Mussaman Curry Paste

This is an easy homemade version of Mussaman curry paste. The aromatic spices in this curry paste reflect the influence of Malaysia and India. Since Mussaman curry paste is hard to find, some cooks use prepared Madras curry paste as a substitute. The aroma of the spices is reminiscent of garam masala.


makes about 1/2 cup

  • 8 small dried red chilies, seeded
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 4 shallots, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tbsp. fresh gingerroot (or galangal), coarsely chopped
  • 1 stalk lemongrass (white part only), chopped
  • 1 tbsp. ground coriander
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 tsp. grated lime zest
  • 1 tbsp. water

( Cooking Conversions )


Place dried chilies in a small bowl and cover with hot water. Let it soak for 25 minutes, or until softened. Drain.

Heat oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, shallots, ginger (or galangal, if using) and lemongrass. Stir-fry for 4-6 minutes, or until browned and softened.

Add soaked chilies; cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and cool slightly.

Place the cooled mixture in a blender or food processor. Add coriander, cumin, nutmeg, cardamom, cinnamon, salt, cloves and lime zest. Add water and process until a paste forms. Scrape down sides of the bowl, as necessary. Transfer to a clean container and cover tightly.

make ahead:
Paste can be refrigerated, covered, for up to 3 days or frozen in small portions for up to 3 months.

freezing curry paste:
Transfer curry paste to a small resealable freezer bag and flatten. Freeze.To use, break off the required amount and seal the remaining paste tightly.

Alternatively, place the paste in mounds (about 1 tbsp/15 ml each) on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Freeze, then wrap each mound tightly and store in a resealable plastic bag.

Check Out More

How to Make Thai Curry Paste

Have You Tried These Other Easy Thai Curry?

Chicken Fried Rice with Curry


Most fried rice dishes are gently seasoned and this version has added curry and pepper. This makes a good accompaniment for grilled fish or meat and you can also add eggs and/or chicken for a more substantial dish just what I did in this version. Ingredients: serves 4 6 oz. […][...]

Kaeng Khua Saparot (Thai Prawn and Pineapple Curry)

I remember this Thai recipe, Kaeng Khua Saparot (Thai Prawn and Pineapple Curry), is the first of Thai food recipe that I’ve cooked. Before I start cooking this recipe, I asked my wife on how to do the cooking instructions and the preparation of these Thai ingredients. She was at […][...]

Leave A Comment...