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Thai Panang Curry Paste Recipe |

How to Make Thai Panang Curry Paste

  • Author: Sherri Pengjad
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Diet: Gluten Free


Want to jump into the world of making your own homemade Thai Panang Curry paste but nervous to take the plunge? I feel ya, but this simplified recipe will help you learn the magic!



7 Thai dried red chilies, de-seeded

3 guajillo chilies, de-seeded (Or instead of the Thai dried red chili and guajillo peppers use 710 dried Thai spur chilies, depending on spice preference)

6 kaffir lime leaves

1 lemongrass stalk, minced

1 tbsp minced galangal 

1/2 tsp. white pepper powder

1/2 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. ground coriander

4 Asian shallots minced or 2 shallots

2 tbsp minced garlic

2 tsp shrimp paste

1 tbsp peanuts (optional, only use if making Thai Panang Curry Paste)

1 tbsp cilantro stems minced or cilantro root

1/2 tsp salt


Soak the Thai chilies and guajillo chilies (or spur chilies if you found them) in warm water for at least 20 minutes. Save the water you soak them in to help you when making the curry paste.

Mortar and Pestle Option

If you are using your mortar and pestle it really matters what you put in first. It’s best to start with the things that are harder to break down, like the garlic, galangal, shallots and chilies and move on from there to what’s easier and easier to break down and end with your spices, which really just need to be mixed on up.

Add a tablespoon of the chili soaking water at a time to help in breaking down the ingredients and forming the paste.

Food Processor Option

Or you can add all the curry paste ingredients to a food processor or blender. Pulse or blend on high, adding the chili soaking water as needed until all the ingredients are chopped, and it starts to look like a paste. 

It wont look as smooth as a store-bought curry paste because those are made with a machine that can break them down more, as long as there aren’t huge chunks of ingredients in it, and it seems mostly smooth, it’s good to go!

Use immediately, and any leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for a week or the freezer for 3 months.

Check out my Chu chee curry post to learn how to use this paste!


The difference between Thai Panang curry paste and Thai Red Curry paste is that Thai Panang curry paste has peanuts, and more cumin and coriander in it the paste and Thai Red Curry doesn’t. 

  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 5
  • Category: Thai
  • Method: Paste
  • Cuisine: Thai