Mussamun Curry Paste (Also Spelled Massaman)

READY IN: 20mins




  • Stem the chilies and cut them into small pieces, using kitchen scissors or a knife. There should be about 1\4 cup. Place in a small bowl and add warm water to cover. Let them soak for about 15 minutes until softened. Drain and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, place a small plate by the stove to hold the spices. Combine the cumin and coriander in a small, dry frying pan. Place over medium heat and toast the spices 1 to 2 minutes, stirring often, until fragrant and slightly darkened. Remove from the heat and tip out onto the plate. Add the pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, cloves, turmeric, and salt, and set aside.
  • In a blender or mini food processor, combine the onion, garlic, lemongrass, galanga or ginger, 2 tablespoons water, drained chilies, and spices. Process to a fairly smooth, evenly colored paste, stopping often to scrape down the sides and grind everything well. Add a little more water as needed to keep the blades moving.
  • Transfer the curry paste to a jar and seal airtight. Refrigerate until needed for up to 1 month.
  • Note: This paste can be frozen for up to 6 months. Consider freezing in tablespoon-size portion if you plan to defrost just enough for one curry at a time.