RED CURRY PASTE

Storage: Refrigerator 7-30 days, freezer (3 months)
 
Yield: 2 cups
    
Red curry paste can be made in large batches, freeze in 1/2 cup portions for creating red curries – or use as a base for other curries and satay by adjusting the ingredient ratios. Why not add into your next chicken noodle soup, egg/tuna sandwiches, roasted vegetables, meatloaves, meat rubs/marinades? Don’t forget to sauté the curry paste in a little oil to release the curry aroma and flavour before adding into your favourite dish.
     
Ingredients:
15-25 long red chillies (fresh or rehydrated)
2 teaspoons course salt
1/2 teaspoon white peppercorns
2 teaspoons minced coriander root (or stalks)
zest of 1 lime
1/3 cup minced lemongrass
2 tablespoons minced galangal (or ginger)
1/2 cup minced shallots (or onion)
1/3 cup minced garlic
2 teaspoons shrimp paste (optional)
Olive oil (optional)
     
Method:
  1. Wear gloves when handling chillies. Cut chillies in half, discard seeds and membranes. Rehydrate dried chillies overnight by covering in water, then drain and pat dry. Use more chillies for a hotter curry paste, with a stronger red colour.
  2. In a mortar and pestle (or food processor), crush chillies and salt together until soft.
  3. Add the peppercorns. Crush into the paste.
  4. Add the coriander root and lime zest. Crush into the paste.
  5. Add the lemongrass and galangal. Crush into the paste.
  6. Add the shallots, garlic and shrimp paste. Crush into the paste.
  7. Refrigerate: place curry paste into 4 x 1/2 cup jars and use within 7 days. Covering the paste with a thin layer of oil before refrigerating allows you to use up to 30 days.
  8. Freeze: place curry paste into 4 x 1/2 cup freezer-safe jars (or containers) and seal. Ice-cube trays can be used for smaller portions. No oil is needed when freezing the paste. Store cubes of curry paste in a container in the freezer.
     

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