Yellow Curry Paste Recipe

Seriously Asian

Asian cookery, with an emphasis on the traditional, underappreciated, or misunderstood elements thereof.

Yellow Curry Paste Recipe

Adapted from From Curries to Kebabs by Madhur Jaffrey.


  • 7 dried hot red chilies, about 2 to 3 inches in length
  • 1 cup chopped shallots or onions
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemongrass, thinly sliced
  • 8 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper powder
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder (a blend of cumin, coriander, red chilies, mustard, and fenugreek)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 canned anchovies or 1/2 teaspoon shrimp paste
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric


  1. 1.

    Place the chilies in a small bowl with approximately 1/4 cup of hot water. Microwave the chilies in the water for 2 to 3 minutes, then let sit for 30 minutes.

  2. 2.

    Place the softened chilies, along with the soaking liquid, in a blender with the rest of the ingredients. Blend, pushing down with a spoon or rubber spatula, until you have a smooth paste. Use immediately, or freeze in portioned chunks.