Thai Red Curry Paste

Red Curry (Photo by robotar/flickr)


6 large dried red chillies
2 small brown onions, chopped
2 tablespoons washed and chopped
coriander root
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 tablespoon chopped galangal in brine
1 tablespoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons dried shrimp paste
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 stem lemon grass, finely sliced
or 2 teaspoons chopped lemon rind


Remove stems of chillies and shake out the seeds if you don't want the curry paste to be too hot. Soak chillies in enough hot water to cover for 10 minutes, then place in an electric blender with remaining ingredients. Putting the chillies and onions in first will facilitate blending. Puree, stopping frequently to push ingredients down with a spatula. Add a little extra water if necessary to assist with blending.

Recipe excerpted from Encyclopedia of Asian Food by Charmaine Solomon (Periplus Editions, 1998)