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Fresh curry paste will put the wow factor into your homemade curries. Can be used for chicken curries, fish curries, all red meats, and even curried eggs.
Keeps well in the fridge.
  • 3 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 2 tablespoons cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 or 2 dried chilies, depending on preference
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • thumb-size piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 1 tablespoon tomato purée
  • 4 tablespoons white wine vinegar or cider vinegar
  • vegetable or sunflower oil, to cover the paste for storing

Put the seeds and peppercorns into a dry frying pan over medium heat.
Fry for about three minutes, stirring often, until the mustard seeds start to pop and the seeds turn golden and aromatic.
Tip into a bowl and allow to cool for a few minutes.
Add turmeric, cinnamon, paprika, and dried chilies to a pestle and mortar.
Add the cooled toasted spices and grind everything together into a fine powder.
Add salt.
Add grated ginger, garlic, tomato purée, and white wine vinegar and mix well to make a paste.
Use immediately, or spoon the paste into a jar, cover with a layer of oil, seal with a lid, and store in the fridge for up to a week.

Tablespoon-sized portions of the paste can be spooned into ice-cube trays and stored in the freezer for up to three months.

(Paste recipe adapted from Marcus Dean)

  • (can be used for all curry dishes)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 teaspoons curry paste
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • thumb size ginger, chopped finely
  • ½ red pepper, cut into strips
  • ½ tin chopped tomatoes
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • salt and black pepper to taste

In a heavy bottom pan, sauté onion till translucent.
Add red pepper slices and fry 1 – 2 minutes more.
Add garlic and ginger and fry till fragrant.
Add curry paste and fry for 1 minute more.
Add turmeric, and chopped tomatoes, and on medium heat cook for 4 – 5 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper.

Recipe and photo: Amanda Conradie

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