chilies stems and seeds removed (or use chile de arbol)
  • 1 dried guajillo chili stems and seeds removed.
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 small shallot chopped
  • 1 stalk lemongrass base and tops removed, minced
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh galangal skin on
  • 4 cloves garlic chopped
  • 2 teaspoons cilantro roots chopped
  • 1 teaspoon shrimp paste
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoons tamarind concentrate
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • Water as needed to thin


  • Heat a small pan to medium heat.
  • Add the dried chilies and dry toast them for 1 minute per side, or until they darken and become slightly fragrant. Do not burn.
  • Remove from heat and add enough water to cover the chilies. Soak until softened, about 15 minutes.
  • Remove the peppers and add them to a food processor or blender along with the remaining ingredients. Process to form a paste. Alternatively, you can use a mortar and pestle.
  • If the paste is too thick, add a teaspoon of water at a time and process until smooth. You can use some of the reserved chili soaking water for this as well.
  • Use as needed, or store in the refrigerator in a sealed container until ready to use (up to 2 weeks). You can also freeze it.


Makes about 1 cup.


Calories: 8kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 12mg | Potassium: 25mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 110IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 1mg