Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Homemade Curry Paste

chilli paste
chilli paste

homemade curry paste
homemade curry paste

Using prepackaged curry paste is so convenient and I must admit I do stocked up a few packets in my pantry. However, when my mood strikes, I will make my own curry paste from scratch and the extra effort is worth the trouble.  It tastes so much better and is preservatives free!  Cook up a big batch and store them in jars and they can keep in the refrigerator for weeks.  Use this paste as a base for your curries, be it curry laksa or chicken curry or even vegetables curry.    How easy is that?  

The recipe below makes about 1285g of curry paste

(A) Processed into fine paste:
450g small brown onions, quartered
60g garlic
40g ginger
6 stalks lemongrass, cut finely
about 20 candlenuts
6 kaffir lime leaves, shredded

ingredients (A) 

(B) Processed into fine paste:
100g large dried chillies
20g dried bird's eye chillies
30g belacan (shrimp paste), toasted (see Note below)

softened dried chillies

toasted shrimp paste

(C) Processed until fine:
70g dried shrimps, washed and soaked 5 mins

40g grated gula melaka (palm sugar)
zest of 2 kaffir limes
60ml fish sauce 
2 tbsp light soy
5 tbsp tomato sauce (optional)
1 tbsp salt, adjust accordingly
1.5 cup cooking oil (approx)
4 blades of pandan leaves, optional

  1. With a little oil, lightly fry the dried shrimps until fragrant.  Transfer out and set aside.
  2. Heat up about 50ml oil, saute ingredients (A) under medium fire for about 20 - 25 minutes.  
  3. Then add in ingredients (B) and continue frying for about another 30 minutes. Add in fried dried shrimps and all the ingredients (D).  Keep stirring until oil begins to 'separate'.
  4. Remove the pandan leaves.  Store paste in clean, screw-top jars and keep them refrigerated.

Note: To toast belacan (shrimp paste), place it onto a piece of aluminium foil over a frying pan and toast over low heat for about a minute, until the edges of the belacan are lighter in colour. (Omit belacan if you can't stand the pungent smell).


    1. Veron, thanks for sharing the recipe on making own curry paste. Will try your version :)

      1. Elin you can try adding galangal and turmeric too. Hope you'd like it.


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