Secrets from Thailand: Curry Pastes

My love for spicy food is deeply rooted. Most likely, it comes from my mom who often cooks with curry powders, coriander and chilli peppers (She learned all about Indian food from the old lady next door when she lived on Reunion Island, a little Island in the Indian Ocean). You can imagine that when we traveled to Thailand, I was beyond excited to try all the foods – the spicier, the better. Bring it on! But I was even more excited when we learned how to cook it. O the rich creamy curries, coconut sticky rice and Mango salads, it did not have to end. I now know all the secrets and can cook it at home! And so here it is friends, my most cherished souvenir from Thailand: curry paste courtesy of Pot and Nancy from the Siam Rice Thai Cookery School in Chiang Mai.

Curry Paste:

  • 3 tbsp of minced shallots (about half)
  • 2 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp of minced ginger
  • 1 tbsp of minced lemongrass
  • 1tbsp of shrimp paste
  • 1 tbsp of kaffir lime peel
  • 1 tbsp of turmeric

For red curry paste, add:

  • 10 dried red chillies, boiled to rehydrate and chopped
  • Leaves from 2 stalks of Thai basil

For green curry paste, add:

  • 10 fresh green chilies, chopped

For yellow curry paste, add:

  • 10 dried red chillies, boiled to rehydrate and chopped
  • ½ tsp of coriander seeds
  • ½ tsp of cumin seeds
  • ¼ tsp of black peppercorn
  • 1tsp of curry powder

From there, it’s all in the muscles. My tip is to mince all the ingredients as finely as possible. The finer it is chopped, the easier it will be on those biceps. Add all your ingredients into your mortar and beat the s*** out of it! You will soon have an authentic Thai curry paste.

The fun starts then as the possibilities are endless. You can add you paste to a coconut curry with your choice of veggies, meat and coconut milk or you can get creative. My latest creation? Cauliflower soup. I’ll share it on a later blog. Promise!

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