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Red Curry Paste


  • 5 whole fresh or dried chilies - I prefer dried Kashmiri chilis for the colour.
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seed.
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds.
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns.
  • ½ spoon salt.
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh ginger peeled and roughly chopped. If you can find fresh galangal all the better.
  • 4 large cloves of peeled garlic.
  • 2 shallots or 1 small red onion peeled and roughly chopped.
  • 2 tablespoons of finely chopped coriander root or coriander leafs and stalks if you can find root.
  • 1 tablespoon of finely chopped lemongrass - discard hard outer leaves and base.
  • 2 teaspoons of ground turmeric optional for deeper colour
  • 1 tablespoon of ground paprika optional for deeper colour
  • 1 teaspoon of shrimp paste or 2 teaspoons of Thai Fish Sauce Nam Pla.
  • The juice and zest of one small lime.


  • Deseed the chilis. This enables you to get more chill flavour without excessive heat.
  • Dry roast the coriander and cumin seeds over low heat. Don't let them burn!
  • Fine grind the coriander seeds, cumin seeds and black peppercorns. If you are using dried chilis, grind them as well.
  • Put all the ingredients in a foot processor and create a smooth paste. A Hand blender will do an equally good job.
  • Once you have made the paste freeze it in an ice cube tray, then store the cubes in a bag until needed