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.


By Edward Daniel, Vegan Chef and Former Chair of The Vegan Society. Contributor to Vegan Life Magazine, Plant Based Magazine, Vegan Food and Living Magazine and OK! Magazine. Speaker and cooking demonstrator at Vegan Life Life Festival London, Mind Body and Spirit Festival London, Veganes Sommerfest Berlin, and Bali Vegan Festival. Author of "Essence: The Beginner's Guide to Veganism".


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