Homemade Laksa Paste

For a more authentic laska, make this paste from scratch

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¾ cup


  • 8 dried red chiles (such as santaka)    

  • 1 large shallot, sliced 

  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed 

  • 2 makrut lime leaves, stemmed 

  • 1 tsp paprika (TRY: Simply Organic Paprika)
  • ¾ tsp ground coriander (TRY: Simply Organic Coriander)
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric (TRY: Simply Organic Ground Turmeric)
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, tough outer portion removed, tender inner parts chopped 

  • 3 tbsp chopped raw unsalted cashews 

  • 1 tbsp chopped peeled galangal 

  • 1 tbsp reduced-sodium tamari (TRY: San J Reduced-Sodium Tamari)
  • 2 tsp shrimp paste 

  • 1/8 tsp tamarind concentrate or raw honey 

  • 2 tbsp avocado oil


1. Place chiles, shallot, garlic and lime leaves in a heat-proof bowl. Cover with boiling water; let stand 15 minutes, until chiles soften. Drain.

2. To a small, dry skillet on medium-low, add paprika, coriander and turmeric. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl to cool.

3. In a food processor, combine chile mixture, spice mixture, lemongrass, cashews, galangal, tamari, shrimp paste and tamarind; process until finely chopped. With machine running, drizzle in oil until a paste forms. Use right away, or refrigerate up to a week. Or freeze in an ice cube tray; transfer to a resealable bag and freeze up to 3 months.