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Saramann Curry (Cari Saramann or Saraman), Siem Reap, Cambodia. Copyright 2014 Terence Carter / Grantourismo. All Rights Reserved. Saraman Curry recipe.
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5 from 5 votes

Saraman Curry (Cari Saramann) Paste

The Cambodian Saraman Curry or Cari Saramann is the richest of the Khmer curries and the most complex. This is how to make the Saraman curry paste.
Prep Time20 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Main
Cuisine: Cambodian
Servings: 150 gms
Calories: 254kcal
Author: Terence Carter


  • 2 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 3 star anise cracked a little
  • 4 cloves
  • 3 green cardamoms
  • 5 cm cinnamon stick broken into small pieces
  • 2 tsp coarse salt
  • 5 dried red chillis soaked, drained, seeded and chopped
  • 4 lemongrass stalks outer part removed and very finely chopped
  • 5 shallots peeled and chopped
  • 15 cloves garlic peeled and chopped
  • 3 tsp galangal peeled and chopped
  • 1 tsp kaffir lime zest
  • 2 tsp shrimp paste
  • 1 tsp coriander root cleaned and chopped
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric fresh peeled and chopped
  • 100 g grated coconut dry roasted


  • Dry roast the dry spices in a pan over low heat. If you have time, it’s best to do each spice separately as they all cook at a different pace.
  • Remove the cardamom seeds from the pods and discard the pods.
  • Grind the spices, either in a mortar and pestle or a coffee/spice grinder.
  • Add the grated coconut to the mortar and pestle or to the spices if you used a spice grinder.
  • Add the ‘wet’ ingredients (fresh herbs, and so on) one by one, starting with the hardest ingredient (the lemongrass), and pound it into a fine paste.
  • Roast the shrimp paste in a banana leaf or aluminium foil over low heat to release the aromas and then add to the Saraman curry paste you've made so far. Combine well.


This makes around 150 g of paste and can keep refrigerated for a couple of days. I have frozen some paste after making a large batch and it holds up pretty well when used for the recipe below.


Serving: 150g | Calories: 254kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 10g | Sodium: 6.797mg | Fiber: 20g