Green Thai Curry Paste
Here’s my Green Thai curry paste. Can be used with chicken, seafood or vegetables. As mentioned before, I cannot take the heat of those tiny Thai chillies, also known as bird’s eye chillies so I’ve always used the standard long chillies found in supermarkets.
At the time of writing, given our warm autumn weather, my chilli plant was still going strong in the kitchen, which of course, gave me plenty of the leaves to use as well. On one of my dive trips to Thailand, I was told to add chilli plant leaves to achieve a really fresh green colour, especially if the amount of chilli used is minimal.
Kaffir Lime zest is essential in this paste, use our standard limes and a tbsp of fresh lime juice as a substitute if you really, really cannot get them. I get mine online, just Google it!
The recipe calls for fresh coriander root. Although you can just about get this by uprooting a pot of fresh coriander (from any supermarket), use the stalks if you want.
1 tbsp coriander seeds (ok use the ground one if you want to cheat!)
half tbsp cumin seeds (or powder)
half tsp white peppercorns (or ground)
I medium onion, quartered (this is going to be ground)
6 cloves of garlic, halved
5 cm (2 in) galangal (2 tsp shop bought paste), sliced thinly for easier grinding
4 stalks lemongrass, last quarter, sliced thinly, so it’ll grind easily
1 tbsp fresh coriander root or stalks, chopped
1 tsp shrimp paste
2 long green chillies, deseeded if you prefer (less heat), chopped
2 tsp kaffir lime zest
a handful of green chiili leaves (or capsicum leaves)
half tbsp salt (I omit this as I use a chopper)
1. If using whole spices, roast them on low heat in a pan till fragrant, let cool and grind to a powder. I do this in a coffee mill used solely for spices.
2. Now, you can do the rest in a pestle or mortar or a chopper, I use a chopper. The salt helps the grinding process if you’re using a pestle and mortar. You want to get a smooth-ish paste. Place all the other ingredients in the chopper and chop till it forms a smooth paste. If you find it’s too dry, add some fresh lime juice.
3. Add the ground, dry ingredients and pulse to mix thoroughly.
It’s done! This ought to give you almost a cup of paste, about 200 mls. Store the extra in a clean jar (out of the dishwasher will do) in the fridge for up to a month. I use the paste for stir frying, noodles, even stews, so, it doesn’t last too long.