Thursday, May 20, 2010

Yellow Curry Paste

Adapted from my Asian Cuisine class at the CIA
Makes 1 cup

Yellow Curry Paste

1/4 cup dried small red chiles (about 4-5 peppers)
4 garlic cloves
4 shallots
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 Tbl coriander seeds
4 white peppercorns (or black peppercorns, if that’s what you’ve got on hand)
2 Tbl ginger
1/4 cup lemongrass (about 4 stalks)
1 tsp lime zest (from 1 lime)
1 Tbl ground turmeric
2 tsp kosher salt
2 Tbl vegetable oil
1/4 cup water

Toast the peppers:  Preheat the oven to 400ᵒF.  Slice the stem off the peppers, then slice the peppers in half, lengthwise.  Remove the seeds.  Place the halved peppers on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and toast in the oven, about 2-3 minutes, until golden brown & blistered.  Remove from the oven, and roughly chop into small pieces.  Set aside.

Roast the garlic & shallots:  Peel and slice (Just roughly slice them– Pretty thin, but it doesn’t really matter) the garlic and shallots.  Arrange them over the same parchment-lined baking sheet that you used for the peppers.  Roast until lightly browned and tender, about 15-20 minutes.

Toast the cumin & coriander:  Add the cumin seeds to a small sauté pan.  Over high heat, continuously shake the pan back and forth over the stove burner, until the cumin becomes slightly browned and fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.  Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.  Toast the coriander seeds using the same method. 

Add the toasted cumin and coriander along with the peppercorns to a spice grinder and process until coarsely ground.  Add the chopped peppers and process until finely ground.

Using a sharp knife, peel the skin from the ginger.  Finely mince the ginger.

Finely mince the lemongrass: Pull away the tough and dry outer layers from the lemongrass stalks, leaving just the green, tender interiors.  Slice off the bottom root end and the brittle top ends.  Slice the remaining stalk in half, lengthwise.  Then slice each half, lengthwise again, into about 4 long pieces.  Thinly slice these long pieces, crosswise, into small pieces.  (See the picture below.)

Finely Chopping the Lemongrass

Add the roasted garlic and  shallots, the minced ginger and lemongrass and the lime zest to a blender. Blend on high, frequently stopping to scrape down the sides of the blender with a rubber spatula, until a coarse paste is formed.  (I’m not going to lie to you – This is a pain in the butt to do!  But keep at it – Keep on pulsing the blender, then scraping the ingredients back into the center - Eventually you’ll get there!) 

Add the ground spices (cumin, coriander & peppercorns), the turmeric and the salt to the blender.  Continue to blend until the spices are incorporated.

With the blender running, add the oil.  Then slowly add the water.  Continue to blend (and scrape down the sides with a spatula, of course) until a fine, smooth paste is formed.  Keep refrigerated in an air-tight container. 




No comments:

Post a Comment