This is another Thai curry paste recipe I have added to my collection. Its good to know a few because there is a lot of overlap in the ingredients, so you won't just buy a big bag of lime leaves and leave them to sit in your freezer for a year before they get thrown out.
Massaman curry is milder than other Thai curries. I used the full 15 dried chillies and the curry I made with it was pretty fiery, so for a more authentic-tasting curry paste use less, unless of course you want the heat.
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
5 cardomom pods
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
10-15 small red dried chillis
1 tsp salt
1 tsp shrimp past
4 cloves garlic2 sticks lemongrass
3 pods fresh turmeric (optional)
4 kaffir lime leaves
1 thumb ginger or galangal
groundnut or other flavourless oil
Toast the peppercorns, cumin and coriander seeds and cardamom pods in a oil-free frying pan over a medium-high heat until they release their aroma. Remove from the pan immediately so they don't continue to cook, and crush to a fine powder in a pestle and mortar or spice grinder. Peel the garlic and turmeric and chop into large chunks. Peel and roughly chop the shallots. Remove the tough outer layers of the lemongrass, and slice into sections, peel and chop the ginger roughly. Put all the ingredients, except for the oil in a food processor and blend to a paste- you might have to to a lot of stopping and scraping down the sides of the bowl. Pour in some oil in a steady stream to help the mix come together. Keep blending until you have as smooth a paste as possible. Store, covered, in the fridge and use within one month.