Vegan Red Curry Paste (Prik Gaeng Phet) พริกแกงเผ็ด
Red curry encompasses a huge range of dishes, but this is a good universal prik gaeng phet red curry paste. The addition of nutmeg may seem unusual, but don't let it put you off. The addition is based on a recipe given to me by a restaurant outside of Chiang Mai, in the North of Thailand.
- 5 long red dried chillies
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- 5 white peppercorns
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp + 1 teaspoon finely sliced lemongrass
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped galangal
- 1 tsp finely sliced kaffir lime rind
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon chopped coriander root
- 2 tablespoons finely sliced shallot
- ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg ground (optional)
Slice the dried chilies open and remove the seeds. Cut into small chunks and soak in hot water until soft. Drain.
Toast the cumin and coriander seeds over medium heat by shaking them around in a pan for a minute or two until lightly toasted and fragrant. Grind to a powder with a pestle and mortar, along with the white peppercorns, then remove to a smaller bowl.
Pound the salt and soaked chilies to a paste in the mortar, followed by the lemongrass. 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 previously ground spices and nutmeg, if using.