A popular ingredient in Thailand, this Thai red curry paste can be added to any dish to enhance its flavor. It is, of course, a primary ingredient in many of the famous Thai curries. Traditionally, it is patiently pounded by hand with a heavy mortar and pestle, but a food processor does the job quickly and efficiently. It will keep in the refrigerator for about a month. Marinate a dozen shrimp in this paste, stir fry them quickly with the paste in canola oil, and the result is an instant lunch or dinner.
Thai Red Curry Paste Ingredients
- 10 small dried red chiles, such as piquins, stems removed
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 2 small onions
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
- 1/4 cup fresh basil or mint leaves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 2-inch stalks lemongrass, including the bulb
- 1 1-inch piece of galangal, peeled
- 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
- 1 tablespoon shrimp paste
- 1 tablespoon corn or peanut oil
- 1 tablespoon lime zest
- 1/4 cup water
- Soak the chiles in water for 20 minutes to soften, then remove and drain. Roast the coriander and cumin seeds for about 2 minutes in a dry skillet, and when they are cooled, grind to a fine powder in a spice mill.
- Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender and puree into a fine paste. Store it in a tightly sealed jar in the refrigerator.
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