Curry paste is one those amazing convenience items that I can’t live without. It’s just so easy to keep a tub of it in the fridge for those nights when I completely forget to plan something for dinner and I need to throw something together at the last minute.
I usually buy this brand of curry paste which comes in red, green, yellow, massaman, and panang (all of which are delicious!).
Curry dishes come together quickly and easily when you’ve got pre-made curry paste, but you can save a pretty penny by making it yourself and storing it in the fridge or freezer.
This recipe is super easy – just soak the dried chilies in warm water to soften them up, then grind all of the ingredients into a paste using either a blender or food processor. I adapted the recipe from Nancie McDermott’s book Quick and Easy Thai which is one my favorite cook books of all time. My father-in-law got it for me as a Christmas present when the husband and I first started dating, and it’s now completely battered and covered in food.
After I made this curry paste, I used it to make a delicious beef curry in my slow cooker!
Oh! And guess what, guys? I got a new slow cooker! I’m really excited about it because my old one smelled really bad. I know that seems weird, but I make a lot of stocks and broths in my slow cooker and one night I totally forgot to turn it off before bed when I was making vegetable broth. The stoneware crock absorbed a really nasty onion smell that no amount of washing has been able to remove. The whole cabinet that I keep the stupid thing in totally reeks, so I was in desperate need of a new one.
Then, by chance, I won a new Crockpot at my company’s holiday party! I was so stoked, and when I got it home I realized that it’s truly the best slow cooker in the world because IT STIRS ITSELF. That’s right, people. Amazing, right? Here’s a link to the model I won if you want to see for yourself.
OK, back to the curry paste: This recipe makes about 12 ounces (around a cup and a half) of curry paste, so you can keep some in your fridge (it will last about a month) and freeze the leftovers.
I salvaged this neat little jar to keep my curry paste in – isn’t it cute?
The husband thinks I’m insane, but I love saving jars and re-purposing them. We always have a huge pile of them on top of the fridge, which drives him nuts because they are usually very precariously stacked.
When I make curries, I typically use about 2 tablespoons of curry paste per can of unsweetened coconut milk, so I divided the remaining curry paste into two-tablespoon-portions and froze it in an ice cube try. I then popped them out and put them in a freezer-safe zipper-close bag and keep them in my freezer.
You can add the frozen curry paste directly to a warm pan to thaw it before using it to cook. Use your homemade curry paste to make Crispy Tilapia in Curry Sauce, Beef Curry with Butternut Squash, or Rustic Thai Beef Soup!
Here’s your recipe!
- 3 large dried red New Mexico Chili peppers
- 10 small dried chiles de arbol
- ½ c. coarsely chopped shallots
- ¼ c. coarsely chopped garlic
- 1 Tbsp. coarsely chopped fresh ginger or galanga root
- 1 Tbsp. ground coriander
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- ½ tsp. pepper
- ½ tsp. salt
- Remove the stems and seeds from the dried chilies. Use your hands to tear the chilies into small pieces, then soak in a bowl of warm water for 10 minutes. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
- Meanwhile, place your shallots, garlic, ginger or galanga root, coriander, cumin, pepper, and salt into the bowl of a food processor or blender.
- Once the chilies have finished soaking, drain the water off and add them to the food processor.
- Use the processor to grind the ingredients into a paste. You may need to scrape the sides of the bowl down as you go.
- Store in a glass container for up to 1 month in the fridge, or freeze for up to 1 year.