Super hot Thai curry

28 Jun

One of my favourite entries in Terry Tan’s Asian Cook is his recipe for Thai curry pastes. In my review of Tan’s book in today’s StarTwo, I listed the recipe for the Green Curry paste and promised to share the recipes for the red and yellow curry pastes here on this site.

The pastes are used for a variety of Thai dishes: from soupy meat curries to dry fish dishes. I tried making a dry veg chicken curry with the yellow curry paste (delicious) and fried noodles with the red curry paste (went down well with a couple of friends I offered it to). So, experiment away!

Yellow Curry Paste

6 dried red chilles

2 tbsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground turmeric

1 large onion, chopped

2 stalks lemongrass, tough outer layer removed, chopped

1 tbsp chopped galangal

4 garlic cloves, chopped

1 tbsp veg shrimp paste

1 tsp salt

1.2 cup veg oil

Soak the dried chillies in hot water till softened. Drain and slice. Roast the coriander and cumin powder in a dry frying pan over low heat till fragrant: about 5-8 mins.

Using a mortar and pestle, pound all ingredients except the salt, coriander, cumin and oil until you get a fine creamy paste. Add the roasted spice powders and salt to the paste.

Heat oil in a pan. Fry the paste over med-low heat for about 10 mins, stirring continuously. The paste will absorb most of the oil at first. When the oil begins to separate, it’s done. Remove and let cool. store in an air-tight container in the fridge.

Red Curry Paste

10 dried red chilles

2 tbsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp  whole black peppercorns

1 large onion, chopped

2 stalks lemongrass, tough outer layer removed, chopped

1 tbsp chopped galangal

4 garlic cloves, chopped

1 tbsp veg shrimp paste

4 kaffir lime leaves

1 tsp salt

1.2 cup veg oil

Soak the dried chillies in hot water till softened. Drain and slice. Roast the coriander and cumin powder in a dry frying pan over low heat till fragrant: about 5-8 mins.

Using a mortar and pestle, pound the chilies, peppercorns, onion, lemongrass and galangal to a paste. Add the garlic, lime leaves and shrimp paste a little at a time. Keep pounding till you have a fine, creamy paste. Add the roasted spices and salt and mix well.

Heat oil in a pan. Fry the paste over med-low heat for about 10 mins, stirring continuously. The paste will absorb most of the oil at first. When the oil begins to separate, it’s done. Remove and let cool. store in an air-tight container in the fridge.

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