Not only is it really hard to find Massaman Curry Paste in the store, fresh is just always better. This is stuff is so good you can dollop it on your scrambled eggs, toast, and of course in curries, and just for extra punch as a garnish on curries.Jump to Recipe
“I put this sh*t on everything”-Frank
Can’t I just use the store bought stuff?
Absolutely! In fact, most people in Thailand buy the pre made stuff. But most Americans go to McDonald’s for a burger. Do you wanna cook? Or do you wanna be a basic B? Pour a glass of wine, turn off the tv, turn up the music, and enjoy creating something.
The smells emanating thorough-out your house will be worth it alone. So buy the store bought stuff if you’re pressed for time, otherwise try cooking Massaman Curry Paste from scratch! You can instagram it, people will like it! #hooray
Cilantro root is part of the holly trinity of Thai aromatics. Along with garlic and peppercorns they make up the basis of most traditonal curry pastes.
Outside of a farmers market it can be hard to find cilantro root. So when I’m making curry paste, I use the stems and the leafs. I should note, there is a cosmetic consequence to this substitutions. When you smash the cilantro leaf in a mortar or pestle, it oxidizes and turns a brownish hue.
Don’t worry, it tastes great and I would say its essential to the flavor. If you’re more vain than I, just try only using the stems.
MASSAMAN CURRY PASTE
Massaman Curry Paste Ingredients
Theres a long tail boat load of good stuff in this Massaman Curry paste recipe. It takes a little time and elbow grease to bring it all together, but its quicker than the 12 hour flight from LAX to Bangkok. Making it yourself at home is hands down the best way to go.
So grab these items to make your own Massaman Curry Paste.
- Spices: White peppercorns, cumin, coriander, cardamon, cloves, and salt
- Oil: Vegetable oil
- Shrimp paste: Omit if trying to make vegan
- Veggies: Garlic & Shallots
- Herbs: Lemongrass and cilantro
- Citrus: Lime Juice and Lime Zest
- Chili: dried Thai red chili peppers
How to Make Massaman Curry Paste
Follow these steps to make your own homemade Massaman Curry Paste.
Step 1: Rehydrate Chili
Put your dried chilis in a small bowl. Boil a cup of water and pour it over the peppers. Let them soak for 10-15 mins. Remove seeds and stems, pad dry and set aside.
Step 2: Toast your aromatics
Put the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, cardamon, and cloves in a non stick skillet over medium heat. Toast for a few minutes, stir constantly until fragrant.
Step 3: Combine
Transfer the toasted aromatics to the mortar and pestle and grind to a powder. Add the rest of the ingredients one at a time, grinding each to a paste before adding the next ingredient.
Step 4: Preserve
Stir in the oil and transfer to an air tight container. Refrigerate
How to Make Massaman Curry Paste Video
Mortar and Pestle or Food processor?
I know, why exert any energy when you can just press a button? Well I’ll tell you why. A food processor just shreds and tears the ingredients.
Where as when you pound the ingredients in a mortar and pestle, you crush individual cells and release more flavor into the paste. Suck it up butter cup, save the button pressing for when you’re on the couch holding a hot bowl of curry.
Don’t take my word for it though. Read this Saveur article about it.
Toast those aromatics!
Not only will your taste buds thank you, but so will your… nose buds? Seriously, it only takes a few minutes and it’s essential to help pulling out all those flavors.
Toasting also helps to soften the ingredients, making them easier to blend into a smooth paste.
No need for oil or butter, just toss the Cardamon, coriander seed, cumin seed, and cloves in a skillet over medium low heat. Stir constantly, until fragrant.
While it may seem like an extra step, the improved flavor and texture that toasting brings to the final dish make it well worth the effort.
Massaman Curry Paste Storage
Properly storing your homemade curry paste is essential to ensure that it stays fresh and retains its flavor. Use airtight containers made from glass or plastic to store your curry paste in the refrigerator.
If you have a large batch or won’t be using it within a few days, you can also freeze your curry paste by spooning it into an airtight container or plastic bag and placing it in the freezer. Just be sure to thaw it out in the fridge or at room temperature before using it.
Remember, homemade curry paste is best used within a few days of being made, as the flavors and aromatics will start to degrade over time. However, it should be fine to use for up to a month in the fridge.
What to cook with my Massaman Curry Paste
You can use this Massaman Curry Paste for all kinds of things. Here’s a couple of our favorite ways.
This Beef Massaman Curry recipe is to die for.
Our Vegetarian Massaman Curry has all the flavor and none of the meat.
Massaman Curry Paste Massaman Curry Paste Massaman Curry Paste Massaman Curry Paste