Curry Paste (Thailand)

Course : Curry
Serves: 6
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6 medium dried hot red chiles -- 1 1/2 2 inches long
2 tablespoons minced shallots or scallions -- (white part only)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon powdered lemon grass
1 tablespoon trassi -- (shrimp paste)
1 teaspoon ground laos -- (ginger)
1 teaspoon caraway seed
1 teaspoon coriander seed
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh lemon peel
1 teaspoon salt

Preparation / Directions:

Source: Pacific and Southeast Asian Cooking - Time/Life Under cold running water, wash the chiles and remove their stems. Brush out any seeds that cling to the skin and break the pods into small pieces. To make red curry paste: combine the chiles, shallots (or scallions), garlic, paprika, sereh, trassi, laso, caraway, coriander, lemon peel and salt in the jar of an electric blender and blend at high speed for 20 to 30 seconds. Turn off the machine, scrape down the sides of the jar and blend again until the mixture is a smooth paste. Tightly covered and refrigerated, the paste may be safely kept for a month or so. To make green curry paste: substitute 6 fresh hot green chiles (about 2 inches long) for the dried red chiles and omit the paprika from the recipe. Then follow the above directions precisely. Green curry paste may be covered and refrigerated for about a month. *VARIATIONS* For a more fiery paste, include some seeds - the hottest part of the chile.

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