Green or Red Curry Paste

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes Enough for



Appears in

Of course, when I made this curry paste for Thai Chicken Curry, I sat up in my hotel room the night before, grinding it with a mortar and pestle, while the rest of the crew were out on the town. But what you could do is whack the whole lot through a spice grinder or coffee mill.


  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds or 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds or 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 whole nutmeg or 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • 12 black peppercorns or teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 2.5 cm (1 pint) piece of dried galingale, chopped, or 1 tablespoon dried galingale powder
  • 1 blade of lemon grass, finely chopped
  • 10 whole green chilli peppers, stemmed and finely chopped, or for red curry paste 12 medium dried red chilli peppers, seeded and chopped
  • grated zest of 1 lime
  • 5 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 4 shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon shrimp paste, or anchovy essence
  • 2 tablespoons coriander roots, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil


If using whole spices, put the cumin and coriander seeds, nutmeg, peppercorns, dried galingale and lemon grass into an electric spice mill or coffee grinder and grind to a powder. Alternatively, grind them using a mortar and pestle. Put the ground spices into a processor or blender and add all the remaining ingredients. Whizz until a smooth paste is formed.

Keep the paste in a screw-topped jar and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. Use in Thai recipes.