Curry paste recipe

(85 ratings)

Homemade curry paste can be the difference between a good curry and a great one. Learn how to make your own here - it's much easier than you might think.

Bowl of red chilli curry paste with small spoon
(Image credit: Getty / SlatteryMedia)
Preparation Time20 mins
Cooking Time2 mins
Total Time22 mins
Cost RangeMid

A homemade curry paste that will elevate the flavour of any curries you make yourself at home. 

Curry paste is easy to find yourself in supermarkets and there are lots of varieties available. But making your own really can make all the difference to a curry. It adds a freshness and depth of flavour that you just don't get with shop-bought ones. It's really easy to do as well. You will need to dry-fry the whole spices first to release the very best of their aromas. Check the best before dates on your spices regularly too. Although they never 'go off', they do get older and less fragrant with age, so it's worth freshening them up regularly.


  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 5cm piece root ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 1 red chilli pepper, deseeded and chopped
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 4 tbsp tomato puree
  • 3 tbsp sunflower oil




  1. Heat a heavy-based frying pan and add the seeds and black peppercorns. Toast in the dry pan for a few minutes until fragrant. Place in a blender and process to until finely ground.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and process to a course paste. Transfer to a clean jar or glass bowl and cover and keep in the fridge for up to one week.

Top tip for making curry paste

Freeze any unused paste in a freezer bag for up to one month. Defrost thoroughly before using. You can even freeze it in portion sizes so you have the right amount to add next time you need it.

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