Nam Phrik Gaeng Keow Wan (Thai Green Curry Paste)

Ingredients :  

2 x long green chillies (Phrik Chee fah)  
10 x small green chillies ( Phrik Ki Nuu)  
1 Tbsp (15 ml) Lemon grass
2 Tbsp TSP (30 ml) Shallots  
2 Tbsp Garlic 
1  Peeled bruised and cut galangal shoot  
3 X Coriander roots
1 tsp (5 ml) Coriander seeds
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) Cumin powder  
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) Ground white pepper  
1 Tbsp (15 ml) Kaffir lime zest (but preferably finely shredded leaves)
2 Tbsp Shrimp Paste
1 tsp salt 
 
Method :  
 
Chop the fresh herbs (quanitiesa re for chopped amounts) then grind, starting with the hard dry ingredients and moving on to the leafy, softer ingredients, adding the shrimp paste and shallots last. Best done with a mortar and pestle, but a food processor in combination with a pestle and mortar works very well and saves fatigue and time.

For ease, speed and convenience the pre homogenization with an electric homogenizer followed by a short manual pounding in a mortar prepared  Thai curry paste (Green and Red) without identifiable flavour difference compared to the stated superior method of wholly prepared mortar  curry pastes.


ROASTING THE CURRY:  
 
This is a tip that is almost invariably overlooked but is used by cooks throughout Thailand and the difference is quite amazing in the final flavour.  
 
In the wok or pan, spoon in a ladle or two of full cream coconut milk. Disperse a tablespoon of the curry paste in the coconut milk and reduce the liquid until the moisture has evaporated. You will notice that the appearance changes and the mixture gets an oily sheen and will begin to smoke. Remove it from the heat and add another ladle of the coconut milk and repeat the process. Repeat a third time.  
 
What happens is basically two things: firstly the process concentrates the flavours and solids added from the coconut milk. Secondly there is a big rise in the temperature of the contents of the paste when the moisture has evaporated. This increase in temperature alters the flavours of the paste. This process is called roasting the curry.  
 
From this stage you continue the standard process of preparing the specific green curry dish egg, chicken, beef, shrimp or mushroom.
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