One of my all-time favorite dishes is curry. Whether it’s green, yellow, Panang, or red. There is something warm and soothing about the blend of spices. But when I think of curry, I think of Massaman curry. It’s known as a Thai dish, but many of the spices were originally from Persia and India. In my opinion, it’s the mildest of the curries, with little heat but a mouth full of wonderfully bright and aromatic flavors.
It’s difficult to find Massaman curry paste in the supermarkets, but if you do run across it, and are sensitive to garlic or onions, beware. These store-bought cans are loaded with the stuff. My love of Massaman curry has taken me on a quest to create a homemade paste that rivals anything you can get at a Thai restaurant and I’m sharing that very special recipe here with you today.
6 dried Thai bird chiles
3 lemongrass stalks (I used the canned variety that’s in a water brine)
1 one-inch piece of ginger sliced thin
1 tablespoon of canola oil
1 teaspoon of ground cardamom
2 tablespoons of ground cloves
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
2 1/2 tablespoons of ground coriander
2 ½ teaspoons of ground cumin
1/3 cup of dry roasted peanuts
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
½ teaspoon of salt
Place all the ingredients into a food processor or blender and process until a smooth paste forms. You will have to add water (1 tablespoon at a time) to get the smooth paste.
The paste can be stored in the refrigerator for 1 month or 6 months in the freezer.