This curry paste is simple and quick to make. All you need is a good pestle and mortar to bash all of the ingredients together. But if you don’t fancy a 45-minute arm workout, you can cheat with a food processor. If you prefer a vegetarian option, simply remove the shrimp paste from the recipe. It still tastes great – trust me.
Yellow curry paste
(Prig gaeng rung)
5 shallots, unpeeled
10 small garlic cloves, unpeeled
2 tablespoons finely sliced galangal
1 teaspoon finely sliced fresh root ginger
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
3 dried red spur chillies, deseeded and soaked until tender
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons sliced lemongrass
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon shrimp paste (leave out if prefer vegetarian paste)
- In a wok or frying pan, dry-fry the whole shallots and garlic, until golden and soft. This will take 5–10 minutes. Set aside to cool, then peel off the skin.
- Dry-fry the galangal and ginger for 2-3 minutes over a medium heat until fragrant and slightly golden. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Dry-fry the coriander seeds for about 2 minutes, stirring continuously, until fragrant. Grind or pound until fine.
- Finely pound or blend the chillies and salt. Add the roasted galangal and ginger plus the lemongrass and blend or pound well. Add the shallots and garlic and mix again.
- Add the ground coriander seeds, cumin, curry powder and shrimp paste and mix until smooth.
This curry paste will keep in the fridge for up to 8 weeks if stored in an airtight container, and up to 6 months in the freezer.