Master Red Curry Paste

Preparation info

  • Makes

    150 g

    • Difficulty


    • Ready in

      10 min

Appears in

My Asian Kitchen

My Asian Kitchen

By Jennifer Joyce

Published 2018

  • About

This can be used for khao soi gai, laksa or any South East Asian curry. I find Mexican dried chillies work well here because of their size and how easy it is to remove the seeds. You could use large Asian ones, but just double the quantity.


  • 2 New Mexico dried chillies (ancho, pasilla or gaujillo)
  • 4 lemongrass stems, inner part only, finely chopped
  • 75 g ( oz) Thai or other small shallots
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 20 g (¾ oz) galangal, chopped ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tbsp shrimp paste or fish sauce
  • 2 Thai or 1 thumb-sized red chilli, seeded
  • 2 lime leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp chopped coriander (cilantro) root or use the stem
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin


Remove the stems and seeds from the dried chillies. Place in a bowl and pour boiling water over. Leave for 15 minutes or until very soft.

Drain and place the chillies in a blender with all of the remaining ingredients and 90 ml (3 fl oz) water. Blend for about 5 minutes until very fine. Add a little more water if it’s difficult to blend.

Scrape the paste into a sterilised jar with a fitted lid and keep refrigerated for up to 30 days. You can also freeze in a zip lock bag with the air pushed out.