As is so often the case when the original letters are completely different, there are many spellings for this curry paste. Penang, Panang, Panaeng and many more.
It is a fairly simple curry paste to prepare and as it is less common in the shops than the classic yellow, red and green curry pastes, it is even more rewarding to know how to make it yourself. Nevertheless, we would like to emphasise once again that every home-made curry paste tastes a lot better than the industrial products.
The first step is to place dried red chillies in cold water for at least 15 minutes. We first cut them open in the middle with scissors and shake out the seeds. Otherwise the end product will be much hotter.
Dry roast the coriander, peppercorns and cumin seeds in a pan until they start to smell fragrant. Peanuts are also dry roasted until they take on a little colour (alternatives at the end of the recipe).
Hit the stalks of lemongrass a few times with the back of a knife to release the flavour. Then cut off the woody end and the green stalk. The outermost layer is removed until the mostly white core remains, which is then roughly chopped. Peeled galangal, garlic, shallots and the particularly flavourful coriander roots are chopped as well.
Prawn paste is the only ingredient you need to buy ready-made.
Once the chillies have been drained, you can process all of this into a paste in a mortar and pestle. Or, like us, you can make it easy for yourself and blitz everything in a food processor to a slightly chunky paste in no time at all.
It doesn’t have to be a fine paste like the products you buy, on the contrary, it tastes better with this consistency later on.
We’ll show you what you can cook with this paste next week.
And may the taste be with you.
Ingredients (for 6 – 8 people):
8 large dried red chillies
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp black peppercorns
2 tbsp chopped lemongrass
2 ½ tsp chopped galangal
2 tsp coriander root
1 ½ tbsp chopped garlic
1 tbsp chopped shallots
2 tbsp roasted peanuts
(Alternative for those with allergies: another type of nut or dried mung beans)
1 tsp prawn paste