Massamun is supposed to be the heartiest of all Thai stew-like curries. The curry paste used to make the curry is complex and elaborate, containing more ingredients, especially dry roasted flavors, than any other curry pastes.
Even though it is a long list of ingredients for the curry paste, most of them are readily available in a well stocked kitchen or a grocery store. I’ve never seen fresh galangal or kaffir lime leaves in any of the stores that I go to, but luckily I found some canned/ jarred ones in Whole Foods that I picked up right away. They keep in the fridge for quite a while and are quite handy in making Thai curry pastes and other dishes.
This recipe makes about 1cup of curry paste and the curry uses about 3~4tbsp of it. I freeze the remaining curry paste in a freezer safe ziploc bag and then use as needed.
2tspsKaffir Limeskin or leaves - (I used jarred kaffir lime leaves)
Stem and seed the dried red chilies. Soak them in warm water for 10~15 minutes or until soft. Drain and squeeze dry.
Dry roast the coriander seeds, cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and peppercorns in a pan over medium heat for 5~7 minutes or until fragrant.
Using a mortar and pestle, pound and grind all the ingredients, adding in each new ingredient only after the previous one is pureed and incorporated into a paste.
Alternatively, combine all the ingredients in a food processor and process into a smooth paste, adding a small amount of water to facilitate blending. Use as needed to make Massamun curry or freeze for later use.