Making your own curry paste when there are so many good commercial pastes available might seem like extra work, but it's worth the effort for the fresh and individual flavour you can produce. Enlist some help from a friend and make a big batch to share between you. You will definitely use it all.
TIP Use this paste for the Baked Thai Fish Cakes, or even as a rub for roast beef or chicken. If you can't find dried large red chillies you can use smaller dried chillies, but the paste will be spicier.
50g dried large red chillies, seeds and stalks removed
10 large red chillies, seeds and stalks removed and roughly chopped
10 coriander roots, leaves, stems and roots roughly chopped
2 small red onions, peeled and roughly chopped
3 stalks lemongrass, white part only, roughly chopped
6 kaffir lime leaves, roughly sliced
10 cloves garlic, peeled
3 tbsp grated ginger
2 tbsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground black pepper
2 tsp salt
½ cup fish sauce
1. Soak the dried chillies in hot water for half an hour then drain well. Combine the soaked dried chillies with the remaining ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend or process to a smooth paste. You can add a little extra fish sauce to your blender to get it to catch the paste if you need to.
The curry paste will keep in the fridge for about two weeks, but I prefer to freeze it in ½-cup batches immediately to keep it fresh.
TIP / Use this paste for a Big Red Curry
Makes 2 cups
Prep / 45 minutes