Nam prik kaeng kua – พริกแกงคั่ว – is the foundation of all other red curry pastes cooked in coconut cream. For instance the ingredients used in this recipe will also be present in a kaeng phet curry paste as well as in panang curry paste. Nam prik kaeng phet is effectively nam prik kaeng kua with added spices, where the former has stronger Indian and Arab influences. Kua curries tend to be more vegetable focussed and include use in dishes like pineapple curry and kaeng tae po (sweet and sour morning glory curry)
Pestle and mortar
8dried long red chillies
2dried bird’s eye chillies
¼cupthinly sliced lemongrass
1teaspoonkaffir lime zest
1teaspoonchopped coriander root3 grams
1 ½teaspoonsshrimp paste or Korean doenjang
Slice the long dried chilies lengthways and remove the seeds. Cut into chunks and soak in warm water until soft.
Pound the soaked chilies, dried bird's eye chilies, and salt using a pestle and mortar until smooth. Add lemongrass and pound into a uniform smooth paste. Continue pounding each ingredient, one at a time, until smooth.
Use immediately or store for up to a few weeks in the fridge (or you can freeze it for longer).