A lot of Thai food starts with a base of curry paste. It is made in a mortar and pestle from ingredients like chili peppers, lemon grass, and other aromatics. It provides a strong flavor base to any Thai curry, sauce, or soup, and is one of the healthiest ways to impart flavor, as it does not use any fat or processed food. Making it yourself at home is easy if you have the right ingredients, and it is really worthwhile.
- Start the paste by soaking 10 dried chillis in hot water or using 4 fresh red chilis.
- In a pan without oil, toast 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds, 2 teaspoons of coriander seeds and 1/2 teaspoon of peppercorns for a couple of minutes.
- After that, put them in a mortar and pestle and start crushing them into a powder.
- Add in the chili to the mix, along with a 1/4 inch piece of galangal or ginger, 1 stalk of lemongrass roughly chopped, 1/4 the rind of a kefir lime or 3 kefir lime leaves, 6 cilantro stems without any leaves, 2 shallots roughly chopped, 4 cloves of garlic, and a pinch of salt.
- Crush and mix the ingredients together until they’ve all come together. It can take some time, but it’s a good workout and you’ll end up with an amazing curry paste.