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Thai red curry paste (prig gang ped)

Published on 80 min main


  • 1 tbsp cilantro roots (or stems)
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 0.5 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 3 dried whole chilis
  • 1.5 tbsp galangal roots
  • 35 g garlic
  • 1 stalk lemongrass
  • 0.5 tsp peppercorns
  • 1 tabs. salt
  • 80 g shallots
  • 1 tbsp keffir lime zest (or lime zest)


  1. Toast whole chilis for 5 minutes on low heat to dry them and make them more easily grindable.
  2. Toast coriander, peppercorns and cumin in a pan until light brown. You'll hear the crackling sound when they're ready. It should take a few minutes. Let the spices cool so they will grind easily.
  3. Slice shallots, lemongrass, galangal and cilantro roots into small pieces. I use one lemongrass stalk. Slice thinly or grate the kaffir lime zest.
  4. Grind the spices (cumin, coriander and peppercorns) into powder. Scoop out and set the ground spices aside.
  5. Add dried whole chili peppers and salt. Grind until the chili peppers turn into powder.
  6. Add lemongrass and galangal into the mortar. Grind them into rough fibers.
  7. Add garlic, kaffir lime zest and cilantro roots.
  8. When you can no longer recognize the individual ingredients, add the shallots and grind them as well.

Storage: You can store the curry paste in the freezer for at least one year. I put my curry paste in a freezer bag and flatten the paste to get rid of the air. Once when the flattened paste is frozen, it can be easily broken off into smaller pieces.

Note: The role of salt in curry pastes is to help with grinding and to act as a preservative.

Adapted from this original recipe