Make, Jane, make!: From Scratch: Green Curry Paste


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Saturday, September 15, 2012

From Scratch: Green Curry Paste

One thing I always grow in my gardens is basil. It's easy to grow, so much better when it's fresh and a real cost-saver considering that you pay $3 or more for a small bunch at the store. This year I was lucky enough to find organic sweet basil and thai basil seeds, so I have a lot of both growing in the garden... Just ask anyone I know if I've been in the business of dealing zip-top baggies of herbs at every recent girls' night-out.

Thai basil (recently picked) and habenero on the top and sweet basil on the bottom.

So recently, after gathering the first big harvest of thai basil (and a huge harvest of regular basil, as well), I decided that it was high time to restock my freezer with some green curry paste.

Yes, I know... I am a glutton for punishment because I like to make curries from scratch that could easily be bought in a can (or powdered) for a song... but there really is a world of difference when the ingredients in a curry are all freshly ground and combined.

I was lucky enough to also be blessed with some Anaheim chiles from my CSA box which, with their mild heat, were to perfect alternative to the traditional Thai peppers for my young kids.

I managed to make enough paste to throw two portions into the freezer and have one portion for immediate use.

Up next, making the curry!


Green Curry Paste       Yield:  approximately 1-1/2 cups (3 servings)

12 - 18 Kaffir lime leaves (or if you can get Kaffir limes, the zest would be a great!)
6 Anaheim chiles (or substitute an equal volume of jalapenos and thai chiles)
3 cups packed Thai basil (leaves and stems)
1 small bunch cilantro (leaves and stems)
1 onion, roughly chopped
2 inch piece ginger, roughly chopped
3 large cloves garlic, roughly chopped
2 - 3 stalks lemongrass, dried ends discarded, roughly chopped*(or 3 tablespoons frozen lemongrass)
1 tablespoon coriander seeds, ground
1-1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds, ground

Process all the ingredients in a food processor until fine. Portion and freeze if not using immediately.

A note: You could definitely include 1-2 tablespoons of shrimp paste in here. I did not because I'm allergic :P

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