Southeast Asian Curry Paste from Scratch

by Mabi David, Curry Head

You can check out Bon Appetit’s turmeric and lemongrass curry paste recipe. also has an easy turmeric curry paste. 🙂

One kitchen’s trash is another kitchen’s treasure—and cilantro roots are a great example. The root ends of wansoy are a powerhouse of flavour and make for a delicious Southeast Asian curry paste that is so much better than those bottled store-bought instant ones. Just make sure to chop the roots into tiny pieces as they tend to be fibrous. The addition of Kaffir lime zest or leaves makes it very aromatic, too. One can add a tablespoon each of minced galanggal and lemongrass. I just didn’t have them in my kitchen at the time. Or use green chilies to make green curry. This curry paste is freezer friendly. (Mabi)
30 cilantro roots
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp white peppercorns
3 dried red Thai chilies, soaked in water for 5 minutes (more if you want it spicier)
1 bulb of native garlic, finely minced
1 tsp Kaffir lime zest or 2 tsp kaffir lime leaves, finely minced
1 inch turmeric, peeled and minced
1 tsp salt
2 T palm sugar or coconut sugar or 4 pcs of pitted dates
1 T dark miso paste or vegan bagoong

1. Place coriander roots in a bowl with water and shake to release any remaining dirt. Rinse well and chop into tiny pieces.
2. Toast coriander seeds and peppercorns over low-medium until aromatic, a minute or so. Using a mortar and pestle, pound seeds into a fine powder. Set aside in a bowl.
3. Drain chilies from the bowl and chop roughly.
4. Using a mortar and pestle, pound cilantro roots, chilies, garlic, Kaffir lime zest (or leaves), turmeric, and 1/2 tsp salt to a rough paste.
5. Add ground coriander and pepper, sugar and the remaining salt.
6. Once you have a fairly smooth paste, add miso or vegan bagoong and mix well with a spoon.
Note: The cilantro roots can be frozen (seen in photo) if you cannot use them immediately. Do not store them in the fridge section where they will spoil.


Published by goodfoodcommunity

Good Food Community is an alternative distribution system based on ethical and ecological farming that transforms consumers into co-producers.

One thought on “Southeast Asian Curry Paste from Scratch

  1. Pingback: Rambutan Curry

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