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Curries / Curry Pastes

I saw one thread asking for curry recipes, decided I would create a newer (new) thread and then post my curry paste recipes in a subthread under thai curries so that others can post curry related recipes in the same tree.

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  1. Thai Curry / Curry Pastes

    9 Replies
    1. re: cacruden

      Chuu Che Curry Paste (Kruang Gaeng Chu Che)

      Coconut based curry, usually with fish or seafood.

      Ingredients

      1 large dried red chili
      6 dried red-hot chilies
      1 teaspoon galangal, chopped
      1 tablespoon lemongrass, chopped
      1/2 teaspoon turmeric
      1/2 teaspoon aromatic ginger (krachai), optional
      1 tablespoon thai shallots, chopped finely
      1 tablespoon thai garlic, chopped finely
      1 teaspoon shrimp paste
      1/4 teaspoon salt

      Method

      1. Prepare Cut the chilies into small pieces with scissors and soak the pieces in warm water until soft which will take approximately 5 to 10 minutes. Drain until let dry.

      2. Curry Paste Put salt and chilies in a mortar and pound until smooth. Add galangal, lemongrass, turmeric and aromatic ginger then pound again until smooth. Add garlic and shallots then pound until smooth. Add shrimp paste then mix well.

      1. re: cacruden

        Green Curry Paste (Kruang Gaeng Kiaw Waan)

        Coconut based curry that I have seen used with king prawns, beef, chicken.

        Ingredients

        6 small hot green chilies
        1/4 cup coriander leaves
        1 teaspoon thai shallots, chopped finely
        1 teaspoon thai garlic, chopped finely
        1 teaspoon lemongrass, chopped finely
        1 teaspoon galangal, chopped finely
        1/4 teaspoon kaffir lime peel, chopped finely
        1 teaspoon coriander root, chopped finely
        1 teaspoon shrimp paste
        1/4 teaspoon salt
        1/4 teaspoon coriander seeds
        1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
        1/2 teaspoon star anise
        1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns

        Method

        1. Prepare Using a dry wok over low heat fry coriander seeds, star anise, cumin seeds and black pepper until fragrant which will take approximately 30 seconds.

        2. Curry Paste Put the dry ingredients into a stone mortar and grind them to a powder. Add garlic, shallots, chilies and coriander leaves then pound until smooth. Add lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime peel and coriander root then pound until smooth. Add shrimp paste then mix well.

        1. re: cacruden

          Jungle Curry Paste (Kruaeng Gaeng Paa)

          Chicken stock base with potatoes, eggplant etc. Hotter since it is not coconut based.

          Ingredients

          5 red-hot chilies
          1/2 teaspoon kaffir lime peel, chopped
          1 tablespoon lemongrass, chopped
          2 teaspoons galangal, chopped
          1/2 teaspoon turmeric
          2 tablespoons thai garlic, chopped
          1 teaspoon shrimp paste
          1/4 teaspoon sea salt

          Method

          Curry Paste Pound chilies and salt in a stone mortar until it is a smooth. Add galangal, lemongrass, kaffir lime peel and turmeric then pound until it is smooth. Add garlic then pound until smooth. Add shrimp paste then mix well.

          1. re: cacruden

            Massaman Curry Paste (Kruang Gaeng Massaman)

            Coconut cream based, commonly referred to as a muslim curry - southern thai. Made with Chicken or King Prawns.

            Ingredients

            1/4 cup dried large red chili
            10 deep fried dried red-hot chilies
            1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
            3 cloves white cardamom
            1 star anise
            1 inch cinnamon stick
            2 whole cloves
            1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns
            2 teaspoons lemongrass, chopped finely
            1 teaspoon galangal, chopped finely
            2 teaspoons thai garlic, chopped finely
            2 teaspoons thai shallots, chopped finely
            1/4 teaspoon salt

            Method

            1. Prepare Cut dried large chili into small pieces with scissors and soak in warm water until soft, which should take approximately 5 to 10 minutes. Drain and let dry. For a milder taste, remove seeds from the chili beforehand. Deep-fry red-hot chili peppers in oil over low heat for approximately 10 seconds. Heat a small wok and fry without any oil cumin seeds, anise, cardamom, clove, cinnamon stick, and black pepper. Fry until fragrant, which should take approximately a minute.

            2. Curry Paste Put all the dry spices into a mortar and grind to a powder. Add chilies then pound until it is smooth. Add lemongrass and galangal then pound until smooth. Add the shallots and garlic then pound until smooth.

            1. re: cacruden

              Panang Curry Paste (Kruang Gaeng Panang)

              Coconut based made with Seafood or Chicken.

              Ingredients

              1 large dried red chili
              6 dried red-hot chilies
              1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
              1/4 teaspoon coriander seeds
              1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns
              1 teaspoon lemongrass, chopped finely
              1/2 teaspoon galangal, chopped finely
              1/2 teaspoon coriander root, chopped finely
              1 teaspoon shrimp paste
              1 tablespoon roasted peanuts, unsalted
              1 teaspoon thai shallots, chopped finely
              1 teaspoon thai garlic, chopped finely
              1/4 teaspoon salt

              Method

              1. Prepare Cut the large dried red chili into strips with scissors then soak in warm water for approximately 5 to 10 minutes until soft. Drain and let dry. Deep-fry dried red-hot chilies in medium hot oil for approximately 7 to 10 seconds. Heat a dry wok and fry cumin seeds, coriander seeds and peppercorns for approximately 20 seconds.

              2. Curry Paste Put the dry spices and salt into a stone mortar and grind to a powder. Add chilies then pound until smooth. Add lemongrass, galangal and coriander root then pound to until smooth. Add shallots, garlic and peanuts then pound until smooth. Add shrimp paste then mix well.

              1. re: cacruden

                Red Curry Paste (Kruang Gaeng Daeng)

                Coconut based; Chicken or Fish.

                Ingredients

                1 large dried red chili
                7 dried small red-hot chilies
                2 teaspoons thai garlic, chopped finely
                2 teaspoons thai shallots, chopped finely
                1/4 teaspoon kaffir lime peel, chopped finely
                2 teaspoons lemongrass, chopped finely
                1 teaspoon galangal, chopped finely
                1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
                1 teaspoon shrimp paste
                1/4 teaspoon salt

                Method

                1. Prepare Slice the chilies into small pieces with scissors and soak the pieces in warm water until soft which will take approximately 5 to 10 minutes. Drain until let dry.

                2. Curry Paste Grind peppercorns and salt in a stone mortar until it is a powder. Add chilies and pound until smooth. Add galangal, lemongrass and kaffir lime peel then pound until smooth. Add garlic and shallots then pound until smooth. Add the shrimp paste then mix well.

                1. re: cacruden

                  Red Hot Curry Paste (Kruang Gaeng Phad Phet)

                  Coconut based, Red Curry Seafood.

                  Ingredients

                  1 large red chili
                  4 dried small red-hot chilies
                  3 red-hot chilies
                  1/2 teaspoon kaffir lime peel, chopped finely
                  1 teaspoon lemongrass, chopped finely
                  1/2 teaspoon galangal, chopped finely
                  1/2 teaspoon coriander root, chopped finely
                  1 teaspoon thai garlic, chopped finely
                  2 teaspoons thai shallots, chopped finely
                  1/2 teaspoon shrimp paste
                  1/8 teaspoon coriander seeds
                  1/8 teaspoon star anise
                  1/8 teaspoon cumin seeds
                  1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
                  1/4 teaspoon salt

                  Method

                  1. Prepare Cut the chilies into small pieces with scissors and soak the pieces in warm water until soft which will take approximately 5 to 10 minutes. Drain until let dry. Heat a dry wok and fry cumin seeds, coriander seeds, black pepper and star anise for approximately 20 seconds.

                  2. Curry Paste Put all the dry ingredients into a mortar and grind until it becomes a powder. Add chilies then pound until smooth. Add kaffir lime peel, lemongrass, galangal and coriander roots then pound until smooth. Add garlic and shallots then pound until smooth. Add shrimp paste then mix well.

                  1. re: cacruden

                    Yellow Curry Paste (Kruang Gaeng Kari)

                    Coconut cream based; chicken or crabs.

                    Ingredients

                    5 dried small red-hot chilies
                    1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
                    1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
                    1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns
                    1/4 teaspoon salt
                    1 tablespoon thai garlic, chopped finely
                    1 tablespoon thai shallots, chopped finely
                    2 teaspoons galangal, chopped finely
                    2 teaspoons lemongrass, chopped finely
                    2 teaspoons ginger, chopped finely
                    1 tablespoon yellow curry powder

                    Method

                    Curry Paste Deep-fry small dried red-hot chilies in oil over medium heat for approximately 10 seconds. Dry-fry cumin seeds, coriander seeds and black pepper in a dry wok until the spices are fragrant. Grind cumin seeds, coriander seeds, black pepper and salt in a mortar until it is a powder. Add garlic, shallots and chilies then pound until smooth. Add galangal, ginger and lemongrass then pound until smooth. Add yellow curry powder and mix well.

                    1. re: cacruden

                      Sour Curry Paste (Kruaeng Gaeng Som)

                      Coconut curry. Crabs or deep fried fish

                      Ingredients

                      2 large dried red chilies, cut into small pieces, soaked in cool water, drained
                      7 dried red-hot chilies
                      1 tablespoon thai garlic, chopped finely
                      1 tablespoon thai shallot, chopped finely
                      1 tablespoon turmeric, chopped finely
                      1 teaspoon shrimp paste
                      1/4 teaspoon salt

                      Method

                      Curry Paste Pound chilies and salt in a mortar until smooth. Add turmeric then pound until smooth. Add shallots and garlic then pound until smooth. Add shrimp paste then mix well.

                    2. Thanks. A very cool post from you. One question, by "red-hot chiles", are you referring to Birds eyes?

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: MGZ

                        Yes, they are thai chilies (birds eye) chilies (red).

                        1. re: MGZ

                          Pretty sure he/she meant dried red Thai Chilis since they are for red colored Pastes.

                          1. re: chefj

                            Depending on which recipe it can be dried red chilies, thai chilies or a mixture of the two. These are the main curry pastes that I have run into at cooking schools in Thailand. The heat / sharpness of red curry can be altered by removing some dried and adding in fresh red thai chilies.

                            1. re: cacruden

                              "The heat / sharpness of red curry can be altered by removing some dried and adding in fresh red thai chilies."

                              Well put.

                            2. re: chefj

                              It is not uncommon for a few different varieties of chiles to be labelled and sold as "Thai Chiles", hence the inquiry (I have three different "kinds" at home right now). To me, birds eyes are a little crisper and have a certain fruitiness that other dried, Asian chiles do not.* But, then again, I eat a lot of chiles (it's sort of a problem, I guess - I mean is it "normal" to have 15 to 20 different kinds in the house at any given moment?).

                              *It's even more pronounced when they are fresh - red or green.

                              1. re: MGZ

                                Sometimes confuses me :p I usually see two different "thai chilies" around here -- red / green (a little larger - maybe an 1.5 - 2 inches in length and a smaller one that is usually a little less than an inch..... I believe they are both "thai chilies" of the same type but the smaller ones are hotter than the larger ones. I have heard them referred to thai chilies, red hot chiles, bird's eye chilies, or mouse sh$t chilies by their litteral translation :p

                          2. I thought I had a fairly well equipped kitchen larder. Reading your wonderful recipes, I know I don't.
                            But I now know what to shop for the next time we go to a city with a good Asian market.

                            I really want to try these, thank you so much for taking the time to share them with us.

                            1. Uhmmmm..

                              BOOKMARKED.

                              1. This is a great list, very detailed and informative.

                                Questions:
                                1. What is yellow curry powder (in the recipe for yellow curry paste)
                                2. If we don't have a good mortar and pestle, can we approximate in a blender or food processor (which of the two would you recommend)?
                                3. What would you suggest as a substitute for shrimp paste for people who do not eat shrimp?

                                Many thanks

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: Rasam

                                  1. Yellow curry is typically a very mild curry that is used with crab and is mild as not to overpower the crab. There are many different yellow blends that vary a little (a little hotter, not so much). I have not done a side by side comparison, but I believe that yellow curry powder from an asian grocer would be a reasonable (and cheaper) choice, and even the yellow curry powder on the spice rack at your local western grocer would be sufficient (though much more expensive for basically the same thing). It is often used in indian influenced dishes, so it's origins are likely indian. Here I just see yellow curry powder - blend 1 or blend 2 sort of labelling in supermarkets.

                                  2. I have always used a mortar and pestle, which I have found very useful in asian and italian cooking...... and much cheaper than a food processor :o. I actually had used my food processor (which is currently in storage in Toronto) very little -- and thus did not get a 220v replacement for it when I moved here. I found that I only used it when making large batches of chili sauce (which I have not done here) because the darned things are such a pain to clean. My knife skills are sufficient for most things, and the mortar and pestle for the rest. Cutting things finely before putting in the mortar and pestle helps a lot. Personally, I prefer a mortar and pestle.... you can get many different sizes (I had one that had a 2kg pestle :o) - I sort of collect all different sizes. They are cheap, easy to clean, and would probably last 100 years :o If I were to choose between the two, I would say the food processor would be better since it is a very thick paste (it is not liquidity at all). It of course would produce a different outcome since you are no longer squishing it but chopping it very fine. I actually find sitting down with my mortar and pestle on the ground and pounding away to be very therapeutic :p

                                  3. Very hard, I did a quick look online for a vegetarian replacement - but none is going to be the same - it is sort of the heart of it (IMHO). Since I have never tried to make a vegetarian one (I had to laugh when my friend said he wanted to make a vegetarian one; and I asked if he ever bought the store bought stuff and he said yes..... I told him that unless it was a specialty product it already had it in it). I have seen attempts to replace it with a soy based bean paste with salt....
                                  "Shrimp paste, kapi, is a salted-fermented shrimp product used widely in Thai cooking to give the food its characteristic deep and vibrant flavors. Kapi can be substituted with various salt-fermented soy bean products such as yellow bean sauce, chinese bean pastes, fermented tofu in brine."

                                  1. re: cacruden

                                    Oh, I have heard that shrimp paste on a post can be helpful in keeping the monkeys away since they really do not like it :o

                                    1. re: cacruden

                                      I would just leave the shrimp paste out for a vegetarian version. It will taste different but still good..

                                      1. re: cacruden

                                        Definitely concur with getting a mortal and pestle. Food processors have their place, but a mortar and pestle is much less trouble, much easier to clean and pretty easy to find for not that much money (avoid designer kitchen supply stores, they will overcharge.) I actually have several mortars and pestles but for curry pastes, I use my big granite one. I feel like Fred Flintstone wielding that pestle but the size and weight make short work of the whole process--it's really quite efficient. I think the biggest problem people have with mortars and pestles is that they get crappy ones or use ones that aren't suited to the particular task. For a curry paste, you'll want a pretty big one made out of a hard, heavy, rough material--no polished inside! That's the best tool for the job. A food processor can cut but a pestle can mash and it makes the paste much more pungent and aromatic.

                                        1. re: Lady_Tenar

                                          "A food processor can cut but a pestle can mash and it makes the paste much more pungent and aromatic."

                                          I never gave it much thought - just knew there was a difference..... but now thinking about it.... it makes sense since when you are pounding the chilies and roots (dried spices would be the same) you are releasing the oils more than if you were to slice them.

                                    2. THANK YOU
                                      Got addicted to Thai food since my holiday there last year (inclusive of a 1 day cooking course)..

                                      I see you mention only chicken and fish for the red curries. I love them with chicken, but think they are even better with beef (and bamboo shoots)

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: butzy

                                        In 12 days of total cooking courses with one school, I had no recipes for using beef with red curry (in a total of around 120+ recipes). Lists of ingredients are not copyrightable, but methods are.... and although I have recipes that use the different curry pastes -- I am sure that I have not sufficiently rewritten them to post online. The coconut based / non-coconut based and the main protein used are a summary of all the recipes that I have seen the pastes used in. It of course does not mean that that is exclusive. I have only seen beef used with green curries (street level).

                                        1. re: cacruden

                                          Hey, that's interesting.
                                          I do remember eating a red beef curry at or tor kor (aw taw kaw) market one of the first days in Thailand and then a couple of times in small restaurants. I think in Bangkok and Chiang Mai.
                                          I'm not sure anymore about the other markets and streets. I suppose I just have to go back and research this :)
                                          I definitely also had red curry with prawns at chinatown and it was absolutely delicious
                                          .
                                          Another dish made with red curry paste that I like a lot is pad prik king. It's a more of a stir fry than a curry. It's made with pork, green beans, lime leaves and fish sauce. It's a nice other use of curry pastes.
                                          I suppose that "officially" it shouldn't be made with red curry paste, but with a prik king paste, but i've yet to find a recipe for it. Do you maybe know about this?

                                          Anyway, I think the first new thing on my menu is going to be the Chuu Che curry paste with either tilapia or nile perch. Getting hungry already

                                          1. re: butzy

                                            I actually did not know about the different paste. I will keep a look out for it next time I am in a place that has mounds of different pastes.... especially if the have signs for them. I can read Thai to some extent -- but extremely slowly :p

                                            I don't remember eating it, but that does not mean I have not - sounds sort of familiar based on a recipe that was posted online..... not sure how much the recipe can be trusted though - the title of the recipe has beef - but the recipe itself uses pork :o

                                            http://allrecipes.asia/recipe/2051/pa...

                                            1. re: cacruden

                                              That recipe sounds pretty familiar.
                                              Pretty clever though, to be able to make fried beef out of pork :)
                                              As said, I make it with red curry paste but will try it with this paste as well and give some feedback once I've tried it

                                      2. Just a remark about using fresh Thai "bird" chili peppers, the small hot ones -- they go through stages as they ripen. When they are green they are hotter and more harsh in flavor, red are slightly less hot and a little mellower/sweeter. In between before they are completely ripe, they are orange in color, and those are absolutely the hottest! This is relative of course as even the red ones are quite warm. I prefer the flavor of red ones personally, if it needs to be hotter, just use more of them! :^) In Thailand I see the fresh, raw green ones offered as a garnish to soups, etc... too hot for me.