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.
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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.)
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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