As you all know by now, I have a thing for spicy food.
I’ve been effortlessly eating whole chillies and immediately chugging gallons of water for the better part of my life. I always find myself mindless reaching for the chilli powder whenever I’m cooking- never salt, never pepper, always chilli.
I made my first curry about 5 years ago, and as a clueless 14 year old, I had been very proud to have successfully combined curry powder, tinned tomatoes and coconut milk in a pot and called it a day. Oh how naive of me. Nowadays when I make a curry, it starts with roasting cumin seeds, grating ginger and crushing garlic way before I even switch on the stove. Recently, I feel like I’m betraying South Asian cuisine by using curry powder. It just didn’t feel right, or necessarily like it was enough. Sure, it has its uses when it comes to making curry spiced burger patties or even curry spiced breads, but using curry powder to make a spicy heartfelt bowl of curry? I couldn’t take it anymore.
So of course I did away with the Madras curry powder. I had gotten the hang of adding coriander, garam marsala and fenugreek seeds to the pot but to speak quite frankly, running back and forth between the spice cabinet and the stove was just a tad bit excessive. Enter: homemade curry paste. Shoutout to Thailand for making the curry making process just that much more convenient. All the fresh ingredients are blended up by you and thrown into a glass jar to use whenever you’re having a craving for Indian eating. It takes you about 5 minutes to prepare and the amount of time it saves you in the long run is phenomenal. I know this isn’t as fancy as an Oreo Milkshake recipe or a Lentil Curry but maaaaaaaan, these are lifesavers.
I’ll definitely be giving you a couple of examples on how to use these this week; I have already used the red curry paste before when I made this Cashew Coconut Lentil Curry.Don’t be afraid to customise these to your liking by adding or subtracting the number of chillies, throwing in some lemon zest etc etc. This is all about personalising to your taste, and I’m never one to restrict your creativity in the kitchen.
Red & Green Thai Curry Pastes
Ingredients for each curry paste
- 1 large pepper, use red for the red curry paste and green for the green
- 3 garlic gloves, peeled
- between 3 and 6 fresh chillies (I used 4 in each)
- ¼ cup chopped parsley
- 2 tsp lemongrass (I used freshly picked from my garden but jarred works too)
- 1 tbsp grated ginger
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- ½ tsp ground coriander
- ½ tsp ground turmeric
- ½ tsp each salt and pepper
Combine all ingredients in a blender and pulse 2 minutes until you have a thick paste and no large chunks of pepper remain. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.