This paste is ideal for adding to a fried rice or noodle dish. It's aromatic with heat and would go well with some boiled chicken such as Khao Man Kai or satays with rice

  • 3 Dried chilies
  • 3 Tbsp Chopped shallots
  • 1 Tbsp Chopped garlic
  • 1 tsp  Chopped ginger
  • 1 Tbsp Coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp  Cumin seeds
  • 1 Tbsp Chopped lemon grass
  • 1 tsp  Shrimp paste
  • 1 tsp  Salt
  • 2 tsp  Curry powder
  1. Soak dried chilies in hot water for 15 minutes and deseed.
  2. In a wok over low heat, put the shallots, garlic, ginger, coriander seeds and cumin seeds and dry fry for about 5 minutes, then grind into a powder (with mortar and pestle).
  3. Into a blender, put the rest of the ingredients  and blend to mix well.
  4. Add the shallot-garlic-ginger-coriander seed-cumin seed mixture and blend again to obtain about 1/2 cup of a fine-textured paste.

This can be stored in a glass jar in the refrigerator for about 3-4 months.

Recipe from: The Elegant Taste of Thailand, by Sisamon Kongpan & Pinyo Srisawat.


Many people are thrilled to discover that prepared Thai Curry Pastes are easily transported without spoiling from Thailand to home. It's quite a buzz for the curry phile to discover a shop or market that has literally well displayed piles of various curry pastes and all at low, low prices.

One way to mange this is to buy say 500 gram amounts of the various curry pastes that interest you. many Thai food produce shops akin to grocers here in Bangkok will place the curry in a screw capped polythene jar. The paste is within a cellophane or zip-lock plastic bag.

Refrigerate or freeze the jars in your room freezer or through your accom kitchen. At departure wrap a number of layers of paper around the jars to act as insulation. Place this in checked in luggage. The paste will still be frozen or at least cold after a 12 hour flight due to your well prepared wrapping plus the very cold temperature of the luggage hold on the plane. The cold temperature is to prevent loss of flavour of the paste if the luggage is sitting out on the tarmac in BKK heat or wherever for a half hour or so.

Please declare this on arrival to save yourself the hassle of long defensive explanations and the possibility of confiscation for not declaring an uncooked vegetable source foodstuff.

When back at home, divide the pastes into 1 or 2 Tbsp amounts and freeze these in small sealed evacuated freezer bags. These will be stable for 12 months frozen. To use simply open an envelope and treat the curry as you would for any other Thai curry paste of the same type.