Red Curry Paste

Herbs are the major ingredient in Thai curry paste, which forms the base of vegetarian curries as well as chicken, beef and fish or seafood curries. A dollop of curry paste adds flavour to stir-fried Asian greens, soups, noodles and any other dishes that could do with some heat.
Red curry paste goes well with chicken, beef and fish, as well as vegetables such as tomatoes, sweet potatoes, potatoes, butternut, snow peas, cauliflower, broccoli and baby marrows.

What you need:

  • 1 spring onion
  • 1 fresh stalk of lemongrass (minced)
  • 1 – 2 red chillies
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 thumb-size piece of fresh ginger (grated)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato sauce/puree
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¾ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce (or 2 tablespoons soy sauce for vegetarians)
  • 1 teaspoon shrimp paste
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chilli powder (or more depending on your taste)
  • 1 – 3 tablespoons thick coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice or lemon zest

Blitz all the ingredients until smooth, adding extra coconut milk if necessary. Use at once or store in an airtight bottle in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Cooking tip: Fry the paste in a little oil to release the fragrance (about 1 minute) before adding the leafy greens and other ingredients.

The Gardener