Massaman curry paste (Prik Kaeng Mussamun) is used to make Thailand’s famously mild curry: warming Indian and Middle Eastern spices come together with Thai herbs to create a marriage of flavours to tantalise the taste buds and delight the senses!
My friend, Aye, chef extraordinaire from Chiang Mai’s Anchan Vegetarian Restaurant, makes the best massaman curry I’ve ever had.
Until, that was, he taught me his recipe. 😉 Now, wherever I am in the world, I can make up a batch of this curry paste, and have delicious massaman curry anytime, anywhere.
How to make vegan Thai massaman curry paste
It’s really easy to make; just take your spices and herbs, roast them in a wok or a skillet, blitz in a food processor or high-speed blender, and then fry the paste. Done!
Once fried, the paste will keep in an airtight jar in the ‘fridge for around three months.
Anchan is truly amazing, and if you find yourself in Chiang Mai, I strongly recommend paying Aye and co. a visit.
Massaman Curry Paste
- mildly spicy
How to Make Vegan Massaman Curry Paste
- 3-6 large dried red chillies
- 5 cm fresh galangal, finely sliced
- ½ large stalk fresh lemongrass finely sliced
- 1 tbsp whole coriander seed
- 1 tsp cumin seed
- 2 whole cloves
- 1 nutmeg flower (aka whole mace)
- 2 large cloves garlic
- 2 large white shallots (or 5 red Thai chillies)
- 1 tsp doenjang (Korean fermented soybean paste)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground or grated nutmeg
- 3 tbsp rice bran oil (if you can't get rice bran, use corn, sunflower, or rapeseed/Canola)
- Soak the chilies in some hot water for 10 minutes.
- In the meantime, in a wok over a medium heat, dry-roast the galangal, lemongrass, coriander seed, cumin, cloves, and nutmeg flower for a couple of minutes, stirring all the time.
- Add the chillies, garlic, and shallots, and keep roasting (and stirring) for another 2-3 mins until everything starts to give off its scent. Don't inhale!
- Remove from the heat, and place in a blender or food processor, along with the doenjang, salt, black pepper, ground cinnamon, and grated nutmeg.
- Blitz everything, drizzling in just enough oil to make a thick paste.
- Fry the paste for a few minutes (no need to add any more oil), until it turns a little darker, then store in airtight jar in the 'fridge for up to three months.
- How many chillies you use is up to you, and of course, dependent upon the heat of them. While six may seem a lot, do bear in mind that the paste will be diluted when used in a curry.
- If you can get it, vegan kapi or tao jiew (Thai fermented soya bean paste) should really be used but since I’ve not seen vegan kapi outside Thailand, and tao jiew only in one or two Asian stores in Britain, I use Korean doenjang, which is similar to tao jiew. If you don't have access to either, you can use white miso paste instead.
- 1 cup = US cup = 240 ml
- 1 tbsp = US/UK = 15 ml
- 1 fl oz = US = 30 ml