Make Your Own Curry Paste

Make Your Own Curry Paste

The more I travel the more I crave the flavors from my favorite places, however few things get me more excited than a well-made Thai curry.  Thai curries are so simple to make (now that I know the secrets from my Thai cooking class) and yet so difficult to find.  Many curries are made with curry powder, which doesn’t yield the same results as fresh curry paste.  So, I propose that you make your own curry paste and then you can have delicious Thai curry any time just the way you like it.  Below is a very easy to follow basic recipe for Green Curry.  The recipe is from Thai Farm Cooking School, where I took my cooking class in Chiang Mai and I can say that it is a delicious recipe. If you find that you like the taste of this recipe, you might want to make it in bulk, separate it into small quantities and then freeze them. It will keep well in the freezer and will keep a week or more in the refrigerator.

Green Curry with Chicken (Kaeng Kiao Waan Gai)

Ingredients for Curry Paste

2-3 green long chillies
1 tbsp. of chopped shallots
1/2 tsp. of chopped kaffir lime rind
1 tsp. of chopped garlic
1 tbsp. of chopped lemongrass
1 tbsp. of chopped krachai ( or ‘Thai ginseng’ )
1/4 tsp. of roasted cumin seeds
1/4 tsp. of roasted coriander seeds
1/4 tsp. of salt ( or 1/2 tsp. of salt if you would like to keep the paste longer )
1 tsp. of chopped galangal

Other Ingredients

1 cup of sliced eggplants (or other vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli or potato)
1/4 cup of smaller pea-like eggplants, if you can’t find these it won’t compromise the recipe (MAKHEAU PHUANG in Thai)
1/3 cup of sliced onion
70 grams of sliced chicken
1 tsp. of sugar
1 tbsp. of fish sauce or soy sauce
3 kaffir lime leaves
2 stems of sweet basil (HORAPAA in Thai)
1 cup of coconut milk
1 cup of water
**Chicken can be replaced by beef, pork, fishball or tofu.
All these ingredients should be readily available at any major grocery store, but if you are having trouble sourcing any of the ingredients head to an Asian market in your area and they should be able to help you.

Eggplant, lime leaves and pumpkin are key ingredients to the chicken with green curry

Preparation of Green Curry Paste
Put all the ingredients for the curry paste in the mortar. Pound with the pestle until everything is mixed and ground thoroughly. You can also use a blender, but it’s not as much fun.
Preparation of Green Curry
Pour the coconut milk in a pot and turn on to medium heat. Stir slowly until oil appears. Add the green curry paste and the chicken and stir until the chicken is almost cooked through. Add your vegetables, water, sugar, fish sauce, salt and turn the heat up to high. Stir it for a few minutes at high heat to make sure everything is cooked through. When everything is fully cooked, add the sweet basil and lime leaves then serve with rice.
The taste should be a little bit spicy, creamy, sweet and salty.  If it is too spicy add more sugar, if it’s too sweet add more chilis and if it’s too salty add more sugar and chilis until you get the taste you are looking for.  That’s the great part of making your own curry, you decide when its done to your liking.
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About the Author

LOCAVORista: A curious adventurer exploring the culinary delights and local traditions around the world. Currently on a 3 year round-the-world trip discovering amazing cultures, must-eats and off-the-beaten-track destinations.

About the Author
LOCAVORista: A curious adventurer exploring the culinary delights and local traditions around the world. Currently on a 3 year round-the-world trip discovering amazing cultures, must-eats and off-the-beaten-track destinations.
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