This is a straightforward recipe for a medium spiced home made red curry paste that is devoid of shrimp paste. For added heat, pop a few more chillies (especially dried red bird’s eyes) into the mix. If you can’t find coriander root (which I think is harder to obtain in the US than it is here in the UK – someone please tell me if this is true?) then use stems, but add a little bit more.
Finding kaffir limes in the UK is difficult, but Thai Smile in Hammersmith sells them dried. A workable substitute for kaffir lime rind is a combination of lime zest and kaffir lime leaves, which you can find frozen in many Asian supermarkets. Avoid dried leaves if you can. If you pound the paste by hand (see tips on making curry pastes), avoid managing to fling chilli into your eye like I did.
Vegan Red Curry Paste
Red curry encompasses a huge range of dishes, but this paste will allow you to achieve restaurant quality red curry that can be boosted with additional ingredients in curry preparation.
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon chopped coriander root
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped galangal
- 5 long red dried chillies, de-seeded and soaked in warm water until soft
- 1 tsp finely sliced kaffir lime rind
- 1 tbsp + 1 teaspoon finely sliced lemongrass
- 2 tablespoons finely sliced shallot
- ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg, ground
- pinch white pepper
- Toast the cumin and coriander seeds over medium heat by shaking them around in a pan for a minute or two until lightly browned and fragrant. Grind to a powder with a pestle and mortar, then remove to a smaller bowl.
- Pound the salt and garlic to a paste in the mortar, followed by the coriander root. Continue in the order of ingredients listed, ensuring each is pounded into a smooth paste before adding the next. Once the shallot has broken down into the paste, add the coriander, cumin, nutmeg, and white pepper.
- by Messy Vegan Cook
- Makes 1/4 cup
- Cuisine: Thai