Monday, February 27, 2006

THAI RED CURRY PASTE

This is one of the versatile condiments I have lying in my freezer. Versatile in the sense that I can whip up a handful of dishes using the curry paste, and they all don’t taste ‘currily’. It may be Thai Red Curry Paste to some, but for me, it’s more like sambal.

The last batch I made lasted six months or so; that was when chilies were RM2 per kg. Now it’s RM5. For those who can stand the heat, you can substitute with smaller chilies or more dried ones. As for coriander, you can use fresh coriander roots (1/2 doz.) instead. I use kaffir lime leaves because my plant in the garden doesn’t bear any fruit. You can use the rind of the fruit.


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Ingredients

2 tsp. coriander seeds
2 tsp. white pepper
10 kaffir lime leaves
50 gm. shrimp paste (belacan)
50 gm. lemongrass sliced (6 stalks)
100 gm. garlic
40 gm. galangal
300 gm. shallots
25 gm. dried chilies
350 gm. fresh red chilies

  • Dry-fry coriander seeds until fragrant. Then ground them into powder. If peppercorn is used, do likewise.
  • Use the leaves of the kaffir lime only. Throw away the stems. Use the bottom white bit of the lemongrass (3” length).
  • Soak the dried chilies in hot water to soften them.
  • Blend all the ingredients together into a paste.


What I do is blend them in batches, as my processor cannot take all the ingredients. Mix the batches in a bowl, and blend again, to make sure everything is mixed properly. The mixture will yield about 1 kg. of paste.

For storage, I pack them into sandwich bags, and flatten them. It can be kept in the freezer compartment for 6 months.

If your recipe doesn’t require a whole bag of paste, just break them to the quantity required. They thaw in minutes.



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