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An exotic and fragrant curry paste that is used as the basis of the famous Thai Massaman Curry.
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp cardamom pods
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
- 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 4 whole cloves
- 1 blade of mace
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tsp dried shrimp paste
- 1 tbsp palm sugar or soft brown sugar
- 6 cloves of garlic
- 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger
- 1 red onion
- 2 sticks of lemongrass
- ½ bunch of fresh coriander
- zest of 1 lime
- vegetable oil
- Dry toast the fennel and coriander seeds, cardamom pods, mace, cloves, peppercorns and chilli flakes in a heavy pan and on a medium heat until they just start to colour and smell aromatic.
- Crush the cardamom pods and remove the seeds, and discard the pods.
- Add all the toasted spices into a spice grinder or a pestle and mortar, then grind/pound it all up until very fine.
- Peel the garlic, ginger, onion and lemongrass, then roughly chop and put them into a food processor.
- Next add the ground spice mixture, the turmeric, cinnamon, shrimp paste, fish sauce, coriander , lime zest and a couple tablespoons of vegetable oil.
- Blitz to a fine paste, pausing halfway to scrape down the sides, if needed. Add more oil if required.
- Use immediately for best results, but will keep for a couple of weeks in the refrigerator if put into a sealed glass jar.