Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Thai Yellow Curry Paste

If I have red and green curry paste recipes here, I had to have a yellow one too. I've taken my time about making one, because I've only just got my chance to use fresh turmeric. When I was living in Leamington Spa, it would appear from time to time in KL Oriental, the Thai Supermarket, but I was always shopping for something else and it would have probably been wasted. There's a huge Oriental supermarket not too far away from where I'm living now, which sells anything you could possibly need for South East Asian cookery, so I now have a ready supplier of the rhizome. The fresh root is far removed from the garishly yellow dried turmeric. Instead of the bitter earth flavours usually associated with turmeric, it smells fresh and almost lavender-like.

After doing some online research, I found lots of recipes do just use dried turmeric, so if you can't get hold of the fresh stuff, maybe just replace it with a teaspoon of dried. My version is an amalgamation of various other yellow curry paste recipes, aiming for something as authentic and delicious as possible. I find that yellow curries are similar red, but milder, so I increased the spices to keep it interesting. The result is quite different from the fiery, fresher green curry.

If you have a decent food processor, this couldn't be simpler. If you have a less than brilliant one, you may need to be a bit more involved by turning off the machine from time to time to scrape down the sides. If you are having trouble, try blending half the ingredients. Once that has liquidised the other half will break down more easily. And if all you have is a pestle and mortar you'll need a few hours and a pair of strong arms.

4 shallots, peeled and roughly chopped
6 lime leaves
4 stalks lemongrass, woody parts removed.
5cm galangal, peeled and roughly chopped
6 dried thai chillies
grated zest of 1 lime
2 tsp shrimp paste
small bunch coriander root
4 cloves garlic
50g fresh turmeric, peeled
1 tsp freshly ground coriander
1 tsp freshly ground cumin
1/2 tsp cinammon
pinch ground cloves
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp salt
Vegetable or sunflower oil, for blending, a few tablespoons

Blitz all the ingredients together except for the oil in a food processor. Pour enough oil down the funnel in a steady stream so that you get a smooth paste. Store, covered in the fridge. It should last about a month.

As well as using it to make curry, you can use the paste to make these thai pork burgers.

No comments:

Post a Comment