We have already explained a few things about curry pastes, namely the Massaman paste, which you should definitely try. Today, we will focus on one of the central Thai curry pastes, which is even easier to make.
Again, cut the dried chillies in half with scissors and shake out the seeds. If you don’t do this, your paste will quickly become uncontrollably hot. The remaining chilli pods are then soaked in cold water for at least 15 minutes.
You also need to add a little salt to this recipe, as the soaked chillies form its base and the salt helps to turn them into a paste.
The first fresh ingredients you need are galangal, shallots and garlic, all peeled and roughly chopped. Red onions are a good alternative to shallots. You will then need a bunch of fresh coriander with roots that are particularly flavourful. Wash the coriander and chop the roots and stems into coarse pieces.
Remove the peel from a kaffir lime and chop it finely. As always with citrus zests, make sure not to include the white part of the peel, as it tastes very bitter. Alternatively, you can also use an ordinary lime, but then you should increase the quantity a little, because kaffir limes have a more intense flavour.
Finally, tap the lemongrass firmly a few times with the back of your knife to release its aromas. Then chop the white, softer and thicker end of the stalks.
At the end we will also add some shrimp paste, which you can buy in a jar.
You will find all kinds of recipes, this one is just our favourite combination. Often coriander seeds and cumin seeds and/or white pepper are added, but we use these ingredients rather for yellow curry paste, for which a recipe will follow.
If you are using a mortar, be prepared for a good 30 minutes of work. We prefer to use a Moulinette, our food processor. It does the job in a few minutes with excellent results.
It is important to first grind the chillies (minus the water) finely with the salt. Once this is done, add the other ingredients and grind them finely as well.
The shrimp paste is the last ingredient, it just needs to be stirred in.
You also want to use coriander, cumin and white pepper? Then take a teaspoon of each and dry roast the grains and seeds in a pan for about 30 seconds until they become fragrant. Next, grind them or blend them with the other ingredients in your food processor after the chillies.
We store our red curry paste in an airtight box in the fridge. However, even this box cannot stop the aromas and a delicious scent quickly spreads.
And may the taste be with you.
Ingredients (for 150 g curry paste or a dish for 6 – 8 people):
7 – 10 large dried red chillies, according to taste
1 tsp salt
4 tsp galangal
3 tbsp lemongrass
5 tbsp shallots or red onion
3 tbsp garlic
3 tsp coriander root and stems
1 tsp. kaffir lime peel
½ tsp shrimp paste (or more, to taste)
optional: 1 tsp each coriander seeds, cumin seeds and white peppercorns