Thai curry! Oh, how I love thee. Spicy, herby, salty with a hint of sweet. And then flavors I can’t even recognize. I decided to make a curry from scratch and learn more about this most aromatic and delicious of South Asian meals.
It started with two amazing flavors: ginger and lemongrass. It was my first time working with lemongrass. It has a gentle lemon aroma. I peeled back the leaves of the lemongrass to get to the solid light yellow bulb.
The main ingredient in the curry paste is the chile peppers, in this case jalapenos. I thought six jalapenos sounded like too many, but I guess removing the seeds helped, because I found it to be quite mild.
I was a bit surprised to see that most recipes on the internet that I looked at called for both nutmeg and shallots (not necessarily together). Shalloty-oniony flavors aren’t really prominent to me, and nutmeg certainly hasn’t stood out for me in green curries. In they went, anyway. See below.
The recipe also called for toasting coriander, fennel, cumin, and black peppercorn seeds, then grinding them. I don’t have a spice grinder or coffee grinder, so I went old-school with a mortar and pestle. I love the physicality of using this age-old tool.
Below: All of the paste ingredients go into the processor until they are nice and smooth.
Once your paste is complete, it’s time to create the curry dish, which involves cooking the paste, heating the coconut milk, and cooking the vegetables/meat in the hot milk.
Below: All of the Thai curry recipes I’ve ever seen involve sauteeing the curry paste for a minute in either oil or the coconut milk. In this case, the recipe called to cook a couple tablespoons of paste in 1.5 cups of coconut milk.
Below: What a lovely image! The thick curry paste blending into the thick coconut milk. The beauty of nature and food continuously inspires me.
Below: Thai basil leaves add a wonderful dimension to the dish, which already has so many flavors.