We cook Thai from time to time, since Thai dishes are really easy, quick and fresh. One of my favourites is the red curry. A red curry is mostly a red curry, because it contains red curry paste. The other ingredients mostly differ and you can vary a lot. Therefore you can make a dish out of ingredients from the fridge, pantry and the freezer and in no time you have a wonderful meal on the table.
I’ve always bought the curry paste, since it doesn’t contain any preservatives, just normal ingredients, it wasn’t a problem. Also a jar lasts a very long time. But every now and then I stumbled upon a recipe for curry pastes from scratch.
For Christmas I finally made an attempt and then gave the paste away, packed in little jars from Gläser und Flaschen, my favourite shop when it comes to glass jars and bottles. They have an amazing range, nice service and everything is perfectly packed every time their parcels arrive at my door!
I didn’t managed to make the paste as fine as the bought one, which is because I don’t own a food processor, just a small attachment for my immersion blender. And it just hasn’t enough power to do the job. You could also use a mortar, but I don’t have neither strength nor the patience to do that.
But the flavour is quite original and can compete with the bought red curry paste. So if you like to make such an experiment and you do have a Asian supermarket on hand, I recommend you the following recipe. I had a lot of fun with the process and I will make other curry pastes for sure!
As you will work with a lot of hot chilies, wear disposable gloves at all times! I also wore glasses (originally used in the lab ;) ). And don’t touch your nose, eyes, mouth etc! Also don’t place your face over the food processor, whilst opening it, the chili fumes are very aggressive!
One year ago: Hazelnut Bread
Two years ago: Fennel-Onion-Pizza
Three years ago: Vegetables with Quinoa
red Thai Curry Paste (Prik Gäng Pet)
adapted from Thaiküche
yields: 4 very small jars
- 1/2 Tbsp coriander seeds
- 5-6 small red shallots (50 g chopped)
- 30 g chopped garlic
- 100 g fresh birds eye chilies (red and green, or just red, depending what you get)
- 10 g galgant, peeled and diced
- 3 – 4 stalks of lemongrass
- 1 organic kaffir lime or 1 normal organic lime (good luck finding an organic kaffir lime)
- 2 coriander roots
- 30 g dried red chilies (I used already chopped ones)
- 1 tsp salt
Caution: As you will work with a lot of hot chilies, wear disposable gloves at all times! I also wore glasses (originally used in the lab ;) ). And don’t touch your nose, eyes, mouth etc! Also don’t place your face over the food processor, whilst opening it, the chili fumes are very aggressive!
Roast the coriander seeds in a pan, until they are fragrant. Remove from the pan and let cool. Then grind them with a pestle in a mortar.
Peel and finely chop the shalotts and garlic (if not done already).
Rinse and clean the birds eye chilies. Chop.
Remove the outer parts of the lemongrass stalks. Rinse the inner parts and cut into thin rings.
Rinse the lime under hot water and pat dry. Peel a piece of peel off the lime and chop it finely.
Rinse the coriander roots and chop them finely, too.
If you have a large mortar and enough arm strength and patience, you can try to make the paste this way. Therefore, first grind the coriander seeds (if not already done), then add the dried chilies and the salt and grind. At last, add the rest of the ingredients and grind into a fine paste.
In alternative use a food processor. Place all ingredients in the food processor and pulse until you have a fine paste (or a coarser paste, depending on the model).
Spoon the paste into small jars and keep in the fridge.
Dosage: Try out how much paste works best for you in your curry. First add a 1/4 tsp, if you like it spicier add a 1/4 tsp more and so on. The paste dissolves easily in coconut milk, so further dispensing is simple. I used for my red Thai curry (2-3 portions, using 400 ml coconut milk) 1 tsp of homemade red curry paste.