Thai green curry paste

This authentic Thai green curry paste is famous for its Thai green curry. This Thai green curry paste can be used in curry or in starters. You can add any vegetable, fish, chicken or beef to make green curry with this green curry paste. You can make starters like fish cakes or crab cakes using this paste.

Traditionally a heavy based stone pestle and mortar is used and fresh ingredients are used to give that fresh and aromatic flavour to the paste.

The main basic ingredients are shallots, lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves, green chillies, shrimp paste (kapi), galangal and garlic.

Now a days you get all the ingredients in big supermarkets or alternatively can replace few ingredients if not available like instead of kaffir lime leaves can use lime rid(grated green part), instead of coriander root can use coriander stems(stalks), instead of galangal use ginger, but taste differs. Add white pepper powder but can use black peppercorns.

Lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves has a very lemony flavour and different taste.

Shrimp paste (kapi in Thailand) plays a vital role in Thai cuisine and nam phrik a spicy sauce or dip. It is very important in green curry paste. Some add fish sauce (nam pla) in the curry paste but I have not added in it.

I have made this green curry paste from scratch in a pestle and mortar, first crush dry ingredients then add herbs, add the ingredients one by one , crush it to a paste, alternatively can use food processor which does all your hard work. Or first crush all the ingredients then add to the food processor for a fine paste. Can be stored in fridge for 1week and can be freezed for more than 3months.

For green chillies need to use Thai chillies (birds eye chilli, very hot and small in size) but I have used ordinary chillies which I get in India (rocket chillies) or jalapeno chillies. I have used coriander stems instead of coriander roots and I got crushed frozen kaffir lime leaves from the store instead of fresh.

Ingredients

  • Shallots (sambar onions, chopped) – 4
  • Green chillies (chopped) – 6
  • Garlic – 4
  • Galangal – 1 tbsp or 1/2 thumb size
  • Lemon grass (chopped) - 3
  • Kaffir lime leaves (crushed) – 1 1/2 to 2 tsp
  • Coriander leaves (chopped) – 1/3 cup or 2 tbsp
  • White pepper – 1/4 tsp
  • Shrimp paste – 1 tsp
  • Dry spices (roast)

  • Coriander seeds – 2 tsp
  • Cumin seeds – 1 tsp

Method

  • Roast cumin and coriander seeds in a pan, for few minutes, keep it aside.
  • Combine coriander and cumin seeds in a mortar and pestle and pound well. Keep it aside.
  • Chop all the ingredients and transfer it to a plate.
  • Pound galangal first, then garlic, then lemon grass, green chillies, shallots to a paste with remaining ingredients then add roasted powder and pound well.
  • At last add shrimp paste (kapi), continue pounding until smooth paste.
  • Transfer it into a bowl and refrigerate for1week or freeze it for 1 month.

Notes

  • Can add little water to make a smooth paste, can ground in a mixer or food processor.
  • The outer skin of the lemongrass can be used to make stocks and soups and also to give extra flavour to the curries. After peeling the skin, the inner portion of the lemongrass can be used chopped or cut.
  • I have not added salt in the paste, can add in it but need to be careful when making curry.
  • Can increase chillies as per taste.
  • Sometimes I add about 4 green chillies, lime rind (grated outer skin) of half a lime, 1/2 inch ginger, 2 garlic cloves, 1 lemon grass, 1/2 tsp black pepper, 1/2 tsp shrimp paste, 1 tsp coriander seeds, 1/2 tsp cumin seeds, 2 shallots, 1 tbsp coriander stems (stalks) and make a paste with the ingredients available to me.

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