This Homemade Madras Curry Paste Recipe is a blend of aromatic spices with fresh ingredients like onion, garlic, and ginger. It whips up in just 10 minutes and is better than any store-bought paste!
Curry paste is something I normally don’t think twice about buying pre-made for the sake of convenience. Not to mention the fact that pre-made is usually pretty good!
That is, until last week when I was looking lustfully at a lovely lamb curry, and I realized that I had everything on hand – sans the curry paste – to make it.
But I did have everything to make the curry paste itself.
I made a quick call to a friend (who asked to remain anonymous) who knows Indian cooking like the back of her hand. She guided me through making the paste, which was completely done from start to finish in under 10 minutes.
Homemade Madras Curry Paste Recipe
The key to a good curry paste is starting out with a good-quality curry powder. As far as Madras curry blends go, I like Sun Brand Madras Curry Powder, Spicewalla Madras Curry Powder, and Ship Madras Curry Powder.
If you’ve never made curry paste at home, it couldn’t be easier! All you do is grind everything in a food processor. If you don’t have a food processor or blender, you could do it the old-fashioned way and use a mortar and pestle.
How Spicy is Madras Curry?
The nice thing about making your own curry paste is that like anything homemade, not only is it far fresher than anything store-bought, but it is also completely customizable. This really makes a difference when it comes to heat level.
As it is, this recipe is about a “medium” heat level. For “mild” omit the jalapenos, and for “hot” use 3 jalapenos and add 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (or more to taste).
What is Madras Curry and Where is it From?
Curry refers to spice blends that are unique to different regions of India. They have varying flavor profiles, colors, and heat levels.
Madras Curry is a spice mixture typical of the Chennai region in India, formerly known as Madras. The name “Madras Curry” was given to this blend in Britain, not in India.
More Homemade Curry Paste and Spice Mix Recipes to Try:
- 5-Minute Homemade Harissa Paste
- Pumpkin Spice Mix
- Ras el Hanout (Moroccan Spice Mix)
- Greek Seasoning
- Dukkah Recipe (Egyptian Spice Mix)
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Homemade Madras Curry Paste Recipe
- 1 medium-large onion peeled and quartered
- 4 large cloves garlic peeled
- 2 jalapeno peppers de-seeded and halved (more or less to taste)
- 1 1/2 inch piece fresh ginger peeled and cut into chunks
- 2 1/2 tablespoons Madras curry powder
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt more or less to taste
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons light olive oil
- Add all ingredients to a food processor. Pulse a few times to break up the larger pieces of food, then process until it forms a paste (about 1 minute).
- Transfer to a lidded glass jar and store refrigerated for up to 1 month.
- This recipe makes about 1 1/4 cups of curry paste for about 20 (1 tablespoon) servings.
- A Note on the Spice Level: As written, this paste is about a “medium” heat level. Of course some will consider it mild and some will consider it hot; but in general, most will consider it medium. For “mild” omit the jalapenos, and for “hot” use 3 jalapenos and add ½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (or to taste).
This post was first published on An Edible Mosaic on May 7, 2013. I updated it with more information on November 11, 2020.
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