Some time back I visited Bangkok and spent a fascinating week at the Blue Elephant Cooking School. There I was privileged to learn a bit more about Royal Thai Cuisine. The one recipe I have since clung to is this glorious Green Curry Paste. It is just so much better to make your own curry paste and quite frankly you simply cannot compare it to the stuff you buy in the shops. The recipe requires galangal, shallots and lime zest – as these ingredients are hard to come by, I have replaced them with ginger, spring onions and lemon zest.
The paste can be kept in an airtight container for two weeks in the refrigerator or one month in the freezer. If you would like to preserve it longer, add extra salt as this is a traditional Thai way of preserving food. For a vegetarian version omit the shrimp paste.
Green Curry Paste (Kruang Kaeng Keaw Waan)
(makes 85 grams)
10 g hot green chillies, chopped
10 g fresh coriander, chopped (if you can get the roots, even better)
7.5 ml ginger, grated
7.5 ml lemon zest
15 ml lemon juice
4 garlic cloves, grated
40 g spring onions (about three), sliced
5 ml salt
5 ml cumin seeds, roasted and grounded
2.5 ml coriander, roasted and grounded
2.5 ml white pepper
10 basil leaves
2.5 ml shrimp paste
Pound all the ingredients in a pestle & mortar to fine paste or use your stick blender.