Yield: Yields 1 scant cup.
The master recipe makes a red curry paste, using dried red chiles. For green curry paste, see the variation at the bottom. Thai curry paste is traditionally made using a sturdy granite mortar and pestle, but a food processor works fine. This curry paste will have a softer texture than the fudge-textured curry pastes you find in stores because of the water you add to help the blades move.
Make Ahead Tips
The curry paste can be refrigerated for up to 5 days, or frozen in 1- to 2-Tbs.-size portions for up to 1 month.
Green Curry Paste: To make green curry paste, use 1/2 cup finely chopped unseeded fresh hot green chiles (such as Thai bird chiles or serranos), instead of the dried red chiles. (You won’t need to soak them.)
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This paste is well worth the time to make it. I made a batch of it and the chicken curry the same night. I froze the rest in 2tblsp packages for a quick week night dinner.
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