Green curry paste is traditionally made by pounding in a mortar: green chillies, shallots, garlic, galangal, lemongrass, kaffir lime peel, cilantro roots (coriander) and cumin seeds, white peppercorns, shrimp paste and salt. It is a indispensable ingredient for making GREEN CURRY.
- 1 tablespoon sliced cilantro roots
- 1 tablespoon coriander
- 1/2 tablespoon cumin
- 1 1/2 tablespoons galangal
- 1/4 cup garlic
- 1 Kaffir Lime
- 3-4 tablespoons sliced lemongrass
- 1/2 teaspoon peppercorns
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1/2 cup sliced shallots
- 1 teaspoon shrimp paste
- 1/4 cup Chili Leaf Optional
- 10-15 Green Thai Chili Peppers
- Toast coriander, peppercorns and cumin in a pan until light brown. You’ll hear the crackling sound when they’re ready. Let the spices cool so they will grind easily.
- Slice shallots, lemongrass, galangal and cilantro roots into small pieces. I use one lemongrass stalk. Slice thinly or grate the kaffir lime zest, about 1 tablespoon. They will grind into fine paste with smaller fibers.
Notes about using mortar and pestle: Pound the ingredients into the side, almost at the deepest spot, at a 65 degree angle. Do not pound straight down into the center of the mortar; things will bounce back at you. Pound and drag out the pestle to separate the fibers.
Grinding curry paste techniques: Ingredients with least amount of water content and/or hard ingredients go in first. Leave the shallots for last.
Grind the spices into powder. Add lemongrass and galangal into the mortar. Grind them into rough fibers. Add salt, garlic, kaffir lime zest, cilantro roots and shrimp paste next. Add fresh green chili peppers and leaves next. Pound until the mixture turn into a fine paste so that you can’t recognize individual ingredients. It took me a good 20 minutes of straight pounding; good for your arm. You are excused from going to the gym today!
The role of salt in curry pastes is to help with grinding and to act as a preservative. You may add more salt than what’s called for; just remember when you cook with it to taste your curry prior to seasoning.
See more another recipe in: GREEN CURRY CHICKEN