Easy Homemade Panang Curry Paste

Making the curry paste the authentic way is a tactile and fragrant experience. In fact, things oftentimes get so aromatic that people would practically lock themselves in their bedroom to avoid the pungent odor – an essential component of true Thai curry.

An hour of hard work will pay off with intense, complex flavor in future dishes like you have a culinary resource that lends completed dishes a taste that will seem like it’s taken hours to build.

This will serve as the backbone of your favorite vegetable panang curry!

Panang Curry Paste

To make a Panang curry you need a good curry paste. They can be shop-bought, but making your own is well worth the effort!
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Condiments
Cuisine Asian, Thai, Vegan
Servings 1 Cup


  • 50 grams Bird’s Eye Chilies 25g fresh & 25g dry
  • 1 teaspoon Coriander Seeds Toasted
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin Seeds Toasted
  • 1 teaspoon White Peppercorns
  • 1/4 cup Peanuts Roasted
  • 1 teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 2 stalks Lemongrass Chopped
  • 1 1/2 centimeters Galangal Root Chopped
  • 1/2 rind Kaffir Lime Chopped
  • 1 sprig Kaffir Lime Leaf Finely sliced
  • 4 Small Shallots Sliced
  • 4 cloves Garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Shrimp Paste


  • Soak the chilies in water for at least an hour to soften. 
  • Using a heavy-duty mortar and pestle or a spice/coffee grinder, grind the toasted coriander seeds, toasted cumin seeds, and white peppercorns into a fine powder. Remove and set aside.
  • Grind roasted peanuts in the mortar and pestle until fine; remove and set aside.
  • Drain the chilies from soaking water and dry off excess water with paper towel. Cut into small pieces. Add chilies and salt to a heavy-duty mortar and pestle; pound into a rough paste. Add the ground dry spices to help absorb the liquid from the chilies and continue pounding to a fine paste.
  • Add lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime rind & leaf. Pound into a fine paste.
  • Add shallots and garlic. Pound into a fine paste.
  • Add ground peanuts and shrimp paste, pound to mix.


MAKE IT MILDER: 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.
IT’S WORTH THE EFFORT: 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 is well worth the energy of clunking the pestle!
*ON SHRIMP PASTE: If you’ve never used shrimp paste before, be warned, it’s pretty pungent stuff!
**BE CAREFUL: 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.
***STORING: Store the finished panang curry paste in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1 month.
****FREEZING: This curry paste can be freeze for up to 3 months.
Keyword plant based, vegan
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