Recipe: Curry Paste


From the Vitality Food Feature ‘SIMMERED FALL SUPPERS‘.

From the Vitality Food Feature ‘Lemony Herbs Add Zest and Zing to Spring Meals‘.

(Makes about 1-1/2 cups)


  • 1 Tbsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • ½ tsp green peppercorns
  • 1 star anise
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 shallots or ½ cup chopped onion
  • 1 stalk lemon grass, white bulb, and tender green parts, coarsely chopped
  • 2 dried cayenne peppers, chopped fine
  • 1 one-inch piece galangal or ginger root
  • 2 Tbsp chopped cilantro root, optional
  • 1 Tbsp coconut nectar or brown rice syrup
  • 1 tsp grated lime zest (kaffir lime if possible)
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tsp shrimp paste or fish sauce (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp coconut cream

1) In a spice wok or small cast iron skillet, toast coriander, cumin, fenugreek, peppercorns, and star anise over medium heat, stirring constantly for 3 minutes or until fragrant and popping. Set aside to cool.

2) If using a mortar and pestle, be sure that it is large enough. Pound the cooled toasted spices until fine.

3) Add garlic and shallots and pound until puréed.

4) Add lemon grass, cayenne peppers, galangal, and cilantro root and pound until puréed.

5) Work in syrup, lime zest, lime juice, sesame oil, and shrimp paste, one at a time.

6) Add coconut cream, a teaspoon at a time, until paste is moist and spreadable, but not thin.

7) If using a blender, combine coconut cream, syrup, lime zest, lime juice, sesame oil, and shrimp paste in the bottom of the blender bowl and pulse to mix.

8) Add garlic, shallots, lemon grass, cayenne peppers, galangal, cilantro root and cooled toasted spices.

9) Process, adding more coconut cream if needed, until smooth.

10) Transfer to a pint (2 cups) jar. Cap, label and store in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.

As a professional Home Economist (BAA, Ryerson Univ., Toronto) and Culinary Herbalist, Pat’s passion for healthy food is fused with her knowledge and love of herbs. She has honed her herb practice over more than four decades of growing, studying, photographing, experimenting with, and writing about what she calls the helping plants. In fact, Crocker marries the medicinal benefits of herbs in every original recipe she develops. An award-winning author, Pat has written 22 herb/healthy cookbooks, including The Healing Herbs Cookbook, The Juicing Bible, and most recently The Herbalist’s Kitchen (Sterling, 2018), and Healing Cannabis Edibles. She has over 1.5 million books in print and translated to over 11 languages. Watch for her next book, Cooking and Healing with Cannabis to be launched in 2020. And to find out more about Cannabis and Pat Crocker’s books and appearances, visit

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