Recipe: Thai Phanaeng or Panang Curry Paste


50g bird’s eye chilies- 25g fresh and 25g dry chilies for Thai medium spice (this is very spicy)
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon white peppercorns
1 kaffir lime leaf, finely sliced
1/4 cup roasted peanuts
4 garlic cloves
4 small shallots, sliced
The rind of half a kaffir lime, chopped
2 stalks lemongrass, chopped
1.5 cm of galangal root, chopped
1 teaspoon shrimp paste


In a mortar finely pound coriander, cumin and peppercorns, gradually add the chilies and the rest of the ingredients. Pound until smooth. Add the shrimp paste and continue to pound for another minute or so.

Use 3-4 tablespoons of your paste to create your favorite curry dishes depending on the level of spice desired.


If you would like a milder heat curry paste you can substitute the 25g hot dry chilis for 10g dry spur chilies. If using spur chilies soak chilies in water for 10-15 minutes to re-hydrate, remove seeds and cut into 1/4 inch slices before pounding in mortar.


  1. If not using immediately, transfer the paste into a jar and cover the top with some oil to protect from oxidation, seal and store in the fridge. You can make larger batches for future use and store for up to 4 weeks in refrigerator.
  1. If you don’t have a mortar you can use a  food-processor or blender but keep in mind the best flavor comes from pounding with a mortar (it’s not a bad workout either).
  1. Bird’s eye chilies are very hot, be careful not to touch your eyes while working with them and be sure to wash your hands right after touching them. Some even use gloves while working with these chilis.

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Welcome to Mary’s Kitchen, I was born in Coronado and have been a personal chef on the island for several years specializing in farm to table homestyle cuisine. My goal is to share with you my passion for food and travel by introducing you to recipes from around the world.