Thai Red Curry Paste

This dark, pungent curry paste makes a delightful alternative to dry, ground spices. I have included it in the recipes for Angel-hair Pasta with Thai Spiced Prawns, Thai Fish Cakes with Cucumber Dipping Sauce and Baked Thai Red Curry Chicken with Coriander Chutney, so it's best to make it in bulk, freeze and use it as and when you need it. It freezes really well, which means that you don't have to shop for small amounts of the ingredients.

Makes 8 tablespoons, ½ pint (275 ml)

This recipe is taken from Delia Smith’s Summer Collection.

Thai Red Curry Paste
 4 medium red chillies
 4 level teaspoons coriander seeds
 2 level teaspoons cumin seeds
 4 stems lemon grass, trimmed and chopped
 2 level teaspoons grated fresh ginger
 4 shallots
 6 cloves garlic
 grated zest and juice 2 limes
 2 level dessertspoons hot paprika


Begin by splitting the chillies in half and removing and discarding the seeds.

After that wash your hands, because the seeds are very fiery and if you touch the delicate skin on your face after handling them it can smart and burn (I've done it so often!).

Now take a small frying pan and pre-heat it over a medium heat, then add the coriander and cumin seeds and toss them around in the dry pan to roast them and draw out their flavours.

After about 5 minutes tip them into a mortar and crush them finely to a powder.

Now simply place the chillies, spices and all the other ingredients in a food processor and whiz them to a coarse paste.

Then freeze in 2-tablespoon portions – and don't forget to label and date.

It will keep for 2 months.


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