Red Curry Paste

Red Curry Paste (Nam Phrik Gaeng Daeng – Thailand)

Source: The Thai House Cooking School – Bangkok, Thailand

Curry paste is an essential ingredient in Thai curry dishes.

20 peppercorns
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
13 small dried red chiles, seeded and
    soaked in warm water for 15 minutes*
4 tablespoons chopped garlic
3 tablespoons chopped shallot
2 tablespoons peeled, chopped lemon grass,
    using only bottom third of stalk
1 tablespoon chopped galangal or ginger
1 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander root
2 teaspoons chopped lime peel (green part only)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon shrimp paste

In dry frying pan put peppercorns, coriander seeds and cumin seeds. Roast dry spices over low heat, stirring, about 3 to 5 minutes or until spices are fragrant. Cool. Grind into a powder in mortar with pestle or in clean coffee grinder.

Place spices, chiles, garlic, shallot, lemon grass, galangal, coriander, lime peel and salt in blender or small food processor and process until fine. Remove paste and put into mortar and continue to pound with pestle until ingredients are a very fine paste. Add shrimp paste.

Store in glass jar in refrigerator or freeze. Paste keeps about 1 week in refrigerator. Yields about 3/4 cup.

* Wear gloves when handling fresh, canned, dried or pickled chiles; the oils can cause a burning sensation on your skin.