Sunday, July 1, 2012

Sai's Vegetarian Green Curry Paste

I am very lucky to have been able to spend the last two weeks with Mahesh's brother Yogesh and his wife Sai, who is from Thailand. Since Yogesh is vegetarian like Mahesh, she showed me a few vegetarian versions of Thai dishes. Here is her recipe for Green Curry Paste, which can also be used to make Red Curry Paste with a few variations.

Sai's Vegetarian Green Curry Paste (or Red Curry Paste)
this recipe makes enough for about three curries


-- approx. 8 serrano chilis (or, for red curry paste, 15 dried whole red chilis, soaked in hot water for 15 minutes -- remove seeds for less spice)
-- 5 large cloves garlic
-- 2 shallots, sliced
-- 1 stalk lemongrass, about six inches long, cut off the ends, peel the outside layer off, and then slice finely
-- 1 inch square of galangal root, sliced
-- zest of 1/2 kaffir lime, sliced, or approx 1 1/2 tablespoons kaffir lime leaves, cut small
-- 2 Tablespoons minced cilantro (do not use this if making red curry paste, up the coriander powder instead)
-- 3 Tablespoons yellow miso (or other fermented soy bean paste)
-- 1/2 t. caraway seeds
-- 1/2 t. black pepper, whole
-- 1/2 t. coriander powder (up this to 1 Tablespoon if making red curry paste)
-- 1 heaping t. of salt

-- 4 Tablespoons oil, for frying
-- 1 teaspoon sugar (only for green curry paste)


1. Toast whole spices in dry frying pan until fragrant. Cool and grind to powder in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle.

2. Blend spice mixture and all other ingredients except oil and sugar together in a blender, mini food processor, or big mortar and pestle (the Thai way) until everything is a paste.

3. Heat oil in pan, add in blended material, and cook, stirring until dark and thick, about 15-20 minutes. Add more oil if it sticks to the pan. When it is done it will be thick and stick to itself like a dough. Cool and store in fridge for up to 3 months.

-- When making a recipe for curry out of the paste, add in thai basil with green curry, and kaffir lime lives with red curry.

Here is a recipe for green curry using this paste.

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