Malaysian Spice Paste

by Edward Daniel
Caption of Malaysian Spice Paste. image by Edward Daniel (c).

Malaysian Spice Paste forms the base for some of my Malaysian cuisine – Curry Laska, and Pineapple and Sweet Potato Rendang. What I love about this Curry Paste is that in it rich in flavours.

The candlenuts, I picked up while abroad. They add a rich smoothness and natural thickener. Don’t be tempted to eat them raw as they contain toxins. Peanut oil I only work with in my Asian cuisine though do not be tempted to work with at too high a temperature.

Traditional Asian cuisine makes strong use of chillies but I temper mine recipes more for the Western palette.  Galangal and lemon grass bring texture and enhance the taste to this Malaysian Spice Paste.

This recipe lasts for 3 dishes – though, you could probably use it for 2 dishes – I find that this suits my palette. Store in glass jar ensuring that oil layers and seals the curry paste, preventing oxidisation.  This recipe will last a month in the fridge.

Caption of Malaysian Spice Paste. image by Edward Daniel (c).
Serves: 3 Prep Time:
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )


  • 200g shallots
  • 1 inch ginger, peeled
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 3 small red chillies, birds eye, deseeded
  • 1 1-inch fresh turmeric, peeled
  • 1 2-inch fresh galangal, peeled
  • 2 lemon grass sticks, trimmed (use white parts only)
  • 10 candlenuts (or alternatively, use 50g cashews)
  • 2tbs peanut oil (or olive oil, if unavailable)


  1. Deseed the chillies and trim the lemon grass using the white parts only. Place all the ingredients in high-speed blender and whizz till fine.
  2. Store in a sterilised glass jar. Pat down and seal with oil. Store in the fridge. Use within a month.
  3. Use in a Malaysian curry dish, as required.


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