This versatile curry paste is a breeze to make before you leave home – although feel free to pack a mortar and pestle (or is it pestle and mortar?) and make it by hand when you’re out there.

You can store it in a jar in the fridge – don’t leave any longer than a couple of weeks – or pop it into an ice cube tray and once frozen, store the cubes in a zip lock bag in the freezer.

Too easy. Try it with our Duck Curry.

What you need

  • 12 – 15 dried red chillies
  • 4cm piece of galangal (use ginger if you do not have galangal, or include both for even more flavour)
  • 1 whole bunch of coriander – roots and all.
  • 2 stalks lemongrass ( white section only). Smash the stalk with the back of a heavy knife and slice
  • 10 kaffir lime leaves with stems removed
  • 12 cloves of garlic
  • 4 brown shallots
  • 1 teaspoon shrimp paste. This is often sold as belacan and is available in little individually wrapped squares.
  • Dash of salt
  • 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil

What you do with it

  • Flatten out shrimp paste in between 2 pieces of aluminium foil and roast over medium heat in a frypan for 2 minutes on each side. If you’re making this in your kitchen at home, open all windows and put the fan on as this will smell!
  • Place chillies in a bowl of hot water for 10-15 mins, then drain
  • Throw all the ingredients into a mortar and pestle and pound into a paste – or blitz them in a mini food processor.  If you’re blitzing your paste ingredients, chop each roughly. If you’re going with the pounding method, make life easier on yourself and slice and dice more finely.
  • Pop the lot into a jar and store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. It should make a cup. This paste also freezes well – pop it into an ice cube tray to freeze and then store in zip lock bags in the freezer.

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