Thai Red Curry Paste

This is really just the red chilli version of the Thai Green Curry Paste. It’s a combination of a spice mix by for a Thai-style curry by Nigel Slater and Muoi Khuntilanont’s Kitchen. Muoi’s original uses 15-30 red birdseye chillis; good luck with that on a western palate. Here I use medium hot large red chillis beloved of our supermarkets. Heat can be adjusted by including and removing as many seeds and pith (the hot part) as you think fit.

This makes sufficient for two 4-person curries. Main ingredients spiced with this paste can vary according to preference, normally including a meat or fish component plus a vegetable. Red curry pastes work very well with tiger prawns, too, but put them in near the end of cooking.

Planning

serves:
preparation time: 20 mins
cooking time:

Ingredients

  • 4 fresh lemongrass stalks
  • 8 medium-hot red chillies
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 5 cm piece fresh galangal or ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 2 shallots, peeled and chopped
  • 4 tbs fresh coriander stalks, chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tbs Thai fish sauce
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper

Remove any outer leaves of the lemongrass that are too coarse before slicing it quite finely. According to taste you can remove some of the seeds from the chillies (seeds and pith are the hot parts) prior to chopping them coarsely. Place the lemongrass and chillies, together with the other ingredients into a blender/food processor. Blitz this lot together, scraping down the sides regularly, until you have a thick paste. (You can add a little water to help slacken it if necessary.)

Cover and refrigerate this until you need it. It will keep for about a week in the fridge.


Get a pdf version of this recipe.

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