Massaman Curry Paste

The source of the middle-Eastern flavours in a Massaman curry comes mostly from the paste, specifically cinnamon, cardamom pods, cloves, star anise, and nutmeg. You can try experimenting adding/subtracting various spices to change your flavours.


Servings: 4
  • Dried red chilli peppers - 1-7
    • Fresh red chillies can be used as well, but use less. Can be de-seeded to reduce heat.
  • Garlic - 2 cloves
  • Shallots - 3 Tbsp
  • Galangal (Thai ginger) - 1 Tbsp
  • Turmeric root - 1 Tbsp
  • Coriander root - 1 Tbsp
  • Lemongrass - 1 Tbsp
  • Cinnamon - 1 Tbsp
  • Cardamom pods - 15
  • Cloves - 5
  • Salt - 1 tsp


*Step-by-step directions with pictures below*

Rehydrate dried red chilli peppers in boiling water for 3 minutes. Smash cinnamon. Toast cinnamon, cardamom pods and cloves on a dry pan for 2 minutes. Grind toasted ingredients with salt in mortar and pestle. Squish lemongrass with side of knife to release flavours. Finely dice remaining ingredients and add to mortar. Mash in a mortar and pestle, or alternatively, blend using a blender. 

Step-by-step Directions

Rehydrate chillies in boiling water for ~3 minutes
Smash cinnamon
Heat dry pan
Toasted the cinnamon, cardamom pods, and cloves for 2 minutes.
Grind toasted cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and salt in mortar and pestle.
Cardamom pods' husks can be removed, but that's not necessary.
Press down on lemongrass with knife
Dice all remaining ingredients
Mash in a mortar and pestle.


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