This authentic, aromatic, massaman curry paste makes mouth watering curries. I roast the garlic and dry roast the spices, lemongrass and chilli to enhance the flavour. There are short cuts to make this paste quickly under Tips, but the depth of flavour is worth the labour of love when made as described. This recipe is gluten and lactose free and can be altered for vegetarian and low FODMAP dietary needs.
Ingredients 10 dried red chillies
1 cup water
8 large garlic cloves (exclude for low FODMAP)
2 tbsp oil
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 cardamom pods
1/2 tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp shrimp paste (exclude for vegetarian option and add soy sauce)
1 lemongrass, white fleshy stem
1 tbsp fresh galangal, finely grated (substitute with ginger)
1 small brown onion, diced (exclude for low FODMAP)
Preheat the oven to 205 degrees. Boil 1 cup of water.
Put the dried chillies in a bowl and pour boiling water over the top. Set aside for 30 minutes.
Cut the ends off the garlic so the flesh is just exposed and place upright in a muffin tray. Drizzle the oil on the garlic, lightly cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
Roasting the garlic will intensify the flavour and make it easy to grind
Drain the chilli, reserving the water, remove any stems and cut finely. Set aside.
Heat a frypan on medium heat, add the coriander, cumin, cinnamon, cardamom pods, cloves and peppercorns. Stir for 1-2 minutes until aromatic.
Turn the heat to low, add the shrimp paste and cook for 5 minutes. Transfer to the mortar and pestle to cool.
The heat releases the flavour of the spices
Finely cut the white section of the lemongrass.
Return the pan to the heat and fry the chilli and lemongrass for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
Frying the chilli and lemongrass to release the flavours
Add the chilli and lemongrass to the cooled spices in the mortar and pestle. Grind until the cardamom, cloves and peppercorns are in small pieces.
Remove the garlic skin. Add the garlic, onion, galangal, 1 tbsp reserved chilli water to the mortar and pestle and grind until a smooth paste is formed.
Put the paste in a sterilised jar and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
To make the paste quickly, heat the spices and shrimp paste in a frypan for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Set aside. Finely chop the raw garlic, dried red chillies, lemongrass and heat in a frypan for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Add all the ingredients into a blender to make the paste.
I make other curry pastes like my laksa paste at the same time as I find it a good use of time as I have many of the ingredients at hand.