Dot to Trot

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Kitchen Adventure With The Husband: Malay Curry Paste (From Scratch)

Spices and herbs needed for the Malay Curry Paste. Clockwise: garlic, shallots, galangal, salt, black peppercorns, turmeric, mace; Center: cut lemon grass.

Spices and herbs needed for the Malay Curry Paste. Clockwise: garlic, shallots, galangal, salt, black peppercorns, turmeric, mace; Center: cut lemon grass. The red chili peppers were already in the food processor.

My husband is focusing his limited culinary skills on making awesome chicken curry. Inspired by my eagerness to learn about spices, he decided to make a curry paste from scratch.

He started looking at the Thai curries in my spice book and got excited when he eyed a recipe for a green curry paste. Unfortunately, all the Thai curries in my book include kapi (shrimp paste) and my husband is allergic to shellfish.  Not deterred, he thumbed through the India section and zeroed in on Malay Curry Paste.

While I had most of the dried spices, we took a trip to our local Asian market for the key fresh ingredients for his curry paste. The Asian market was an eye opener. There was a ton of roots and herbs we’d never heard of before.  An idea for a food challenge started percolating in my mind…more on that in a later post.

We found fresh lemongrass and galangal, but ended up visiting three other stores hunting for ground mace (found at our local grocery store).

Malay Curry Paste taking shape in our food processor.

Malay Curry Paste taking shape in our food processor.

With all the ingredients gathered, it was time to start working in the kitchen together. I did have to show the hubby how to clean, trim and chop the ingredients.  It went surprisingly well, except when he tried to cut a chili pepper while still holding the pepper in his hand.  Thankfully I stopped him in time and he finished seeding the peppers with all of his fingers intact.

Once the ingredients were all chopped and measured it was time to breakout the food processor and blend the ingredients into a paste.

The paste can last for a week in the fridge.

Since I made a turkey yesterday, the hubby is saving the chicken curry for Saturday. He plans on serving the curry over cauliflower rice. That means he’ll need to use my grater to make the rice. I shouldn’t worry about that, right?

Malay Curry Paste
Net Carbs: 12g
Weight Watchers PointsPlus: 3
Servings: 6-8


  • 2 lemon grass stalks, lower third only
  • galangal, thumb-sized piece, peeled and chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 6 hot chili peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 1 tsp ground mace
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp olive oil*
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp ground turmeric


  • Blend all the ingredients in a food processor, adding a little more oil or water if necessary to make a smooth paste. Store in a closed jar in the refrigerator for up to a week.

*The recipe calls for sunflower oil.


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