There’s nothing like starting a curry from scratch. oaking your own curry paste is surprisingly easy, not to mention satisfying. You can whip up a curry paste in seconds, thanks to food processors and spice mills (a coffee grinder does the trick, too). The result is a heady concoction of freshness, aroma and flavour. All you need to do is add your choice of fish, meat or vegetables, stock, cooking yoghurt or a can of coconut cream, and dinner’s ready.
Here’s a recipe for laksa paste that is used to make a thick, spicy soup.
Laksa curry paste
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2cm piece fresh ginger, chopped
2 green chillies, seeds removed
1 kaffir lime leaf, chopped (optional)
2 stalks lemon grass, peeled and chopped
2 tbsp cashew nuts
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tbsp fish sauce
Juice of 2 limes
1. Grind all ingredients together with a mortar and pestle, or in a spice mill or food processor to form a smooth paste.
2. To make an authentic laksa soup, add coconut milk and an equal quantity of fish or chicken stock, egg noodles, spring onions, bean sprouts and fish or prawns, and simmer until tender. Mr you can use this paste as a base flavouring for your favourite curry.
Tip: Fresh, home-made curry pastes will last for up to four days if covered and stored in the fridge.
Tip: For future curry making, leftover amounts of paste can also be frozen for up to three months. The best way to do this is to place portions of the paste in zip-lock plastic bags, flatten them to remove the air, then label and date the bags.