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.

Pat Crocker Pat's mission in life is to write with insight and experience, cook with playful abandon, and eat parsley with gusto. Author of 24 cookbooks, Crocker holds a degree in Food, Nutrition, Consumer, and Family Studies (Ryerson University, Toronto) and is a culinary herbalist with more than 1.25 million books in print and several translated into over 11 languages. She was honored twice by the International Herb Association’s Professional Award, and also received the 2009 Gertrude H. Foster award from the Herb Society of America for Excellence in Herbal Literature. Her books, The Juicing Bible and The Vegan Cook’s Bible (both published by Robert Rose) have won “Best in the World” awards from the International Gourmand Culinary Guild. Read all about parsley and over forty other herbs in Pat’s latest book, The Herbalist’s Kitchen (Sterling Epicure) now available in bookstores everywhere and on her website.

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