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Thai red curry paste

Thai Red Curry Paste is a vibrant and aromatic base used in various Thai dishes to infuse them with rich flavours and a hint of spiciness.
  • Preparation Time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • 10-12 dried red Thai bird’s eye chilies (adjust to your desired level of spiciness)
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon white peppercorns
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 shallots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, tender parts only, finely sliced
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of galangal or ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 1 teaspoon shrimp paste (optional, omit for a vegetarian version)
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro (coriander) roots, chopped (or use the stems if roots are unavailable)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon shrimp paste (skip for vegetarian version)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  1. Prepare the Dried Chilies:
    • Remove the stems and seeds from the dried red chilies.
    • Soak the dried chilies in warm water for about 10 minutes or until softened. Drain.
  2. Toast the Spices:
    • In a dry pan over medium heat, toast the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, and white peppercorns until fragrant. Be careful not to burn them. Let them cool.
  3. Blend the Paste:
    • In a food processor or a mortar and pestle, combine the soaked dried chilies, toasted spices, garlic, shallots, lemongrass, galangal or ginger, lime zest, cilantro roots, salt, ground turmeric, paprika, and shrimp paste (if using).
    • Blend or pound the ingredients into a smooth paste. You might need to scrape down the sides of the processor or mortar to ensure everything is well combined.
  4. Final Touches:
    • Heat the vegetable oil in a pan over low heat. Gently fry the curry paste for a few minutes until the aroma becomes more pronounced. This step helps to develop the flavours.
  5. Storage:
    • Store the red curry paste in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a couple of weeks. Alternatively, you can freeze it in ice cube trays and transfer the frozen cubes to a resealable plastic bag for longer storage.

Now that you have your homemade Thai Red Curry Paste, you can use it as a base for various Thai dishes like Red Curry Chicken, Thai Red Curry Vegetables, or even marinating meats for grilling.

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This versatile paste forms the heart of many Thai curries, stir-fries, soups, and marinades. Making your own red curry paste from scratch allows you to customise the level of heat and freshness according to your preferences.

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