Lemongrass Turmeric Curry Paste

If you're not sure how to prepare lemongrass, just keep in mind that you're after the tender center part in the center of each stalk. Peel the fibrous layers back, and discard. Trim any tough parts at the top and tail, and reserve just the tender center for chopping. If you think your turmeric might be on the bitter side, start with less, and add more to taste.


  • 4 lemongrass stalks, trimmed, tender center part only
  • 6 medium garlic cloves, peeled
  • 6 medium shallots, peeled
  • 3 medium serrano chiles, stemmed
  • 3- inch piece of ginger, peeled
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1/4 cup good extra-virgin coconut, sunflower or olive oil
  • a drizzle of lime oil or zest of one lime, optional


  1. If you're making the curry paste in a mortar and pestle, start by smashing the lemongrass, and add each ingredient from there. If you're using a food processor or blender, combine the lemongrass, garlic, shallots, chiles, ginger, cumin, and turmeric, and pulse until the ingredients start to come together. 

  2. You can add the oil at this point, and blend again. Stir in the lime oil or zest. The paste will keep in the refrigerator for about a week. Freeze any paste you wont use for future use.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Serves 16


Makes about 1 cup.