You can buy commercial curry paste or make your own. For a milder paste, reduce the number of chilies or scrape out the seeds of the chilies. Some add a small amount of fresh cilantro, basil or spinach to increase the green color, but this makes the paste more perishable. This recipe can be doubled.
makes about 3/4 cup
- 3 tbsp. fresh green chilies (about 15 bird’s eye chilies), coarsely chopped
- 1 stalk lemongrass (white part only), coarsely chopped
- 5 shallots, coarsely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
- 1 tbsp. fresh gingerroot (or galangal), chopped
- 1 lime leaf, center vein removed, torn
- 3 tbsp. fresh cilantro roots or stems, chopped
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- 1/2 tsp. shrimp or anchovy paste (optional)
( Conversion Tables for Cooking )
In a food processor or using a mortar and pestle, combine chilies, lemongrass, shallots, garlic, galangal (or ginger, if using) lime leaf, cilantro, and water. Blend until coarsely chopped.
Add coriander, cumin, black pepper and shrimp paste, if using. Process until becomes paste forms; scraping down sides of the bowl, adding extra water (about 1tsp/5ml) at a time, if necessary.
Cover tightly and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze in small portions for up to 3 months.
freezing curry paste:
Transfer curry paste to a small resealable freezer bag and flatten. Freeze.To use, break off the required amount and seal the remaining paste tightly.
Alternatively, place the paste in mounds (about 1 tbsp/15 ml each) on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Freeze, then wrap each mound tightly and store in a resealable plastic bag.